Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Love My Freezer!

Here's some ways I make use of my freezer that makes my life easier:
  • Flash freezing.  So far I've only used this technique for freezing my fruit (ripe bananas), but apparently you can use it for scooped cookies, loaves of bread, biscuits, burritos, or whatever you need to freeze and don't want it to stick together or mush all over your freezer bag.  Basically you take the item, place it on a metal cookie sheet, stick it in the freezer till it hardens, remove from cookie sheet and place in freezer bag until you're ready to use it.  (Dough items you'd obviously freeze before baking.)

  • Quick dinners.  Make extra and freeze it!  This one thing has saved us many a night since we had our little girl.  Sometimes we're just too tired or busy to make dinner.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else out there?  Thought so!  Those are days when I just pull something out of the freezer and thank myself for planning ahead.  (Some people set aside time and make stuff specifically for the freezer, but I haven't done that since I was pregnant and "nesting" last summer.  If that works for you, do it.  I find that I do better with just making extra of whatever I'm cooking.)  Many meals you make will save well in the freezer.  If you're not sure a meal will, just freeze a small amount and see how it goes.  Soups, sauces, stir fry's, crock pot meals, burritos (prep the burrito, but freeze before you cook), veggie patties, etc.  Even doing this with grains (ie rice, oats, quinoa) will save you on a busy day.  To use the grains after thawing a bit, I simply warm them in a pot on the stove with a bit of water.  Oh, and how could I forget:  beans.  Soaking and cooking beans takes a lot of time.  Seriously, make extras!  I store all my freezer meals, beans, and grains in freezer bags.  It saves on space in the freezer, since they flatten and stack much easier than other containers.  We write on a piece of painters tape what is in the bag (so we can reuse the bag) and I also keep a list on the fridge of what's in the freezer and when I made it, so I can remember to use them.  I recommend letting whatever you're freezing cool completely before putting it in the freezer for better taste.  Also, don't thaw and refreeze anything!  Tonight we had this delicious dahl recipe.  This is a recipe that I always double and freeze.  (If you're not familiar with dahl, it's an ethnic lentil dish.  May not look pretty to some, but the taste is fantastic!) 

  • Quick cookies.  So, maybe I'll try the flash freezing technique with this, but one thing we enjoy doing at our house is making extra cookie dough and freezing that.  We put it on wax paper in a log shape, wrap it up and freeze it.  To use, simply unwrap, slice off pieces, place on baking sheet and bake.  Or, if you use a vegan cookie recipe, you can just slice off a piece when you want something sweet.  Not that I've ever done that...  Okay, well maybe my husband makes me swear I won't snack on the dough and actually save it for baking a batch of cookies.  Maybe... 
  • Make some homemade popsicles.  Need I say more?  We all love popsicles in the summer time, but there's a lot of junk in the ones you can buy at the store, not to mention they are way more expensive to buy.  There's all kinds of recipes on the web for fancy popsicles, or you can simply freeze some fruit juice and call it good.  Amazon has tons of popsicle molds.  If you don't want to purchase one, you can always make use of an ice cube tray and some toothpicks.  Yep, done that one before.
Hopefully these tips help you out.  I've found that things like this make healthy eating WAY easier for me.  And tastier too.  What would I do without my freezer?!  Hmm...  Did I miss anything?  What are some other ways you make use of your freezer?

1 comment:

Happy Mom said...

You always have great idea's!!

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