Are you emulating the little squirrels, busily storing nuts for winter? We've been bottling food this fall, but I know a lot of you like to fill your freezers with the fruits of your labors. I came across a website called Simple Organized Living. Andrea, the author, has a list of freezable foods. She says, "While I don't claim to be a "Freezable Foods Expert", I have frozen more than my share of foods over the last few years; and I've taught classes on freezing, drying and canning. So with that said..."
She's personally had success freezing everything listed below:
1. Baked Goods.
- Brownies and Cookies...resealable bags or storage containers.
- Breads, Buns, Muffins and Rolls...double bag to prevent freezer burn and they should be fine for several months.
- Cupcakes and Cakes...You can frost cakes before or after freezing, but if you use store-bought frosting, wait until you defrost the cake.
- Granola...freeze in mason jars or zip-top bags.
- Pies...freeze before baking.
"I freeze many of my baking supplies in shoe boxes in our freezer."
- Chocolate..."I store all my baking chocolates in the freezer because I think they keep for much longer this way and taste fresher."
- Nuts...Store nuts in the freezer to keep the oils from going rancid. She got this tip from Rachel Ray..."so it must be true!"
- Flour and Sugar...I've frozen whole wheat flour, but never considered freezing sugar.
Most dairy products should keep at least 6 months.
- Butter/Margerine...just stick the whole package in the freezer. I date my butter so I can rotate it better.
- Block Cheese...Remember to slice or shred before freezing or it may crumble.
- Cream Cheese...it may be a bit "lumpy" after defrosting, but it stll tastes the same.
- Milk...a good idea if you're leaving on vacation. Just remember to remove a cup of milk first, because it expands.
- Yogurt...yogurt can be frozen for a delicious, healthy treat.
Most of the following tips pertain to fruits. Andrea has put together a list of 20 vegetables and how to freeze them. Vegetable Freezing Chart Herbs can be frozen in ice-cube trays. Fruit: wash, dry and divide fruit into small portions...this makes it easy to grab what you need. Fruit should keep for up to a year if properly sealed.
- All Fruits...You can pretty much freeze any fruit you plan to use in smoothies. It will probably be too soggy to just eat when defrosted.
- Berries...Freeze all kinds of berries for pancakes and smoothies. Keep 2-cup containers of crushed berries for making jam, ice-cream toppings or for berry shortcake.
- Bananas...peel your over-ripe bananas and put 4 in a bag or freezer container. Most recipes call for 3-5 bananas...so you're probably good with 4.
- Jams and Jellies...the quickest and easiest way to make jam.
If you make double batches of your favorite foods, you'll always have something ready to defrost for busy days.
- Soups, Stews and Broths...Divide these into 1 or 2 cup portions to defrost quicker.
- Casseroles...you can freeze everything from lasagna, fajitas, enchiladas, chicken dishes and more. Just make sure the dishes are fully cooked before freezing.
- Pasta Sauce...Freeze leftover pasta sauce and save for the next meal.
- Meat...Freeze any meat, fresh or cooked. Just make sure it's properly sealed to prevent freezer burn. Andrea had a well-wrapped turkey in the freezer for 18 months and it was "delicious!"
A Blast of Cold Air From the Past!
Remember when the freezer would get so choked with frost that it looked like the picture on the left? Whenever I had to "defrost" the "Fridgidaire" the air would be blue with naughty cuss words. You had to pry everything out...if you could...and turn the knob to "defrost." What an exercise in misery! We tried to hurry the process with bowls of hot water...and a hammer and chisel!