Make Frozen Foods Last Longer!
In this day and age, saving money is what it is all about. So what savings helper do you already have at home to help you do this? Your freezer! It's a sure-fire way to stock up bargains. But to make sure you truly get your money's worth, follow these expert tips that'll keep your foods fresh - and your costs down!
STAY AWAY FROM STACKING!
Freezing multiple items at once? Instead of stacking them one on top of the other, spread the packages out as much as possible. This allows for a quicker freeze, preventing ice cystals from forming. It's that iciness that causes food to lose its freshness. Remember, the faster the freezing time the smaller the ice crystals which means the better the taste and freshness when thawed! After food is frozen - then stack it where you want!
Freeze small portions if possible. Larger portions require larger containers and larger containers take longer time to freeze. Also:
- Squeeze out excess air. Excess air means freezer burns. Squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent this. If foods are put into plastic/glass containers, try to fill the entire containers with the exception of liquid items such as soups, stews and sauces since liquid expands when frozen.
USE THE RIGHT CONTAINER!
There are many different containers, bags and wraps out there made specifically for storing foods in the freezer - use them! These are thick enough to keep moisture in and freezer odors out. Even when you double up regular sandwich bags or plastic wrap, they are simply not thick enough to do the job. If you intend to freeze something long-term in glass, make sure the glass is tempered or specifically labeled freezer safe.
PLAN YOUR RE-WRAP THE RIGHT WAY!
No need to re-package meat if you plan to store it in the freezer for a couple months - but any longer than that, and you'll want to add an extra layer of protection against freezer burn. The simple solution: Cover the store's packaging in a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
KEEP YOUR LEFTOVERS TASTING TERRIFIC!
To make sure that leftover roast or turkey tastes just as good the second time around, simply cover it in gravy before storing it in the freezer. (No gravy? Use a jar of storebought!) The juicy layer provides a protective coating that keeps the meat from drying out, meaning you can store it longer with just-as-good results!
BLANCH THOSE VEGGIES!
The secret to freezing fresh vegetables: Boil them for two minutes first, then quickly chill in ice water. Partial cooking slows the enzyme activity that leads to deterioration!
Resource(s): My Personal Collection of Tips From Over the Years From Various Magazines!