Freezers are vastly under-utilised because many people don’t know what they can and can’t store in them.
To clear up a bit of the confusion we’ve collected some freezer hacks to help take the guesswork out of this great storage method.
Before we look at some of the different foods you can store in the freezer it’s important that we discuss a few freezer myths.
Myth #1: freezing kills bacteria
Microorganisms and bacteria cause food to break down over time. Refrigerators are able to slow the bacteria growing process, and freezers are able to slow it even further. However neither method actually kills bacteria completely. A freezer simply extends the shelf life of food for a long time.
Myth #2: a full freezer uses more energy
Another common misconception with freezers is that they act in the same way a fridge does. People often don’t fill their freezers to the brim because they are worried about the increased electricity it will take to keep everything cool. However, this is simply not the case. Freezers work in the opposite way- the fuller your freezer, the less energy it will consume. This gives us, even more, reason to stock the freezer with ready to go meals, vegetables and smoothie ingredients.
Food you didn’t know could be frozen
Yes, that’s right raw eggs can be frozen, just be sure to crack them into a container or an ice cube tray first. If you freeze them in their shell, the liquid will expand causing the egg to crack open.
All hard cheeses can be frozen. Simply grate the cheese and store it in a container or ziplock bag and you’ll have delicious cheese whenever you want. This is also handy if you have a small dinner party and don’t use up all the cheese from the cheese platter. Just be sure not to freeze soft cheese!
Milk and Wine
Yes, both can be frozen. However, if you’re storing them in bottles make sure you leave a gap for the liquid to expand. You can use frozen wine in sauces and frozen milk in smoothies. It is also a simple way to keep lactose-free milk on hand for those occasions when a visitor needs a lactose-free alternative.
Flour is great to keep in the freezer, however, make sure it is in an airtight container, so moisture doesn’t get in.
If you like to buy your nuts and seeds in bulk, keep them in the freezer. This will keep them fresh and ready to eat.
If you don’t get around to using all the vegetable you bought for the week, don’t wait for them to go bad. Stop wasting food and money by par-cooking vegetables and freezing them. This way you’ll be able to add vegetables to meals or sauces whenever you need them!
Keep cooked and portioned rice or quinoa in the freezer and you’ll always have a side ready to go.
Steel cut oats
If you prefer to make your own oats but don’t have the time during the morning rush, simply make a batch on the weekend and freeze the portions in a muffin tray.
Raw cookie dough
Sometimes you just have a hankering for freshly baked cookies, and more often than not it’s when the shops are closed, or its late in the night. To avoid this issue, simply make up a batch of cookie dough and portion it out to the correct cookie size. Freeze the portions and you’ll be able to satisfy that cookie craving whenever it hits.