It is time to fall in love with your freezer and let it help you save time, cut down on waste and maximise space.
According to the food waste organisation WRAP, the top four foods likely to be found lurking in our freezers are ice cream, chicken, peas and chips. However, there is lots of other food that can be frozen safely and conveniently for months on end (no, not years on end, we said months).
Portion Frozen Mince
When freezing minced meat, decant to a freezer bag and use the handle of a wooden spoon to separate the meat into portions. This will allow you to break off as much as you need without thawing the entire amount.
Pop individual left over egg whites into an ice cube tray for easy portion control later. Thaw them out in a covered bowl to make fabulous meringues and mousse style desserts. These should be used within six months.
Don’t Chuck away fruit that’s on it’s way out – chop it up, bag it, and freeze it instead. Ripe fruit is ideal for making an early morning smoothie or a frozen yoghurt. Peeled Bananas also freeze well and can be used when you are ready to make banana bread or whizzed up to make a yummy and healthy ice cream.
Frozen cheese rinds or left over uneaten cheese can be added to soups whilst cooking or heating through. It can easily be grated and added to simple sauces straight from the freezer or directly on to pasta or pizza before cooking.
Garlic and Herbs
Add a punch of flavour to dishes with frozen garlic, chillies and ginger. Soft herbs such as parsley, thyme, coriander and mint can be combined with softened butter and minced garlic to create luxurious herb butters ready to anoint fish or meat cuts. These should be carefully moulded and wrapped in greaseproof paper to prevent freezer burn.
Fast Biscuits & Brownies
When you are next baking, make an extra batch of dough, shape them and place them on an oven tray until frozen. These can then be either frozen, covered, as is or stored in freezer bags ready to pop in the oven. Perfect for when you have unexpected guests or are too busy to bake from scratch.
Sauces and Stocks
When making stock, freeze it in muffin trays for handy portion sizes when making casseroles or soups. They can de decanted when frozen into an airtight bag for easy storage.
Got an annoying spoon of pesto which is to small to do anything else with but too good to throw away? Then stick it in an ice cube tray for cooking as required. Fresh fruit juices, wine (if there is any left!) and other sauces can be stored this way too.
Skinning tomatoes in boiling water is usually fairly laborious and pretty messy (we agree that this is one of pet hates). Well if you are need to use skinned tomatoes then this home hack will help you no end. Stick them in the freezer! Thaw them at room temperature and the tomatoes shed their skins happily. HurraH! Great for using on the turn tomatoes for future pasta sauces.