Absolutely freezing fabulous!

Oh alright, I admit it, I am a bit of a freezing fan! It’s such a great way to preserve and store food, plus it’s easy to do. It cuts down on waste as you can freeze gluts and leftovers so it can be a real money-saver. I have a range of foods that I always freeze, but I’ve recently come across some other ideas that were new to me. See what you think of this selection:

1. Nuts
Freezing nuts makes them last longer as it keeps the oils in them from going rancid. Simply remove some when you need them and leave them to defrost on your kitchen worktop.

2. Ripe bananas
Freezing ripe bananas is brilliant for all your last minute banana baked goods needs. They’re also terrific for adding to smoothies since it makes them creamier and you can use less ice and mixing frozen bananas with fresh or frozen strawberries makes amazing ice cream – yum!

3. Cooked rice
Cooked too much rice? Store it in a freezer-proof container and store it in the freezer until you need it. When you’re ready to eat it, add the amount you want to a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan with a few tablespoons of water to warm it back up – just make sure it’s properly hot before serving.

4. Grated cheese
Grated cheese freezes really well and is a great time saver. If you’re cooking lasagna, enchiladas, or anything cheesy, just thaw and use. Great sprinkled over the potato topping of shepherd’s pie too! No more abandoned lumps of cheese wasted or going mouldy in the fridge!

5. Wine
Now I realise this is unlikely… but if you ever have some wine left in a bottle after dinner, pour it into an ice cube tray! Just add a cube into the casserole the next time your recipe calls for some wine.

6. Champagne

Like wine, you can freeze bubbly in an ice cube tray and put one (or two or three) cubes into a glass of orange juice for an instant Buck’s Fizz! I regret I can’t ever see that happening in this house… left over Champagne? I don’t think so!

7. Uncooked bacon
Wrap three to four slices of bacon side by side in parchment paper before putting in a freezer-proof bag. Bacon thaws really quickly at room temperature – and you can grill, fry or just place on kitchen paper in the microwave.

8. Butter
Frozen butter is a baker’s secret weapon. Grate frozen butter into dough for really light piecrusts and biscuits. Freeze the butter in its original wrapping inside an airtight bag or tightly wrapped in foil.

9. Egg yolks and whites
Like wine and herbs, egg yolks and whites work well in ice cube trays too. You will have to thaw the cubes completely if you are using them to bake, but the whites can be apparently be defrosted right in the pan for omelettes – I haven’t tried that yet!

10. Fresh herbs
And finally… this isn’t actually a new one for me (It’s something I do regularly) but in case you didn’t know this excellent tip – chop herbs finely and place them in an ice cube tray covered with water. Then you can add a herb cube directly into your pan to liven up sauces or stews.

If you’ve got any freezer tips you can recommend – please share!

23 Comments
23 replies
  1. Alison Wallace says:

    I froze some leftover cheese ommelette as an experiment and then forgot about it. It must have been a few months before I thawed it thinking it was a bit of chicken! It tasted delicious, still moist and not leathery. I had it cold with some toast, lovely.

    Reply
    • Joanna Sheen says:

      Crikey – I was liking the concept until you said you ate it cold Alison!! But still, interesting to know it freezes well. Smiles, Joanna

      Reply
  2. Eva R. says:

    I freeze most of these foods on regular basis but I have never heard of freezing raw eggs. I am going to give it a try and see how well the eggs perform afterwards. I am especially skeptical about the egg whites – will they be able to be beaten stiff?

    Reply
  3. Maureen Windsor says:

    I freeze egg whites and they whip up perfectly for merangues.
    Do you freeze the bananas with the skins on please

    Reply
    • Eva R. says:

      I have frozen bananas with the skin on and without. If you freeze them in the skin it’s more hassle to peel it off because you will need to wait for the banana to totally defrost and it will be quite mushy so peeling is a bit messy. So now I only freeze them peeled. Make sure they go into airtight container otherwise you will get frost build up on them. I find that when they defrost they are much softer so they are easier to mash for banana bread plus they seem to be a bit sweeter as well.

      Reply
  4. Pearl Farrier says:

    I create hand made paper sheets from paper and card bits that I cannot use from my card making. I pulp it up and if not used straight away for paper sheets – or for paper moulding, I freeze it in an air tight container in the freezer. When needed it can be left to thaw for a couple of hours and it’s ready for another batch making session.

    Reply
  5. janet says:

    I now know I can try using the chestnuts I have in my freezer from before Christmas. I freeze all kinds of things – always grate cheese as soon as I buy it as I only cook with it, then freeze it, milk, bread and cake (in slices), cream, custard, breadcrumbs – I whizz up stale bread and keep the crumbs for toppings – separate eggs and freeze in ice cube trays so I can use whites or yolks. Chop herbs and put into icecube trays too (topped yup with water) . Have just made 6 jars of goosebarb jam with left-over gooseberries (red) and rhubarb from last year’s crop. Lovely!

    Reply
  6. Ruth Oie says:

    Have never heard of freezing eggs but would like to know if anyone has. When
    I make an angel food cake I am left with the 12 yokes which usually go to waste
    as they go bad in the fridge before I can find a use for them. I always freeze nuts
    as it doesn’t take them long to go rancid in the cupboard. They thaw almost instantly
    when removed from the freezer and remain fresh for months.

    Reply
  7. Sue says:

    I freeze all those items except wine and eggs, neither of which I had thought about. I used to preserve eggs (we have our own hens) by waxing them all over and storing them in sawdust, but if one tiny pinprick of shell missed the wax… Let’s just say I developed the habit of cracking the eggs outside the kitchen door, just in case. I didn’t like the texture, so I stopped preserving them and now give away any excess to very grateful friends.
    Once my husband took a single frozen banana, swathed in cling wrap, from the freezer. When I came home he said, “Darling, there seems to be something very wrong with this sausage. I didn’t like to eat it.”

    Reply
  8. Susan says:

    I too am a freezer-holic Joanna. I’ve run out of space in my very inadequate up-right freezer and I’m now using my neighbour’s freezer for the glut of gooseberries and blackcurrants this year. One tip – freeze a piece of fresh ginger (no need to peel). It grates beautifully into a stir fry, curry etc. Gone are the days when I’ve found a shriveled up piece in the fridge and you really can’t tell the difference and you can use what you want and put the rest back..
    Happy freezing.

    P.S. My tromboncino squash have flowers and is doing well.

    Reply
  9. Tracy W says:

    I love batch making and freezing, especially around Christmas time and I always do extra roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings to freeze, saves so much time when you have unexpected extra guests for Sunday lunch! Thanks for the list I must admit there are quite a few I didn’t know about.
    Blessings, Tracy x

    Reply

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