I still remember the first time someone told me about freezing little bits of leftover fruit for smoothies and stuff. I thought it was genius. I had bought so much fruit to make fresh smoothies for my son, so when I had some fruit about ready to go bad I dumped it all in a freezer safe container and threw it in the freezer.
The problem occurred when I went to get some of the frozen fruit. It was a giant block of ice. I had to take a knife and chisel off some of the fruit. Obviously not the best idea. I quickly learned that flash freezing before you store the food in the freezer makes all the difference. I now not only freeze fruits, but also I can freeze foods like pancakes, hamburgers, and meatballs without them sticking together.
Not only can freezing foods help you save money and prevent food waste, but it also helps you save so much time. I like to make up a large batch of hamburgers at the beginning of summer. Then, on a night I know will be busy I can pull out a few burgers and cook them up. If you want to save some time and money (who doesn’t??) check out these simple tips for flash freezing.
To start off with I recommend you wash and cut up any fruits or veggies to how you will use them. If you are freezing strawberries you will want to wash the strawberries off, remove the stem and cut them up if you are going to be using them cut up.
Most vegetables will need to be blanched before you flash freeze them. This helps to prevent the vegetable from getting mushy and from bacteria.
You will also want to make sure that the foods are as dry as possible to prevent ice from forming on them. If you are washing the foods first, like strawberries, make sure that you give them time to dry.
Once you have the food ready to be flash frozen lay it out on a baking sheet. I like to line mine baking sheet with a Silpat pad. You can use wax paper, but a Silpat pad can be used over and over again. Make sure none of the food is touching and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
When the food is frozen through you can remove the food from the baking sheet and store the food in a freezer safe container. Make sure you label the container with the date and what it contains. You won’t have any problems with the food sticking together anymore. Just grab out the amount you need and use it.
Most uncooked and cooked meats will last about 3 months in the freezer. Veggies will last about 6 months and fruits will last up to one year.
It makes cooking or reheating so easy when you can just grab the right amount. Plus, having the food ready before hand, like with pancakes makes my life so much simpler. I love the money and time that I save by flash freezing my foods.
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