Suppose Twice Earlier than You Freeze These 9 Meals
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Thank you for your freezer, especially in summer. From ice cubes to ice cream, popsicles to frozen pizza – keeping it in this practical device prevents the owner from losing cool.
“You can freeze anything,” says Lizann Powers-Hammond, a food preservation expert at Washington State University Extension. “It’s not a security problem.”
However, not everything should be kept in your freezer.
Thawed food might not make you sick, but some foods won’t thaw appetizingly, Powers-Hammond told Money Talks News.
The following items, in their opinion, are better to thaw, or at least require some freezing expertise.
1. Milk to drink
This may surprise you, but you can freeze milk for up to a month. However, the result is best used in cooking, not drinking. This is because milk separates when it is frozen.
Similarly, sauces and cream-based sauces can clump and thaw in ways that you may not enjoy, Powers-Hammond says.
If you don’t have room for milk in your fridge or freezer, consider buying powdered milk and making it in small quantities as needed. Milk powder is a storage-friendly option, as we describe in detail in “11 foods that keep for years”.
2. Leaf vegetables
We should all probably eat more leafy greens like lettuce and endive. But don’t try to freeze them.
The high moisture content that makes them so crispy and delicious when fresh makes them mushy and flabby when thawed.
3. Salad vegetables
Speaking of lettuce, the raw vegetables that light up delicious salads – like cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and radishes – aren’t freezer friendly either.
If you need to freeze these, Powers-Hammond recommends blanching them first by briefly soaking them in boiling water. This food freezing guide provides blanching instructions.
Alternatively, you can find a quick and easy way to use salad vegetables under “This homemade meal is cheap, healthy and does not have to be cooked”.
4. Rusty potatoes
Know your potato before you put it in the freezer. The popular reddish brown, which is so nice and fluffy freshly prepared, tends to become floury when frozen. When freezing a stew, be prepared for the potatoes to lose their shape.
The waxy little red potatoes are best for freezing. But even these should be blanched before freezing.
5. Fried foods
It’s hard to beat a good, crispy dish out of french fries served hot with salt and ketchup.
But don’t freeze your leftover fries. They’ll get mushy if they’re frozen and then thawed.
6. Cooked pasta
For the best taste and texture, freeze homemade pasta and the soft, fresh pasta you find in the refrigerator section of a grocery store only before – and not after – cooking.
Ready-cooked pasta can become soft and mushy when reheated, and provide an unsightly “overheated” taste, says Powers-Hammond.
Here’s a tip: if you want to cook extra lasagna or other pasta dishes to freeze, don’t under cook the pasta. Aim for a classic “al dente” (slightly firm) texture.
7. Mayonnaise and mayo-based dressings
Mayo and mayonnaise-based dressings get “kind of gross,” says Powers-Hammond.
Mayo doesn’t come out of the freezer the way it went in. It’s an emulsion – a combination of ingredients (in this case oil, egg yolk, and lemon juice or vinegar) that usually don’t mix easily. The emulsion tends to separate when thawed.
This rule applies twice to potato salad, as potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise are all freezer-friendly. It’s not that frozen potato salad is unsafe. It just won’t be very tasty or appealing.
8. Hard cheese in block or wedge shape
You can freeze hard cheeses such as aged cheddar. Just don’t count on using it in a sliced cheese tray later.
Freezing hard cheese makes it crumbly. Before freezing, plan how you are going to use it. Crumbly frozen cheese can be great in a recipe.
Powers-Hammond recommends grating a block or slice of hard cheese before freezing.
9. Cream or custard fillings and puddings
Ah, sweet custard and cream fillings, so hard to resist. But resist freezing.
“Pudding tends to cry,” warns Powers-Hammond. “The water is squeezing out of them.”
And don’t leave frozen cakes in the freezer too long for the same reason. Perhaps it is time to reconsider the tradition of saving a piece of wedding cake for your first anniversary.
Pay attention to the spices
Here’s an additional tip: when preparing a spicy dish to freeze, use spices sparingly. Some spices will strengthen in the freezer.
Powers-Hammond says that when she was making two pans of enchiladas, serving one for dinner and freezing the second, the freezing increased the heat of the spices in the frozen bowl so much that her wife couldn’t believe the two dishes were eating the same batch.
“Season lightly before freezing,” she concludes.
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