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Thread: Freezer food basics

  1. #1
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Freezer food basics

    Do you have things in your freezer that you can't remember putting there? Me, too. Maybe this will help.

    Freezer Food Basics
    http://www.foodtv.ca/content/Content...ContentId=1867

    You don’t have to use only fresh ingredients to make healthy and flavourful meals. While you may rely on pre-packaged frozen foods to save time, these are often laden with calories, fat, sodium and preservatives. Learn how to kick the habit of stocking up on these convenience foods by getting better acquainted with the frozen food aisle, making meals that are just as fast – and often more economical. Here are our 10 essential freezer staples to keep close at hand.

    Shopping List: 10 Essential Freezer Superfoods

    1. Berries
    Full of vitamins and antioxidants, frozen berries can rescue a meal in a pinch -- and save your wallet – when fresh berries are out of season. Use as much or as little as you want to make a quick smoothie (no thawing necessary!), top desserts, waffles, or mix with greens for tomorrow’s lunch. This is also an excellent way to maintain fruit intake during the winter months.

    2. Bananas
    Peel, break up and freeze ripe bananas to eat as a snack or add to a smoothie (try mixing them with chocolate soy milk.) Overripe bananas can also be frozen in freezer bags for baking muffins or quickbreads in a pinch. Write the date on the freezer bag, and use within three months.

    3. Bread
    Tired of finding a half-eaten loaf of bread growing mould? Keep whole-grain bread in the freezer, and pop slices in the toaster oven to thaw as needed. Use frozen bread within one month for maximum freshness.

    4. Vegetables
    Frozen vegetables contain just as many nutrients as fresh ones, and they’ve already been washed and chopped for you! They thaw in a snap, but can be used frozen too. Try adding them to boiling pasta in the last few minutes of cooking, to a soup base for minestrone or vegetable soup, or substitute them for fresh veggies.

    5. Shrimp and Salmon
    Raw, de-veined shrimp or salmon filets are nutritious and quick dinner-starters. Buy larger quantities or filets if they are on sale, and freeze as individual portions. Thaw overnight or, if you’re in a hurry, in a sink of cold water.

    6. Chicken Stock
    Chicken stock is essential for soups, risottos, cooking rice with extra flavour, and many more dishes. If you make your own stock and are using glass jars, make sure to leave about one-inch of headspace at the top of the jar before freezing.

    7. Edamame
    Using edamame (green soybeans) in dishes adds both flavour and texture to the mix. You can find frozen edamame at some supermarkets and at most Asian grocery stores.

    8. Spinach
    Add a little green to your meals with frozen spinach. It takes up next to no space in the freezer, and is an excellent companion for dips, soups, chicken breasts, pasta, quiche and casseroles. Squeeze out excess water before adding the spinach.

    9. Chicken Breasts
    The ever-versatile chicken breast is an essential staple. Choose plain chicken breasts rather than those that are breaded or in sauces—they’re healthier and more versatile for cooking.

    10. Whole-Wheat Pitas or Wraps
    Pitas and wraps are great for last-minute dinners or lunches. Make wraps with leftover veggies and cheese, fajitas, or quesadillas. Use pitas to make mini pizzas topped with vegetables and lean protein or low-fat cheese options.

    Freezer Tips

    * If you don’t want to waste dinner leftovers but won’t eat them within two or three days, freeze them!
    * Keep the freezer temperature at -18°C (0°F) to prohibit bacteria growth.
    * Use shallow containers to freeze food, it will cool faster.
    * Use a marker to label and date items before freezing them. Reheat within one month to retain freshness.
    * Eat thawed food within two to three days (fish and seafood should be consumed in one to two days.)
    * Freeze fruit and vegetables separately on a baking sheet before putting them in plastic freezer bags, to keep them from sticking together.
    * Don’t overstock your freezer. Allow for air circulation to retain optimal freshness.
    * Stock the freezer so that you don’t have an avalanche when you pull one item out. Use stackable containers when freezing food, and keep store-bought items used most frequently near the front. Use a divider to keep slippery items like individual portions of meat or seafood in their place.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    See, I already do all that anyway and baste my meats in sauces I make myself
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    Well, aren't you just the domestic god from hell. Hehe.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    *hairtoss*

    Mah momma made me help her in the kitchen when I was jess a youngin', so AH's know how to cook.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    I love a man, any man, who can cook.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    oh these are all good tips

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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    Another tip I picked up is that if you're going to be freezing batches of things, line the container with foil. That way when the item is frozen, you can slip it out of the container, and keep using the containers to freeze things.

    yeh so I'm cheap and only have two freezable containers that aren't from takeout meals!

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    Another trick to keep items like meat, fish, etc. airtight is to wrap them tightly in Saran wrap (or equivalent) before placing them in baggies or containers. It works extremely well.

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    Gold Member misskris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    i always do this for cakes and no one would honestly ever know they had been frozen. i love the freezer for all it is worth. i have sooo much frozen stuff in my freezer and i never have to worry about groceries other than fresh fruit and veggies. chicken, steak, etc lives in the freezer to be consumed later.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Glasgow53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    I put leftover chicken stock in an ice cube tray and when they are frozen, I put them in a large resealable bag. That way if I need just a little chicken flavoring like in rice or veggies I throw in a cube or two.
    Keep passing the open windows.

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    Gold Member misskris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    that's so clever. someone in the cooking wine thread suggested that for freezing unused cooking wines. wonderful idea indeed!

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    Default Re: Freezer food basics

    I save scraps in a couple of freezer grade ziplock bags too. Things like carrot and potato peels and other veggie bits in one and meat scraps in another and still a third for bread. I use the meats and veggie bits to make soup stocks with and the bread leftovers for either bread pudding, using a bread crumbs in other recipes or to make stuffing with.

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