I do love my freezer - as well as storing all my batch cooking and leftover meals, it also allows me to store food that I would otherwise throw out. Everyone is feeling the financial pinch this year so what better way to start the year than by learning how to reduce waste, how and what to freeze.
Stop Food Waste
- When food is wasted, all the resources used in bringing food to our tables are wasted too. Reducing your food waste is a key action you can take to help the environment and save money too. Stopfoodwaste.ie
What’s the solution?
- Batch Cooking and Planning our meals; This to me is the most important step towards food waste reduction. I do believe that you can’t have a healthy meal on the table day after day week after week unless you do at least some batch cooking. Especially if you are cooking for a small child.
- Leftovers - I love using up my leftovers the next day as school lunches in the kids food flask. My girls both prefer a warm lunch and having leftovers makes preparing the lunch super easy. Remember leftovers can also be frozen just make sure to portion, label and freeze on the day you cook it.
- Clear out your fridge each week - this is great especially important when you are planning a shop. Freeze leftovers, fruit, vegetables and even herbs and spices.
- Vegetables & Fruit - don’t let your vegetables go limp or fruit go soft think about freezing it if you don’t see yourself using it up. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies and vegetables are great in stews or soups. Check out my tips below on how to freeze
How to freeze your food
Bread - wrap slices of bread in cling film and then into a zip lock bag. To defrost simply pop into a toaster. To freeze a loaf of bread, it's best to wrap in foil and then a zip lock bag. To defrost remove the zip lock bag and place the loaf with the foil on into a preheated oven at 200° C/ 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and then return to the oven for a few minutes so that the crust becomes crispy again.
Herbs & Spices - Did you know you can freeze almost everything including leftover herbs and spices? I usually freeze ginger which can be then grated into dishes, as well as herbs like mint and coriander which can be stirred straight in.
Leftover basil stored in our 12oz Portion Pot
Brown Bananas - not so nice to eat however if you place in the freezer you can then use them up in a smoothies or for making banana bread
Fruits - if you feel you won’t use up your fresh fruit and vegetables it's possible to freeze and use later. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and space each piece well apart and then freeze until solid. Remove and add to a zip lock bag.
Vegetables - they will firstly need to be blanched by parboiling for 1-3 minutes depending on the vegetable. Then remove and plunge into cold water and freeze as above (fruits).
Uncooked meat - meat can be frozen raw or cooked. The advantage of freezing your meat when it's uncooked is that when it's cooked you can freeze it again.
Check out my blog on safely freezing your food.