How many times have you overbought at the grocery store? Don’t worry, we’ve all done it. And when we do, we have to find a way to make fresh foods last. Enter the freezer, the kitchen superhero that preserves food. Not only does freezing food prevent it from expiring, it also prevents you from wasting. Here are 9 food items that you can and should consider freezing:
Almost everybody loves bacon. On the rare occasion that you don’t eat the entire pack, wrap the slices in wax or parchment paper and place them in a re-sealable freezer bag. Reheating frozen bacon is extremely easy because it thaws quickly at room temperature. To reheat, wrap the bacon in a paper towel and place in the microwave for 30 – 45 seconds, or toss it on a skillet for a few minutes.
Are you an iced coffee fanatic? Then don’t toss the java out! Pour your leftover coffee in ice cube trays. Voila, iced coffee cubes that give your cup o’ joe an extra caffeine kick!
3. Ripe Bananas
As soon as your ripe bananas get mushy, store the bunch in a re-sealable freezer bag. Thaw them for fruit smoothies or add them to yogurt. Defrost them to make a loaf of banana bread.
The supermarket tends to sell herbs in large bunches. More often than not, you don’t get the opportunity to cook all the thyme, basil or sage that you purchased. If you know you won’t get to use the entire bunch before it goes bad, fill an ice cube tray with half herb and half water or olive oil. Plastic wrap the trays and freeze. When you’re ready to use the herbs again, allow them to thaw in a bowl.
For single people, eating an entire loaf of bread can be nearly impossible. To avoid wasted and moldy bread, store half of the loaf in the freezer for future sandwiches and toast. If you are freezing homemade bread, allow the loaf time to cool before wrapping it in plastic wrap.
Most nuts are high in oil content, which causes them to go rancid quickly. If you purchase nuts in a large volume and don’t plan to eat them all right away, freeze them. To store, place the nuts in plastic wrap and then in a re-sealable freezer bag.
7. Baked Goods
Are you in the mood to bake cookies, cheesecake or sweet bread? Why not bake a lot and freeze some? To store efficiently, let the desserts cool completely and wrap them tightly to avoid freezer burn, then place them in a freezer bag. This is a perfect solution for the dreaded holiday baking.
Did you make too much pasta for dinner last night? Don’t toss it — freeze it! Pour the penne (without the sauce) into a re-sealable bag or container. When you’re ready to eat it again, pour the contents in a pot of boiling water to thaw or place it in the microwave.
9. Rice, Quinoa or Grains
Prepping and freezing side dishes is the perfect solution for individuals always on the go. Cook your rice, quinoa and other grains ahead of time and freeze them in a re-sealable bag or container. When you’re ready for dinner, pour it into a bowl and pop it in the microwave for a minute.
Disclaimer: Be cautious and check to make sure thawed food has not spoiled.