Imagine a world where you could eat something different for dinner every night of the week without having to start a meal from scratch each time. A reality where, say, seemingly time-consuming dishes like homemade pizza, could actually be ready in minutes.
Times are based on a freezer set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Storing and eating frozen foods past these deadlines isn’t dangerous, but flavors and textures will begin to deteriorate.
The key to this wonderful existence where every night is a different culinary adventure lies in your freezer. Here are some things you might not think to keep in your freezer but definitely should.
That good hunk of cheese left over from one of these recipes which inevitably seems to go moldy before you can even eat it all doesn’t have to go bad. If you want to use it next time you have leftovers, shred the remainder of the cheese, freeze it in a plastic bag, and thaw it out in just a few minutes as you need it.
Having sliced bread in your freezer is the best thing since sliced bread–no really. Just pop it in the oven or toaster and make yourself a sandwich. So it is time saving and be ready in a minute when you are hungry. It is something trendy like avocado toast.
The freezer actually makes nuts last longer because it keeps the oils in them from going rancid which makes them to be fresh at any time. If you buy your nuts in bulk, only keep out what you think you will eat soon and freeze the rest. They thaw really quickly on your kitchen counter and you can always have them on hand for pestos, salads, baking, or snacking.
We’re going to go ahead and make a bold statement right now: You should probably always cook more grains than you think you need. Cooked rice is one of the best things you can have in your freezer and you’ll be so happy to come home after a long day and know that you don’t have to wait 30 minutes to cook a new batch. Just store it in a freezer-proof container and add a couple tablespoons of water to a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl to heat it back up again. As it is time saving and best to be on hunger.
Frozen puff pastry is a lifesaver for the last minute host/hostess. You can transform into an impressive and insanely delicious appetizer, main, or dessert in almost no time. You just need to heat it up and have it at your snacks.
Did you fall a little short in finishing that bottle of vine last night? Freeze it in an ice-cube tray and just pop a cube into your pan the next time your recipe calls for some wine. Your pasta sauces will thank you. Have it when you want it with hot recipes.
If you’re one of those people who likes to eat pizza weekly (like we do), then having some pizza dough in your freezer isn’t a bad idea. Just thaw it in the fridge 24 hours before you want to eat it, then roll it out, top it off with deliciousness, and bake it as normal with your desired recipes.
We love to freeze bacon slices because it thaws really quickly at room temperature and, well, because we always want to eat it. Wrap 3 to 4 slices side by side in parchment paper before putting in a freezer-proof bag. It’s better to store them in freezer as soon as you have finished off and place the remaining bacon in the freezer.
If you happen to have a family member in Florida who sends you care packages of citrus (or maybe you just bought too many lemons one day), you might want to keep some of those fruits in your freezer. Just wash the skin and cut away any broken or bruised spots that could contain micro-organisms that lead to food-borne illness. You can freeze the fruits whole, cut in half, or sliced into sections.
Who actually has the foresight to prepare for banana bread craving by buying bananas a week ahead of time and waiting for them to be ready? Thanks to your freezer, now you don’t have to because you can just freeze your ripe bananas and have them handy the next time you’ve got a hankering. Adding a frozen banana to smoothies makes it super creamy and have you guys ever had banana soft serve like this.
The foods that you can store in the freezer are as follows.
- Chicken or turkey pieces, uncooked: nine months
- Fruit pies, unbaked: eight months
- Fruit: 6 to 12 months
- Steaks, uncooked: 6 to 12 months
- Butter: 6 to 9 months
- Lean fish: six months
- Roasts, uncooked: 4 to 12 months
- Chicken or turkey, cooked: 4 to 6 months
- Chops, uncooked: 4 to 6 months
- Shellfish, uncooked: 3 to 6 months
- Hamburger: 3 to 4 months
- Bread and cake: three months
- Cookies, baked or dough: three months
- Meat casseroles, cooked: three months
- Fatty fish: 2 to 3 months
- Soups and stews: 2 to 3 months
- Ice cream and sorbet: two months
- Ham, cooked: 1 to 2 months
- Bacon: one month