Social distancing has forced many of us to really limit the frequency of which we go food shopping and even rely on grocery delivery services, that can be few and far between. If you're anything like me, you've been just a little stressed out trying to plan meals for the next 2 weeks, bulk order groceries, and make sure your food doesn't spoil. After doing a little research, I was pleasantly surprised to find that you can freeze a ton of staples, including some produce, dairy and plenty of snack foods. If you want to preserve some of your extra food, freezing is a great solution.
This is the first on the list because many people have no idea that you can freeze it. Milk jugs even have a little indentation so that it has room to expand when frozen. This allows families to take advantage of grocery store specials on milk and stick it in the freezer.
Natural peanut butter will freeze quite nicely. The type of peanut butter you are freezing does make a difference– the more added sugar, salt, oil, and preservatives, the harder it is to predict how long it will freeze, or how well. To freeze unopened peanut butter, simply place the jar in the freezer. You can also freeze smaller portions in ice cube trays if you need individual servings.
Avocados are one of my all-time favorite foods, so I was very excited to learn that they can be preserved. While it is not recommended that you freeze it whole, you can freeze halves, slices or mashed up avocado. To prevent browning, spray or brush lemon juice on top of the avocado, wrap it in plastic wrap and place inside a resealable freezer bag. Frozen avocado has a shelf-life of 4-6 months.
Store-bought and homemade hummus can be frozen for up to 4 months. It won't go bad after this time, but the taste will deteriorate. Unopened hummus can be placed directly in the freezer, while homemade hummus will need to be stored in an airtight container. Allow a few hours for it to thaw when you are ready to eat.
This is another food that is not commonly frozen, but they do great from the freezer. You can crack eggs into a plastic bag and freeze them. When you are ready to use them, you can just thaw them in the refrigerator.
When the supermarket is having a great sale on crackers, stock up and freeze them. They're just as good if not better from their frozen state, and won't grow stale in the freezer.
This is another great money saver. Wait until your favorite chips are on sale and buy all of them. You can then stick them in the freezer. When thawed they are crispy and have a great flavor.
This is a great meal prep hack and an easy way to save time in the morning. You can make sandwiches in bulk for your entire family, and simply freeze them for the upcoming weeks.
When using wine for cooking or drinking, you sometimes do not use it all. To keep this expensive ingredient from losing its flavor, you can stick it in the freezer. When you are ready to use it again, simply thaw and reuse. Freezing can alter the taste, but typically just slightly.
For long term storage, maple syrup is actually best kept in the freezer. Maple syrup does not freeze solid, but you will want to leave it in the fridge overnight, or on the countertop for a few hours so that it loses some of its thickness.
Most recipes only call for a small amount of an herb or spice and you do not want to waste. Fresh herbs can be easily frozen in a little water, olive oil or butter. They defrost easily and maintain their flavor after freezing.
Nuts can get expensive and sometimes get stale in the cabinet. A great way to prevent this phenomenon is to freeze them. They keep for a very long time and retain their nutrients as well as their flavor. To freeze nuts like peanuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds just wrap them in plastic first and place them in a resealable freezer bag.
This is the most commonly used food in my household. When it is on sale, I stock up and freeze it because it will keep for much longer and stay just as fresh. Just make sure you put it in the freezer before it goes stale.
I hate running out of butter when I need it– so when I buy it, I stock up. To freeze butter simply wrap individual sticks in aluminum foil and place them in a resealable freezer bag.
Whether you are buying prepared broth or have accumulated some from boiling chicken, there is no need to dispose of any unused portion. You can freeze this stuff and pull it out to thaw when you are ready to use it.
While you can freeze most cheeses, it is best to freeze cheeses that are made to be used in cooking dishes, rather than eaten fresh. Hard and semi-hard cheeses can be frozen– but their texture might become crumbly and they will be hard to slice. However, they will melt nicely if you are cooking with them.
Semi-soft and cream cheese can be frozen as well, though you may need to stir the cream cheese when it thaws.
Pesto freezes well in an airtight plastic container for up to one week. You can also place small servings into ice cube trays, freeze them, place the cubes into a plastic resealable bag, and they will typically be good for up to 6 months.
You can freeze sour cream, but the texture and consistency will change. Frozen sour cream is best used in cooked dishes, instead of consumed directly. Dishes like soup, chili, casserole or other crockpot meals work best.
Corn can be frozen on the cob or off. It will of course take up more space in your freezer on the cob, so keep that in mind. The best way to freeze corn on the cob is to place the shucked ears into boiling water for a few minutes. Once cool you can wrap them in plastic wrap and put in freezer bags. You can also cut the kernels offan and scoop them into freezer bags.