15 Foods You Didn't Know You Could Freeze
We all know the freezer is a very useful kitchen appliance when it comes to making quick meals on a weeknight, but did you know it can be used to store more than just oven chips and bumper bags of garden peas? Many everyday ingredients can be kept fresher for longer in the freezer, even ones you never knew you could freeze.
A full freezer is more economical to run and is the perfect way to store all those bulk-buy deals without letting anything go to waste. Simply stock up on ingredients and keep them fresh in the freezer until you need them.
You can even divide them into portions, ready to be used in quick mid-week dinners or as easy snacks. To make even better use of your freezer, you can follow our handy guide to all the things you never knew you could freeze.
This works best with hard cheeses and is a great way to make that massive block of cheddar last a bit longer. Whilst you can freeze it in a block, this makes it a bit hard to use once it has been frozen, so we recommend grating it before you freeze it. That way it is ready to sprinkle on top of some pasta, add to a sandwich, or stir into a white sauce in no time.
For most of us, homemade pancakes are a weekend treat, but it doesn't have to be that way. Next time you spend Sunday morning flipping a few, just make an extra batch and pop them in the freezer. They can just be popped straight in the toaster when you're short on time, to take mid-week breakfasts to a whole new level.
Some fruits freeze better than others, but you can't go wrong with things like frozen berries. This is particularly good if you grow blackberries and raspberries in your garden, as they can be harvested straight into the freezer, making the crop last longer. Whizz them into smoothies and juices, use them to top your porridge, or drop a few into cold drinks instead of ice cubes.
Eggs don't have the longest of shelf lives, so unless you have a big family you probably can't take advantage of bulk-buy prices. Until you realise you can freeze them that is! They can't be frozen in their shells, so crack them into a muffin tin or egg container and use them in baking, omelettes, scrambled eggs, or anything else that doesn't require separating them.
Garlic often comes in packs of three, which can make it difficult to get through before the cloves start sprouting green tendrils. Amazingly, though, you can actually pop your garlic bulbs in the freezer and just break cloves off when you need them. Even better, chop them up first and just pop them straight in the frying pan.
Everyone knows that homemade hummus is better than shop bought, but it doesn't tend to last very long in the fridge. Hummus actually freezes really well, however, so you can make a huge batch and pop a few portions in the icebox for later. Just drizzle a little olive oil on top to keep it moist and give it a good stir before you serve it alongside crisps, carrot sticks and pitta bread.
Onions freeze really well and there's no need to thaw them out before tossing them into the pot for a quick dinner. You can even chop them before they go in the freezer, so you don't need to do anything more than empty them into the frying pan. Nothing could be more convenient for a mid-week marinara.
Avocados can quickly pass their best in the fridge, especially if you've already used half of one. To stop yourself from finding an icky brown mush in the back of the fridge, just blend leftover avocado with lemon or lime juice and pop it in the freezer. It'll be perfect for adding to smoothies later, or turning into a quick guacamole when you have unexpected guests.
Bread can pass its best very quickly and there's nothing more annoying than waking up to find your breakfast has sprouted a fine speckling of mould. Both full loaves and slices of bread can be frozen to make them last a little longer, which is particularly good for making toast straight from the freezer.
Homemade tortillas are by far the best and to ensure you don't have to make a batch from scratch every time you want them, you can just freeze some. They'll last for a few months in the freezer and you can easily revive them by microwaving with a damp paper towel. Perfect for lunchtime wraps or a last-minute Mexican night!
Herbs and Spices
Fresh herbs and spices can quickly lose their lustre in the fridge, but freezing is a whole different story. Fresh herbs can sometimes lose their flavour, so the best way to store them is in portions in the ice cube tray with a little olive oil. That way you can drop them straight into soups and sauces for a burst of flavour. Things like ginger can be finely chopped and frozen ready to use.
Potatoes can quickly start sprouting shoots in a dark cupboard, so freezing can be a great way to make them last a little longer. Chop and parboil them for quick Sunday roasts or freeze leftover mash to stop it going to waste. Just be sure to thaw them overnight before you want to use them.
Mushrooms freeze best when they've been properly prepared, so try chopping them up into slices before you put them in the freezer. Typically button, creminis, and portabella mushrooms all freeze really well. If you spread them out they won't stick together in a big lump, meaning you can easily throw a handful into whatever you're cooking to add a little savoury flavour.
Bulk-buy deals on butter can always feel a bit overwhelming, unless you tend to bake two cakes a week. To take advantage of these offers without finding a spare pack of rancid butter at the back of the fridge weeks later, you can try freezing it. Simply portion it up and freeze it, ready to be added to cakes or used for cooking straight from the freezer.
If you like a glass of wine on a weekday evening, but the last of the bottle tends to get wasted, this is the perfect tip for you. Simply pour leftover wine into ice cube trays and freeze, creating handy-sized portions for adding richness to stews and soups.
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