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5 Golden rules for making the most of your freezer

BY Kate Hall

3rd Apr 2024 Food Heroes

2 min read

5 Golden rules for making the most of your freezer
Taken from expert home cooking consultant Kate Hall’s new book The Full Freezer Method, here are some tips for using your freezer to save money on your food bill and reduce food waste

1. Don’t freeze it if you won’t eat it

I know, I know, once you know that you can freeze something, it’s tempting to start to freeze everything (particularly if you’re trying to avoid food waste).
"Never waste freezer space on something you know you’ll never actually eat"
But you should never waste freezer space on something you know you’ll never actually eat. It might also be the case that you have an excessive amount of something. This doesn’t mean these foods should be resigned to the bin though; could you drop them off at your local food bank? Or could you give it to family, a friend or a neighbour?

2. Test for success

Frozen and bagged fruits
You might already have a good idea of what you would like stashed away in your freezer, but before you get too carried away, remember it’s always a good idea to do a small test run first.
Although you can freeze most foods, you might find that not everything is to your taste after freezing. So instead of diving in and filling a whole drawer with the spoils of your allotment or seasonal veg box, try freezing a small amount, and then use it.

3. Tweak and try again

While some foods can only really be frozen using one practical approach, most can be frozen in a few different ways. For example, carrots may be frozen in chunks (for roasting), slices (for steaming and boiling), cubes (for frying), or grated (to add to dishes such as bolognese).
"If you freeze a food in one way and dislike it, think about if there's another way it can be frozen"
If you freeze a food in one particular way and then dislike it, don’t just assume that you can’t possibly freeze that ingredient in future. Have a think about whether there is another way that the food can be frozen, or another way it can be used.

4. Don’t fear the burn

Frozen broccoli
Freezer burn is what occurs when food is poorly wrapped or has been in the freezer for longer than recommended. The food can appear white or greyish, mottled and may be covered in ice crystals. Many people on seeing this will assume the food is unsafe to eat, and understandably so; it can look pretty unpleasant!
In reality, freezer burn is just dehydration. Eating food with freezer burn won’t make you sick, but it may not taste as good. To avoid freezer burn forming, it’s best to wrap food tightly and make sure you use proper freezer bags (not thin sandwich bags). You can also vacuum seal foods such as meat and fish.

5. Ditch the defrosting!

OK, so sometimes you will need to defrost foods before eating or cooking them. But this isn’t always the case! For example, if you have washed, dried and chopped up your veggies before freezing them, you can cook them straight from frozen. In fact, it allows you to evaporate off any excess moisture instead of allowing the food to turn soggy while defrosting.
"If you haven't tried frozen fruit yet, you are really missing out"
There are also some foods that are best eaten straight from frozen. If you haven’t tried frozen fruit (raspberries, grapes) yet, you are missing out.
freezer method
Banner photo: A full freezer. Credit: Tiekuehlfan
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