14 surprising foods you can (and can’t) freeze
Buying in bulk and stocking up the freezer can be a top way to save money on food. But what foods can you (or can’t you) freeze?
We’ve all been there: stood in the kitchen, with a sorry-for-itself cake in one hand and a mouldy orange in the other. Or even climbing over a mountain of bread that you bought because it was on offer. But this needn’t be the case!
Luckily there are so many things you can freeze (as long as you store them properly). However there are still some things you probably should avoid freezing, unless you like stomach pains and smelly dishes.
Food you can freeze
It’s quite well known that you can freeze bread but we wanted to add it to the list just in case someone was missing out.
All you have to do is chuck your loaf in the freezer before it starts to go mouldy and you can defrost it back into bread or just put it straight into the toaster for some crunchy toast.
Cakes, brownies, muffins, cookies etc.
If you are ever in the rare position of having leftover cake or any type of baked goods then make sure you don’t put it anywhere near the bin.
Just pop whatever it is in the freezer and then defrost in the microwave when you feel peckish again.
Bananas freeze really nicely if you take the skin off of them.
You can use frozen bananas to make a healthy alternative to ice cream, or you can coat them in melted chocolate before freezing for a sweet snack after a long day.
Berries freeze nicely too, although they may go a bit squidgy.
A good idea with berries is to freeze them to use on top of your porridge for those cold winter mornings! The water absorbed in them makes them break down easily into the porridge for a yummy taste and texture.
Try freezing grapes as an alternative to ice cubes. Grapes add flavour to a drink and work really well when wanting to cool down white wine as it won’t go all watery!
You can also eat them when they are frozen as a small snack. It’s nicer than you think…
Milk can be frozen and stored for months, useful if you ever want to bulk buy a few litres of milk but don’t think you can consume it all in 7 days!
Remove some of the milk so it doesn’t burst the container. And it will need some defrosting time, but once defrosted it can be used for as long as a standard pint of milk would last.
Everyone loves cheese and it’s another dairy product than can be frozen. Put some on a sandwich in the morning and it’ll defrost by lunch time!
Or put some over the top of a plate of hot pasta for it to melt all over your dinner.
However, don’t freeze block cheese as all the emulsifiers will separate and you’ll be left with a smelly, crumbly cheese.
Chopped up chilli and herbs
It’s rare to find small amounts of herbs or chilli in shops, so a really useful tip is to chop up your fresh left overs before freezing them.
You can then add them to future meals for an extra kick of flavour.
‘Al Dente’ pasta
We know, we know… Everyone says you should never freeze pasta as it goes all sticky and starchy. However, if you under-cook it before freezing you’ll avoid this problem.
You can now have a Spaghetti Bolognese ready in no time at all, just pour the half-cooked pasta into the Bolognese sauce before freezing.
Although it’s probably rare that you’ll start a bottle of wine then leave half of it, it can happen and wine goes off quite quickly once opened.
Wine can be frozen, just like water. It works best with wines that taste better chilled (like white or rose) but it’s a good solution to avoid wasting any pricey wine!
Bare in mind it may take a while to defrost, so isn’t ideal for spontaneous nights out.
Food that you can’t freeze
Unlike fruit, a lot of vegetables don’t freeze well as the water in the freezer will spoil them.
This is the case with cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes and other salad vegetables. They’ll just end up all mushy and nobody wants a squishy salad!
Eggs don’t have a very long shelf-life, so avoid buying a huge box because they can’t be stored in their shells.
However, you can freeze them if they are cracked and mixed. For example, if you make a HUGE omelette you’ll be able to freeze that, but even then it probably won’t taste as nice the second time round!
*Yoghurt can actually taste amazing when frozen but some types (with high water content) don’t freeze well at all. It’s worth testing out a few types as some freeze better than others.
We’re not talking about the light alternative to ice-cream here… that’s frozen in a special way that makes sure that the water doesn’t crystalise.
If you stick a yogurt from the supermarket in the freezer it’ll no longer keep that smooth delicious texture.
Ketchups, sauces and spices have a really long shelf-life anyway, so you shouldn’t really need to freeze them.
But if you decided to, you’ll find that all the ingredients would separate and you’d be left with a watery, jelly like substance on the side of your plate… Not nice.
So, there you go. Foods that are fabulous (or not so fabulous) for freezing!
Just don’t go crazy and freeze 10 bunches of bananas, 6 boxes of grapes and 5 bottles of wine… You still have to share your freezer with your flatmates!
To save some freezer space, why don’t you just make sure you have these items in your cupboard and check which foods are OK to eat past their Best Before Dates.