In this day and age, we’re always on the lookout for any way to save money and of course, time. This is especially true when it comes to cooking and preparing meals. Food can get pretty expensive, and often we end up wasting some. It can add up pretty quick. Freezers don’t get much love these days, and they’re really one of the most useful appliances in your entire kitchen! Freezing food, beverages and even scraps can stretch your dollars a bit further, which can quickly add up to a big difference. Not to mention all of those healthy nutrients that you’re sealing in when you freeze foods! Take a look at these ten food items that can be frozen and stored for later use. Some of them might even surprise you!
#1 – Cheese
Perhaps you enjoy specialty cheeses but can’t possibly eat all of it within a week or two, or maybe you buy your cheese in bulk. Either way, this dairy deliciousness can be frozen for up to six months! Blogger Andrea Dekker suggests slicing or shredding your cheese before freezing it, so as to avoid it crumbling when it thaws.
#2 – Milk
If your family drinks a lot of milk, you’ll know the feeling of waking up in the morning and pouring a bowl of cereal, only to realize all the milk is gone. Grab a container and freeze some for backup. It will keep for up to three months.
#3 – Cookie Dough
Having a hankering for a warm and delicious cookie, but don’t feel like making an entire batch? When you have some extra time on your hands, mix up some of your favorite cookie doughs, spoon them onto a baking sheet, freeze, and toss them into freezer bags. So next time you want a cookie or two, just grab a few from the freezer and bake them up!
#4 – Make Ahead Meals
There is quite possibly no better feeling than serving your family a home-cooked meal. But after a long and hard day at work, sometimes we just don’t have the energy. Make-ahead meals are a wonderful choice on nights like that. You can freeze nearly any type of casserole, just make certain that the ingredients are all cooked before-hand. Remove from the freezer in the morning if you anticipate a busy day, and by dinner time, it should be defrosted. Heat up as normal. Andrea Dekker has some wonderful tips for making these meals.
#5 – Ripe Bananas
We’ve all seen these super-ripe bananas. Just because they have dark spots, doesn’t mean they’re rotten! These portions can make for a super-creamy smoothie, and are just perfect for a hearty and delectable banana bread, and even banana cream pies! Simply peel bananas as normal, toss into a freezer bag (just make sure most of the air is out of the bag), and freeze until ready for use.
#6 – Waffles and Pancakes
In a morning rush? Grab a pancake or waffle that you’ve frozen ahead of time and heat it up! Quick, easy, and delicious! Plus, you’ve made them yourself, so they’re even healthier for you too!
#7 – Eggs
#8 – Veggie Scraps
Didn’t use all of those veggies for that one recipe? Freeze them! They are perfect for making large batches of homemade stock with, which can also be frozen after cooking. Vegetables are super awesome, no?
#9 – Grapes
Frozen grapes are a deliciously sweet frozen treat. Who needs ice cream when you’ve got this yummy snack? The kids will love them, and so will you. Spread them out on a baking sheet, flash freeze, and enjoy! Place the rest in a freezer bag for another time.
#10 – Protein
Another great idea for a make-ahead meal. Grab meat that’s on sale at your local market, place it in a freezer bag, and pour a marinade in. Freeze, and when you’re ready to use it, you’ve got protein that’s marinaded to perfection.