Did you know that your freezer is your best friend? If not, re-kindle that friendship! I love cooking in big batches and I buy a lot of foods in bulk. Consequently I normally cannot eat or use up all that I have before it starts to go bad. Your freezer can preserve foods for you so that you are not wasting it. I use large freezer friendly bags and wash them after each use. And I always put a small strip of masking tape on my bags and label the contents and date so I know exactly what I am pulling out or how long it needs to stay in there.
I have compiled a pretty large list of freezer friendly foods for you! I hope this helps you start your clean eating journey and helps you save some money, too!
- Nuts and Seeds – I store all of my nuts in air tight containers. Nuts and seeds tend to spoil due to their fat content. You can freeze nuts and seeds up to 6 months. (almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds / meal, etc. )
- Pre-Cooked Rice – I pre-cook large batches of brown rice to eat throughout the month. Whether I want something different for breakfast in the morning or if I am throwing a quick stir-fry dinner together, I have frozen single servings of rice available right in the freezer. I divide my rice into 1 cup and 2 cup bag servings. Simply take out and thaw!
- Fruit and Berries – I LOVE freezing over ripe fruit and I always have bags of frozen fruit in my freezer! I pop some in my morning smoothies, snack on frozen grapes and make AMAZING banana soft serve “ice cream”! If you see a great buy on fruit, purchase extra. Let it get super ripe, wash and clean and simply place it in a freezer bag.
- Fresh Herbs – Fresh herbs freeze very well! Simply place on a flat surface – like a sheet pan or a large plate – and then place in a bag. This is so helpful if you grow your own herbs!
- Vegetables and scraps – There are several times I buy an entire box of vegetables and I may not use them all before they start to go bad. Most vegetables can easily be frozen – wash and cute prior to placing them in the freezer. You can even make your own one-skillet meals this way – chop stir fry veggies and freeze them with brown rice. You have a simple meal when you don’t have time to cook!
Also, save all of those vegetable scraps for homemade broth!
- Baked Goods and Bread – Make double batches of waffles, pancakes, muffins, cookies, etc. and freeze them! This is great when you have guests over and you want to quickly thaw a few cookies. Or instead of purchasing freezer waffles, make extra ones in the morning, let them completely cool and store in a zip lock bag! Breakfast is served! TIP: Make sure your baked goods are COMPLETLY cooled down before placing in a container to freeze!
- Citrus Rinds – Ever need zest for a recipe? Those frozen rinds of orange, lemon or lime will be right at your fingertips! Make sure you scrub the rinds, dry completely and then freeze!
- Soups, Chili or Stews – This is my favorite freezer food! Normally I never have any extra to freeze but if I do I fill a zip-lock bag, squeeze all the air out and lay flat in the freezer. Perfect for lunches or dinners in a hurry!
- Tomato Paste – I don’t always use the entire can of tomato paste so I spoon the paste into an ice cube tray. Just pop one out when you need it!
- Wine – I’m not a huge wine drinker – maybe a glass once a week. But I do love cooking with it! I hate wasting wine so I will pour any un-used portion left into an ice cube tray and freeze! Pop them out and store in a zip lock bag and use the next time you are feeling adventurous in the kitchen!
This is my list of favorite freezer foods! I would LOVE to hear yours!
XxOo – Tasha