What types of meals freeze the best?
Let's take a look at a few of the best foods to freeze and freezer meals.
The best in the freezer, and out of it
Some foods are better than others when it comes to freezer storage; for some reason, fried foods are not one of those "better" foods. The reason freezing works well for some and not others is due, in part, to the water content of the stored food. Generally, as the water content goes up, freezing quality goes out the window. Just think about an orange or watermelon that has been frozen, kind of gets that mealy taste.
There is nothing like pulling some hamburger patties out of the freezer the day before, firing up the grill and getting some close friends to gather round for a good dose of laughs and entertainment. The reason this is possible is because meat is a great food for freezer storage.
Meat freezes so well because they are incredibly dense. Because there are few places for air to hide in a piece of meat, a high quality steak, or even a low quality steak, will last for at least 4 months if kept frozen. While meats do freeze alright pre-cooked, they will preserve the best in their uncooked format.
Fruits & vegetables
Believe it or not, frozen vegetables are usually fresher than fresh vegetables. This is because they are frozen at their peak ripeness. Many of us do not have a flash freezer in our homes, which is what the giant corporations use in order to chill their fruits and veggies, so the best procedure to follow is to blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, allow cooling and then freezing.
Blanching allows the full bright color to come out as well as the nutrients. Once frozen, all activity will stop and resume upon thawing and cooking. It is also important to remember to freeze fruits and veggies individually, until slightly frozen, then bag them so they do not freeze in a massive block of pure goodness.
Right now you might be thinking to yourself, well, if meat and fruits and veggies are all good to freeze, what types of foods are not good to freeze? You seem to have all the bases covered with those three categories. The best way to figure out if foods will freeze well is to take a look at their liquid content.
If the product is not normally watery, such as milk or lettuce, then the thawed product will not be of the highest quality. Soups, on the other hand, are made up mostly of water, so the ice melting when thawing, just re-liquefies the base stock. The best way to think about which foods freeze the best is to think about the quality when it is thawed.
If foods have high water content, imagine that water turning into ice, stretching out the bonds that hold the food together, and then melting when thawed. Will your food act like a piece of meat, or a piece of lettuce? If all else fails, try freezing a small batch and see how well it thaws.
At some point, life catches up with everyone. We get into a routine, a rut if you will, and we end up eating the same thing over and over each day. Why not step out of your groove and have a quick and easy meal ready to go when you are? A new popular trend for people on the go is called "monthly cooking." Taking a day, or a weekend, each month, you prepare all of your meals for the rest of the month. Sure, this sounds rather daunting, but think about how much time it will save during the rest of the month if you can just grab a healthy breakfast and get your day going.
Monthly cooking can simplify your life, but there is more thought that goes into it than you may initially consider. Some meals freeze great, while others struggle to keep together under the frosty environment of your freezer. Let's take a look at a few meal ideas for each part of the day, which freeze well enough to satisfy your craving for something new for the rest of the month.
Breakfast foods are usually difficult to think about freezing, for instance, how would you feel about frozen eggs? Probably not so good, nor is it a grand idea. The best way to begin thinking about frozen breakfast foods is to look no further than the isles of your grocery store, which already has a slue of frozen breakfast items.
Pancakes and waffles are a great breakfast food to freeze. Once you cook them, freeze them individually on a baking tray, then once frozen, place all of them in a giant Ziploc bag. In the morning, you can grab a couple, throw them in the toaster, drizzle some syrup and you have homemade pancakes in less than two minutes.
Another breakfast idea is to freeze sausage or bacon. Of course, it is important to cook the food first, leaving it just under the appropriate doneness so that when it is reheated, it will finish cooking the rest of the way.
Lunch, again, another seemingly difficult food time to prepare for in advance, only takes a little bit of foresight into your grocery store freezer. Some foods, like burritos and any type of pocket sandwich, are generally cooked in advance and only need a slight reheat in order to be enjoyed. Other foods, like personal pizzas and rice, bean and cheese burritos, are usually layered and frozen before cooking so they get the fresh taste cooked in when preparing.
Dinners are usually the most frozen of the meals. Almost anything that can be baked can be frozen either uncooked or partially cooked. For instance, casseroles can be cooked, and then frozen, while pasta dishes like lasagna should be partially cooked, layered and then frozen, left to finish cooking when ready to eat.
A few other great ideas for frozen dinners would be beans and rice, soups, and even some pies. There are a wide variety of foods that can freeze well and make life much more convenient when it comes to preparing food for the entire family. Look for some meal ideas and recipes and try making your own frozen meals, they are better for you and you know exactly what is going in to them.
Comfort ready to freeze
These ready to freeze comfort food recipes require minimum effort, yet you'll get top flavor. Find out a medley of terrific dishes, ready to freeze, to lift your mood later with warm, comfort food as leaves fall.
Find out a medley of terrific dishes, ready to freeze, to lift your mood later with warm, comfort food as leaves fall: minimum effort, top flavor.
Who would not like to come back home to a hot, flavorful meal to share with the family when that cooler weather appears? But usually you have to cook it when you get home… that’s the drawback.
What about making some meals in advance and freezing them? This way, you will have your hot meal ready in a few minutes. With a little planning and preparing them as explained, you will have several individual portions in your freezer, ready to enjoy the best autumn flavors on demand.
Cooking the food yourself, you get the added bonus of having healthy meals, perfectly suited to your needs. You know for sure all the ingredients and their quality.
From the fresh mushroom cream to the angel food cake, going through the recipe for stuffed onions and the autumn spaghetti, you are sure to find something to tempt your taste buds. And don’t forget the ever useful tips about how to freeze a soup, how to freeze pasta, how to freeze fresh herbs, or how to freeze egg whites.