25+ Foods You didn’t Know you Could Freeze.
We have all heard about foods that you should not freeze, (salad greens, I am looking at you!), but the list of foods that you can freeze is very long and some may well surprise you. Freezing food can be a great money saver and doing so will keep foods at their most delicious.
One of the most important things to remember is to date the items you are freezing so that you know when it is best to thaw and use them. So many foods are plentiful at certain times of the year. Freezing allows you to indulge in your favorites year round. Freezing food also allows you to save on waste. All of us have looked in dismay at a whole can of tomato paste with one tablespoon out of it, knowing it will go bad before it is used!
So gather those freezer bags and read on for my list of 25 foods to freeze.
1. Gravy. If you are having a roast and have a pot of gravy that has not all been used, store it in small Tupperware containers and just reheat the next time you want some gravy on mashed potatoes. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays. Then just drop a few cubes, reheat and serve.
2. Nuts. Because of their high oil content, nuts can go rancid quickly. Nothing is worse than getting ready to make your brownies and learning that the nuts have gone bad. Just place the nuts into an airtight container or zip lock bag and place in the freezer. They will keep up to one year.
3. Homemade pancakes and waffles. Forget the Eggo frozen waffles. When you are making waffles and pancakes at home, make a big batch. The trick is freezing them separately! Freeze the extras on cookie sheets and then store in zip lock baggies. Use within 1-2 months for best quality.
4. Grapes. Seedless grapes work best. Once you have tried one, you will never look back. Even kids who don’t normally like grapes will adore frozen grapes. To freeze them, place them on a baking sheet and put in the freezer until frozen, then store in zip lock baggies. They will keep for up to 12 months. And to chill down your white wine, frozen grapes are MUCH better than ice cubes and won’t dilute your drink.
5. Bananas. Choose ripe to slightly over ripe bananas. Peel the banana and freeze it either whole or in chunks on a cookie sheet. Store in a zip lock baggies. When you want to use it, defrost. Mashed, they are good to flavor yoghurt. Add to smoothies, or banana bread. Or just mash and eat “banana ice cream.”
6. Ginger. Ginger can shrivel in the fridge before you use it but it freezes well. I don’t defrost it, (it will get mushy) I just take it out of the freezer and grate it over a micro planer and then replace in the freezer.
7. Avocados for guacamole. Avocados can be frozen if you plan to use them later for guacamole. They don’t freeze too well for regular eating but work well for dips. Just wash and halve. They can be kept up to 8 months.
8. Baked Goods. I know that if I have baked goods sitting around, I will eat them, so I prepare them and then freeze them in batches. This way, I can only hurt my diet as much as the few that I leave out. I just place mine in Tupperware containers. They keep for about 3 months. I have frozen cakes, brownies, cookies, bars, and even cupcakes with success.
9. Pasta. Pasta is not often a food that one thinks of freezing but it does quite well. When you make a batch of pasta, cook the whole box and freeze the left overs on cookie sheets first (for best results) and then in zip lock bags. You can freeze them right in the bags but reheating works better if they have been flash frozen on cookie sheets. Makes a quick meal later or use them to add to stews or casseroles.
10. Milk. Milk is a great item to freeze. Just remove a bit from the top of the bottle and freeze it right in the container. Be sure to label it. When you are ready to use it, thaw it and shake well. You can store it for 2-3 months. Buttermilk freezes well too. No more half used buttermilk containers!
11.Butter cream frosting. Home made frosting is so delicious. If you make a batch and have some left over, just freeze it in Tupperware containers. It will keep for about 3 months. Let it thaw and come to room temperature and give it a good stir and it’ll be just like newly made.
12. Tomato paste. My favorite freezable item. So many recipes only call for a tablespoon of tomato paste. That leaves an open can that is sure to go to waste in the fridge. Put tomato paste into snack sized zip lock bags and flatten them.(affiliate links) Then just break off a piece when you need some for a recipe. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays and pop out just one or two the next time you need it.
13. Cookie dough. I could dive into a pile of cookie dough and just gobble it up. The same goes for the cookies. Make your batter and cook just a few cookies. Shape the remainder of the dough into balls the size needed to make a cookie. Then later, you can take one out and “make just one” Just add 1-2 minute to the cooking time.
14. Fruit. Most fruit can be flash frozen. Just lay it out on baking sheets and freeze for about 30 – 45 minutes then place in bags labeled with the date. Frozen fruit makes fabulous smoothies too! It will keep well for 6-12 months.
15. Potato chips. Believe it or not, they can be easily frozen. Just put the bag, or part of the bag in the freezer. No need to even defrost when you want to eat them. Some people say they even taste better frozen. Potato chips will keep for about 3 months. Great way to take them beyond their expiration date and they stay very fresh. (not that I ever have left over potato chips – hanging head in shame….)
16. Organic Peanut butter. I love peanut butter so it usually gets used up, but there have been times when it has lasted longer than I expected and started to go bad. But you can freeze it. The Huffington post has a whole article on how to freeze organic peanut butter effectively. (affiliate link.)
17. Vegetable scraps. When you have bits and pieces of vegetable scraps, keep them in the freezer in a large zip lock bag. When it is full, use the contents for home made vegetable soups, broths, or stews. Yum!
18. Fresh herbs. When the end of the growing season is upon you, freeze your fresh herbs. Use ice cube trays with butter, water or oil and add your herbs. When defrosted, they will be limp, so they won’t work well for a garnish but are great in recipes. Enjoy fresh herbs all year round this way.
19. Eggs. Eggs, both broken or whole an be frozen. You can break and separate them and put them in separate containers. You can also beat whole eggs and freeze them, and you can place whole eggs in muffin tins and freeze them this way. They will keep up to a year in the freezer.
20. Citrus Rinds. Many recipes call for the juice of oranges, lemons and lime but not the zest. No problem. Just freeze the rinds and grate later for a healthy dose of the flavor in your recipe.
21. Bread. I freeze, bread, rolls and bagels all the time. One of the side effects is that if you leave it frozen too long, it will dry out. A moist paper towel over the bread in a microwave should take care of this. You can freeze bread products for up to 3 months.
22. Cheese. Cheese freezes well. For best results, defrost it before you move it to the fridge so that it does not become crumbly. To freeze shredded cheese, add a bit of flour or cornstarch to the bag before freezing it and shake it well. Choose good quality cheeses that have no mold forming. Hard cheeses are best. Cottage, ricotta and cream cheese do not freeze well. You can freeze it for 3-6 months.23. Garlic. Sliced garlic or whole cloves can be frozen in zip lock bags. You can also freeze whole heads of garlic. Garlic will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.
24. Corn on the cob. For longest time, blanch first in boiling water, cool and then freeze. If you only plan to store for up to about 2 months, you can store whole cobs in their husks in zip lock bags. While we are talking about corn, see how to end up with silk free corn!25. Brown rice. Since brown rice takes an hour or so to cook, partly cooking it and then freezing in air tight containers will save you cooking time when you use it in future. Brown rice will keep about 2 months in the freezer. (affiliate link). White rice will also freeze well.
26. Butter. One of our readers suggested Birgit, suggested that she freezes butter. To freeze butter, wrap it tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. Frozen salted butter will keep up to 9 months and unsalted butter will keep up to 5-6 months.
Have you successfully frozen other food items? Please leave your successes in the comments below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."