March is Frozen Food Month, which means we’ll be seeing a lot of deals pop up for frozen fruits & vegetables, entrees, and more. Here’s a look back at my Good Morning Texas segment on “Smart Ways to Make Use of Your Freezer”…
Here are some of the facts I share….
Some vegetables require blanching before heading to the freezer. Blanching is a simple process of plunging the item into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transferring it to a bowl of ice water. This kills off the enzymes that cause decay and helps retain color, texture and flavor of the vegetable.
Go here for a complete list of which vegetables should be blanched and how to do it.
Items that do NOT freeze well:
Whole Potatoes – They’ll get mushy and watery. Yuck!
Sour cream – It separates and the consistency becomes runny. But if you plan to use it in a recipe, it’s fine. I use frozen sour cream in my favorite Beef Stroganoff recipe all the time.
Water-laden Vegetables – Items like lettuces, radishes and cucumbers become a watery mess. I like to keep chopped onions and celery in the freezer, ready to toss in recipes where they will be cooked (i.e. soups or casseroles).
Hard cheese – Just let it defrost on the counter before placing in the fridge, otherwise it’ll become crumbly.
Canned items – The metal will expand and burst. Plus, it’s unnecessary because canned food is already preserved and designed to survive a zombie apocalypse!
Melons – They lose a lot of their juice and become very soft, but can still be used for smoothies.
Also, be sure to check out the USDA’s cold storage chart for safe time limits for storing food in the fridge or freezer.
Need a freezer? Check out these Chest Freezers at Walmart for less than $199 or head over to Craigslist where you can usually find some priced at just $75-$100!
Here are a few items you should ALWAYS store in your freezer:
Nuts – They have a high oil content, which leads to quick break down causing them to go bad within a month when left at room temperature.
Small bag of ice cubes – Here’s a simple method to help you know if there’s been a power outage. When you lose electricity, the ice cubes will begin to melt. If you discover a bag of re-frozen ice cubes, you’ll know the quality and safety of the food in your freezer has been compromised.
Whole-wheat flour – It has traces of bran and germ, which are high in nutrients and oils, causing whole-wheat flour to go rancid quickly.
Ice cream – Because don’t we ALWAYS need a little ice cream pick-me-up!