What foods can we freeze?
- Grated cheese
- Raw meat
- Cooked meat
- Cooked pasta
- Cooked rice
How to fill your freezer
Firstly, make sure your freezer is set at 0°F or -18°C.
Make sure that raw foods that need to be cooked before being eaten, such as meat, that have a higher chance of making you ill are kept on the bottom shelf of the freezer. So that they are away from food items that don’t need to be cooked before being eaten, to prevent the spread of bacteria.
To prevent food waste, put the things that need using up first at the front, therefore it will make sure you grab these first.
When filling your freezer, it is important to make sure it is pretty full up. A significantly empty freezer will mean more air will circulate, and economically this isn’t sustainable. Make sure, however, you do not overfill the freezer as the air does need space to circulate.
Freeze meals in portions
When cooking a meal to freeze consider freezing it in ready-made portions. These portions can then be taken to work or eaten at home once heated up. Make sure if you are reheating a frozen meal, that it is hot all the way through.
Freezing food un portions is also great if you have a fussy eater. If someone doesn’t want the meal you are making, one of your frozen meals can be easily warmed up as an alternative. Meaning you are not wasting food on someone who isn’t going to eat it.
Freeze things that have already been measured out and/or prepared
To make life simpler when you cook, you can prepare foods such as vegetables in already measured out batches or cut up ready to go. Therefore, whenever you need them for a meal all you need to do is defrost or add it to your cooking.
- Cut carrots into slices or batons and freeze them
- Cut or blend herbs and add to ice cube trays with oil and freeze
- Freeze sliced bread, so individual pieces can be defrosted when needed
- Freeze fruit together in batched to be used to make smoothies
- Make sure you grate your cheese before you freeze it
- Cut potatoes into small chunks and cook, afterwards mash them or put them into batches to be frozen
Make sure you label all of the food you freeze; this should include what it is and when you froze it. This will reduce food waste as you will be able to choose the food that was frozen the earliest, this prevents the food from going off or getting lost and forgotten in the freezer.
Food rotation is a great way to make sure your labelling works effectively, by putting the food closest to going bad at the front and adding new foods to the back, in the order that they will become inedible.
Let things cool first
Never put hot food in the freezer, always make sure you let it cool first. If you put hot food in the freezer, the heat coming off it may cause other items in your freezer to start thawing out.
Wrap it up tightly
In order to prevent bacteria getting to your food or your food getting freezer burn (when moisture is lost from your food) make sure you tightly wrap or seal up anything you put in your freezer.