Your Freezer, Your Friend: 11 Freezer-Friendly Foods

Stock your freezer with these 11 ingenious, multipurpose foods and make cooking healthy meals easier every day.

| July/August 2015

  • Frozen muffins make a perfect on-the-go breakfast. Look for recipes that forgo white sugar and include nutritious ingredients such as fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains.
    Photo by Fotolia
  • Cook extra-large batches of grains, beans and legumes to freeze for later use.
    Photo by Fotolia
  • Tomatoes are incredibly easy to freeze and use in a wide array of dishes.
    Photo by Thinkstock
  • Pre-made mirepoix will save you time on your next soup or stew.
    Photo by Fotolia
  • Whole roasted garlic cloves add flavor to anything you can imagine adding them to.
    Photo by iStock
  • Make cooking easier by stocking your freezer with multipurpose, easy-to-prepare foods.
    Photo by iStock

Peruse the frozen food section at any grocer and you’ll find a huge array of convenience foods. But, while some frozen foods are made with healthful ingredients, many are filled with preservatives and additives we’d be wise to avoid. With a little planning, we can create our own frozen food sections right at home, stocked with homemade convenience foods that can help make healthy homecooking easier and quicker—with increased nutrition and for less money, to boot.

Freezer-Friendly Recipes

Moist High-Fiber Muffins Recipe
Perfect Whole-Wheat Pie Crust Recipe

Caramelized Onions

If a recipe calls for caramelizing onions, you might as well make a giant batch because doing it right takes time—as in, half an hour or more for that single ingredient. Yet the hard-won sweet and complex flavors of caramelized vegetables enrich many foods. Try caramelized onions as a pizza or sandwich topping; puréed into a dip; sprinkled onto roasted or grilled vegetables and meats; stirred into scrambled eggs or quiche; or tossed with simple pasta dishes. You can also make a substantial meal out of these beauties in the form of a classic French onion soup. Frozen caramelized onions don’t take long to thaw. You can even throw them into a pan while still frozen if the clumps are relatively small.

To make: Dice or slice onions and sauté them in hot oil over medium-low heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add a splash each of high-quality vinegar and wine (white or red), plus salt, pepper and fresh herbs, and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes. Add a little water as you go if onions are browning quickly or sticking to the pan. You can also include shallots in the mix, which adds a mild garlic flavor.



Freezing tip: Freeze caramelized onions first in an ice cube tray and then pop the cubes into another container.

Roasted Garlic

Like caramelizing onions, roasting garlic deepens its sweetness and brings out a nuttiness, while mellowing its pungency. Whole roasted garlic cloves add a punch of flavor to anything you can think to toss them with; just pinch them out of their slippery skins whole. You can also smash cloves into a paste to whip into other ingredients such as avocados, butter, goat cheese or hummus to create amazing dips and spreads. And for convenience if you’ve already made a batch, you can replace the fresh garlic called for in many recipes with this garlic paste.



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