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A Guide to Freezing Food

Make the freezer your friend. Armed with a few smart strategies, you can help your family save time and money all year long.

| July/August 2013

  • Whole berries are easy to freeze. Just spread a single layer of berries on a tray, then when frozen transfer to a freezer-friendly container.
    Photo By iStock
  • To freeze eggplants, first cut them into 1/3-inch-thick slices; then add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the blanching water and blanch for 4 minutes.
    Photo By iStock
  • Steam-blanch broccoli for 3 to 5 minutes before freezing.
    Photo By Fotolia
  • Blanch peas 2 to 3 minutes in shells or 1-1/2 minutes shelled before freezing.
    Photo By iStock

Imagine you’ve just woken up, a little bit late even. Everyone is hungry. You grab a baggie full of luscious summer fruit from the freezer and toss it in the blender. On a good day, maybe you also have time to add a bit of yogurt. Blend—and voilà—breakfast is ready to go. Now imagine you’ve just come home from work. Everyone is hungry. You grab a pan from the freezer and pop it in the oven. On a good day, maybe someone also tosses a fresh green salad from the fridge or garden. The pan comes out of the oven in about half an hour—and voilà—dinner is served. A freezer full of ready-to-eat meals and ready-to-cook ingredients is as valuable as gold bullion in households where everyone is busy and time is money. (That’s every household, right?)

Learning to stock and eat from the freezer in ways that maximize efficiency is a solid way to maintain the ability to eat healthy, high-quality foods and avoid opting for delivery pizza yet again. It’s also an excellent way to save money, especially if you buy in bulk and look for deals. Try these smart strategies for getting the most bang for your freezer buck.

Freezer-Friendly Recipes

Slow-Cooker Enchiladas Recipe
Freezable Black Beans Recipe
Rancheros Sauce Recipe

Freezer Guide

Freezer Organization Tips

A Guide to Freezing Fruit

Depending on how you intend to use it, there are three ways to freeze fruit.

Dry Pack: A dry pack is good for small whole fruits such as berries. Simply pack clean, dried fruit into a container, seal, label and freeze. A tray pack is an alternative that can make fruit easier to remove from the container. Spread a single layer of fruit on shallow trays without letting pieces touch, and freeze. When frozen, package and return to the freezer—fruit pieces remain loose and can be poured from the container easily.

2/20/2015 10:22:58 AM

Why not freeze them raw? I am more interested in preserving nutrients than appearance....?

2/20/2015 10:20:42 AM

Why not freeze them raw? I am more interested in preserving nutrients than appearance....?

8/21/2014 5:22:39 PM

Freezing summer's bounty is a time-tested means of food preservation. But now you can also freeze dry your harvest with our easy-to-use in-home freeze-dryer ... just like the pros use, but a lot more convenient. Freeze drying will take your food storage from months to years, improving yields and ROI.

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