Handy Freezer Foods
In today’s world, the majority live very busy lives. And although there is advancement in the high tech age and better communication, it seems like there isn’t sufficient hours within a day in order to complete tasks. With the long commute to and from work, kid’s school and extra curriculum activities, and in between all those activities, each household has to deal with daily nutrition. Therefore, it’s imperative that the right food supplies are available so as to ensure a smooth and efficient running of the kitchen.
Not only is it important to stock the pantry, but, it’s also makes good sense to keep the right food supplies on hand in the freezer. This important habit saves on precious time and money. Foods in the pantry and refrigerator have shorter shelf lives; however, the ones in the freezer will naturally last longer and can be retrieved when needed for an extended time. Some of the recommended foods to have on hand in the freezer are:
Fruits are picked and packed at their ripest. Moreover, they are cheaper than their fresh and canned counterparts. Because they are packed at their ripest they retain their beneficial vitamins and minerals. One great rule of thumb is to purchase supplies when there is a glut on the market Wash and pack them securely; then, place in the freezer. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries and other berries are excellent choices to have on hand in the freezer. They are great for smoothies and homemade pies. Instead of tossing those wilted bananas, peel them and place them in ziplock bags.
Vegetables are also excellent to have on hand in the freezer. Try to shop seasonal for the fresh ones and save on prices. All you need to do is to blanch these veggies, remove the excess liquid and store them securely in the freezer. Blanching means to cook quickly and then stop the cooking process by placing in a cool or icy bathe. This process ensures veggies to retain their bright hues and crispiness. Like frozen fruits, veggie prices are competitive compared to the canned and the fresh ones. Some of the popular veggies to purchase are green peas, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, carrots and a variety of others.
A frozen pumpkin puree can be defrost and then add to a creamy macaroni and cheese dish or even a sweet pie. Frozen veggies on a whole a great for soups, salads, and stir-fries.
When purchasing both frozen fruits and vegetables, make sure to examine for freshness. You do so by shaking the packet or bag to see that they are loose which indicates freshness.
Another important food item to have on hand is protein. This can come in the form of seafood, chicken, turkey, and/or chopped meat. It’s a great idea to have on hand dark and white poultry. These are handy to make a succulent bake chicken or turkey dish along with a medley of root vegetables. A one pot meal can be had by cooking a hearty chicken or turkey soup by utilizing fresh and frozen vegetables.
Secure omega fatty acids by cooking a quick and healthy seafood dish. Defrost shrimp and make a tasty stir fry meal by adding veggies and serve over a bed of rice. Defrost, season and pan sear a great piece of snapper or sea bass after brushing with orange juice, honey and mustard. When defrosting seafood, it’s a good idea to move excess liquid on a paper towel.
Chopped meat, whether beef or pork, is another good idea to have in the freezer. Any one of these can be added to a homemade tomato sauce. Brown beef or pork and set aside. Stir fry diced onions in olive oil. Add garlic and fresh/canned tomatoes along with parsley/basil. Proceed to add browned meat and simmer. Bear in mind that meatballs could be substituted and added to sauce.
When you are swamped for extra time in the morning hours and there is no time to prepare a pancake batter from scratch, it is a perfect idea to grab a wholewheat frozen waffle or pancake from the freezer. All that is needed is the toaster. A splash of honey or a quick defrosting of a few berries in the microwave oven to spread on top.