7 foods I keep in my freezer
Posted by kathryn in Easier eating
Following Charlotte’s guest post on freezer love, I started thinking about all the foods I keep in my freezer. Sure there’s normal stuff like bread, leftover meals and ice. However I also put a lot of foods in my freezer, which other people probably don’t.
Driving this is my hatred of wasting food. Rather than have something go off, I’m more likely to put it in the freezer and see if that works. Some things don’t, like the time I froze raw broccoli. While other foods I just don’t like from the freezer, for example cooked rice, pasta and potatoes. However many foods freeze really well, or rather they freeze well enough for me.
This is a trick I got from my parents. I don’t use a lot of milk, so never go through a full carton before it goes off, which means being able to freeze milk is perfect. Mum and dad freeze their milk in the carton, whereas I separate it out into one cup portions and freeze those. You should note milk does expand when it’s frozen, because of the water content, plus it changes colour slightly. However, it does return to normal colour once defrosted.
2. Hummous & bean spreads
I love bean spreads and regularly use them on toast and salads, as well as in sandwiches. However I wasn’t using them up quickly enough, the last quarter would start going fizzy and I’d have to chuck it out. I now split a batch of hummous into quarters and freeze each portion separately.
3. Pesto & harissa
I love both of these and regularly make batches of both. However I don’t like adding stacks of olive oil to either, which means they tend to go off quickly. So I freeze harissa in tablespoon quantities and pesto in small tubs.
4. Bread dough
I never would have thought this possible, until Ganga recommended it as a way to store the leftover dough from her beautiful no knead focaccia recipe. However it works. There are some qualifiers to this. I’ve only ever stored no knead bread. I defrost the bread dough in the fridge. It’s sometimes a bit wet, so I usually scatter with a bit of extra flour and shape. I then allow it to come up to room temperature before cooking – this takes about an hour (the coming up to room temperature not the cooking!).
Update. Ganga (my oracle on this topic) has left more information on freezing bread dough in the comments below.
Again, we’re not a big dairy household, plus I’m fussy about the type of cheese I eat. A single block could last us weeks and I noticed we were eating more than we needed, just to use it up. So, as an experiment, Richard stuck some in the freezer and it was fine. Again a few qualifiers here. It does change the texture slightly and so we only use freezer cheese for cooking. I’ve only ever frozen tasty/cheddar and yellow mozzarella cheese. I really would not recommend freezing an oozey camembert or some specially imported Roquefort.
6. Lime halves
When we moved into our current house we were overwhelmed with limes from the tree in our garden. There was no way we could get through the harvest, so I consulted Making a Meal of It and ended up storing some in the freezer. I have lime “cups” and half limes in the freezer and they’ve been really useful. I use the cups in drinks and squeeze the half limes into my cooking.
7. Kaffir lime leaves
About a year ago a friend gave me a pile of kaffir lime leaves. Far more than I could possibly go through in a few days. Lucy suggested freezing them and it worked perfectly. I put the kaffir lime leaves in a single layer in a ziplock bag and placed these flat in the freezer. I then get a leaf out whenever I need one and use it straight away.