Freezing food to save time and money

Tips that reduce dreaded freezer-burn and save you some "dough"

Freezing meals that you can pull out at a later date allows you to save time and money. Here is some helpful information on how to best freeze your food.

  • For rapid freezing, pack produce that is already cool.
  • Work with small quantities, filling only a few packages at a time and freezing them immediately.
  • Use freezer wrapping, a bag or a rigid container, and only put as much into each package as you will need for a single meal.
  • Expel as much air as possible from around the food. (If storing food in bags, this is best done with a freezer pump.)
  • When you use rapid freeze method, put containers near the freezer walls, allowing ample air space around each package.
  • Once food is frozen, rearrange it to make the best use of space.
  • Put no more food into the freezer than will freeze within 24 hours.
  • Place double sheets of freezer wrapping between items such as steaks, chicken breasts or fish fillets so that they can easily be separated after they have been frozen.
  • Seal the packages well to prevent air from reaching the food and drying it out.
  • Meat purchased on styrofoam trays and wrapped in cling plastic must be repackaged.
  • Note: Liquid or semi-liquid foods will expand by about 10 percent on freezing, so remember to allow headspace in containers.
  • Frozen foods kept at a temperature of –18°C (-0.4°F) or lower retain most of their nutrients (although vegetables blanched before freezing may suffer some loss of nutritional value).
  • Label and date each package or container with a waterproof pen.

Keep a list near the freezer showing the kind of produce and the date frozen, and cross off entries as food is used. Because of the risk of food poisoning associated with reactivated disease-causing bacteria, never refreeze frozen food after it has been fully thawed.

Freezing food to save time and money

Go ahead, freeze that sandwich

You probably haven't considered freezing sandwhiches by preparing one or two weeks' supply for the family's lunches, but it's a real headache and time saver! Some sandwiches will keep for up to six weeks in a separate freezer cabinet

For best results, follow these tips.

  • Use fresh, sliced bread with crusts on. Rolls, hamburger buns and fruit loaf slices may also be frozen. (Crusty rolls, French sticks and other crusty breads lose their crustiness when frozen.)
  • Spread slices evenly with butter or margarine.
  • Fill with cooked meats or poultry, cooked or canned fish, cheese, baked beans, liverwurst or dried fruits and nuts. Yeast extract spreads, ham, tuna with mayonnaise or grilled bacon are suitable for short-term freezing.
  • Bind fillings with egg-based mayonnaise, cream, thick tomato sauce or pickles.
  • Wrap each sandwich tightly in freezer wrap and place two in a freezer bag. Exclude all air, preferably with a freezer pump. Seal with masking tape.

Enjoy more free time with this time-saver.

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