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Freezing tips -- Keeping stuff onhand
Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:25 pmFood.com Groupie
If you're like us, you often find that stuff you buy for one recipe goes bad before you need it again. It took a while for the lightbulb to go on, but we finally figured out that a lot of this stuff can be processed and frozen in portion sizes for later use:
Garlic -- Buy a half dozen or more bulbs. Peel and mince (we use the food processor). Freeze in clove-sized bunches on wax paper. Once frozen, put the clumps loose in a bag for the freezer.
Ginger, fresh herbs -- Ditto.
Lemon juice, zest -- Buy at a good price. Wash and zest the lemons, and put the zest in an airtight freezer bag (or make candied lemon zest). Juice the lemons, and freeze in old ice cube trays. Or better, use plastic ice cube bags (prevents the moisture from evaporating).
Celery -- Wash and slice. Freeze flat on wax paper, then place loose in a bag for the freezer. (No need to blanch.)
Zucchini (for baking and adding to sauces) -- Wash and mince in food processor. No need to blanch. Make up 1 or 2 cup vacuum sealed bags for freezer.
Strawberries, blueberries -- wash (and hull strawberries). Dry, and freeze flat on wax paper. Place loose in bags.
Bananas -- Peel, break into thirds or quarters, freeze flat on wax paper, then place loose in a bag. (For best results, place in very coldest part of freezer. These don't last quite as long, so don't go overboard. Good for baking, smoothies.)
Veggie mixes (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot) -- Wash, chop, mix, & blanch. Seal in meal-sized vacuum sealed bags. (Note: these are okay for soups or stews, but not really crunchy enough for stir fry. Better to buy fresh for stir fry, and process any left overs for the freezer.)
There's probably more, but so far, this is all we've done. Suggestions?
Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:34 amForum Host
I do this sort of thing all the time!
chicken/beef stock - whenever I use part of a jar, if I'm not going to finish it within a couple of days, depending on how much is left, I'll either freeze it in ice cube trays (2 Tbsp. portions) or muffin cups (1/2 c. portions).
Chipotles in adobo - when I open the can, I puree the entire thing, and freeze it in ice cube trays - I figure one cube is about equal to "two whole chipotles, minced, with sauce"
tomato paste - I found these mini ice cube trays - each cube is a Tbsp., and they've got silicone bottoms, so I can pop the cubes out easily.
Leek & fennel tops - I always wash them, cut them up, and freeze them for stock.
Basil pesto - I always freeze that in 2 Tbsp. ice cube trays. They're a great addition to soups and sauces. I've also made sun-dried tomato pesto and done the same thing with it.
Ricotta filling - I use a portion scoop (either #16 or #24) and freeze scoops on a sheet pan, then bag them for use either as a pizza topping or I'll several scoops for a quick last-minute lasagna.
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