Not only does freezing food help you save money but it can also save you precious time. You can get home after a long day, whip something out of the freezer, stick it in the microwave or oven and soon relax over a hearty, healthy meal. It truly is a busy mom’s solution to having a good home-cooked meal for her family.
Before you get started with freezing meals, you need to know what are the best foods to cook and freeze .Here are some helpful tips to help you get started.
Best food for home freezing is the stew or casserole
When making either the stew or casserole, it’s better to leave out the potatoes, rice or other starchy vegetables since they can get mushy when defrosted. It won’t take long to cook some potatoes while you defrost your frozen food.
Rice can still be frozen – it just needs to be frozen separately from the main dish.
Tips for freezing meat, vegetarian and spicy dishes
A good old-fashioned meat casserole in flavorful gravy, whether it’s chicken, beef or lamb, is a top freezer standby. Tofu in a vegetarian dish also freezes well, although the texture becomes firmer – but some people prefer it this way.
Curries and other spicy dishes can be frozen successfully, but freezing can significantly alter the balance of flavors.
Avoid freezing dishes in creamy and cheese sauces. These type of dishes tend to separate or curdle when defrosting.
Pastry dishes are great freezer foods
Pies, quiches and other pastry dishes also freeze brilliantly. With quiches, the problem of freezing cheesy and creamy foods isn’t an issue, because the filling is set and won’t separate.
All sorts of sweet pastries will also freeze well, so you can stock up on apple and cherry pies for desserts.
Cakes and cake-based desserts (including cheesecakes) can also be frozen easily, but if you’re freezing cakes, do it without the icing.
Tomato-based sauces are great to freeze
One of the best dishes to freeze is tomato-based pasta sauce, which will be just as good when defrosted as when it was freshly cooked.
A typical basic sauce consists of tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs, especially basil. From here you can add your favorite ingredients. Include olives, anchovies and chillies for a bit of extra oomph.
For a Bolognese sauce, use ground beef or soy mince. All you’ll need to do for a delicious pasta meal is cook the pasta.
Pizza is another great freezer meal
No surprise here, pizza is a great meal to freeze. If you just want to make pizza dough, you can freeze it in portion-sized balls or disks and roll out later, or you can pre-bake the bases.
It is also possible to freeze the bases with your tomato-based pizza sauce with other added toppings. However, some toppings freeze better than others. Adding things like peppers and pineapple just before you cook is a better idea.
Preparing freezer meals may take a bit of time to start with, but you’ll reap the benefits when you have a perfect homemade meal in minutes instead of hours.