This week we are going to talk about various ways to easily freeze food. Cookie dough, leftovers, freezer meals, etc… For meals, for lunches, for convenience. Sound good?
What do you do with leftovers? Here are a few ideas to try rather than using them up a day or two later. I know that here in our house, we often use leftovers as lunch the next day or so. But sometimes there is more than enough for the next day OR I plan to make enough for 2 meals. When that happens to you, have a menu idea and a freezing plan ready, so that a meal next week is pretty much ready to go. Such as, making a large batch of shredded chicken; or a big pot of soup, etc…
If you want to separate soups, broth, chili, stew, etc… in portions ready for lunches, then simply ladle them into a muffin tin and freeze, like this blogger has done. (themommyincharge.com is currently not available) Freeze them until solid, then turn out into a zip top baggy. Pull out the amount needed and place in a microwave safe, sealed container. This is about a 2/3 cup portion. Perfect for a kiddo. For an adult, you might want 2.
If you have enough containers, you can freeze your leftovers in them and pull out as needed. If not, this is a great way to try.
You can use the same idea to freeze single servings of rice. Cook your rice. Let cool and scoop your serving into the cups of the muffin tin. Freeze until solid. Place in a baggy and pull out only what is needed for a dinner, lunch, etc…
This is especially nice for brown rice, as it takes longer to cook. It would be so easy (& economical) to pull out a lump or two of rice and pop into the microwave while you are tossing a stir fry. This is from Fooddoodles.
What about when you want to make multiples of something, but you only have a limited number of baking dishes? Try this idea from LifeAsMom:Line your baking dish with foil, leaving excess hanging over the edges. Fill with the meal. Don’t bake. Use those excess edges to fold over and completely cover your dish. Freeze until solid. Take the foil wrapped meal out of the dish and place into a ziptop bag. Seal and freeze. Write the name and baking directions on the bag. When the meal is needed, place back in the original dish and bake! This frees up your baking dishes to use in the meantime, and usually takes up less space in your freezer.
How about cookie dough? If you like freshly baked cookies, but don’t want to have too many laying around try this one- Mix up your batch or double batch of dough and scoop out into ice cube trays. Freeze until solid and then place dough cubes into a container or baggy and keep frozen. Then you can pull out just the needed amount for your family and bake.
This picture and idea is from Lisa, from Snack Girl.
When you are freezing other things, like ground beef (fresh or cooked), veggies, chopped fruit, etc… Make sure you squidge out as much air as possible and then press the bag as flat as you can. Flat things stack much easier and nicer in your freezer. Check out this pictureSingingthroughtherain has a great post on Fearless Freezer Cooking.
Ok, I have one more idea for you. Ever have extra green onions that need used up or they get tossed into the bin? Go ahead and slice them up and put them into a clean, empty water bottle and freeze! Sprinkle out as many as you need when cooking!Lunchinabox brings us this great tip! It is much easier to shake a few out. It is also economical, as I always buy 2 or 3 bunches (as they are 2/$1 or 3/$1), but then hardly ever use all of them.
I hope these tips have been helpful for you, no matter what style of Freezer Cooking you use. Let me know if you have any others!
If you need to see any of the previous posts in our Freezer Cooking series, check out the list below:
- To see What is it? Click Here;
- For Why Do It? Click Here.
- For How To Do it? Click Here.
- For Resources Click Here.
- For an idea of What Can I Freeze? Click Here.