Not only is it more economical to run a freezer full of food, it’s also an excellent reason to freeze foods that you find on sale. When I can find things that I love to eat, they’re in season, fresh, and a good price, then I buy a lot more than I can easily eat in a short time frame because I know I can store them in the freezer for future use.
All you need are freezer bags or freezer containers and a way to label the bag or container with the contents and the date they were frozen and a “use by” date.
Please don’t skip this step. I have a couple of times, and once something has been frozen for a little while, you may (will) forget what was in the container, how long it has been there, and how you might want to use it. I once froze two mouthwatering pieces of filet mignon but didn’t label them. I figured that we never have something that wonderful in the freezer. I couldn’t possibly forget.
But I did. And when I did finally thaw them out, they had been pushed to the back of the freezer, unnoticed for over a year. I tried to cook them, but they were horrible. Since that time, I have never forgotten to label my packages going into the freezer.
Here are a few things you can freeze that you might have otherwise overlooked:
1. Fresh Corn on the Cob. No need to even husk the stuff, just break off most of the stalk end, place in airtight freezer bags and prepare for some delicious corn mid-winter when your palate will really appreciate it. When it comes to room temperature, cut about an inch off the stalk end, then pull the top of the husk off and all the corn silk should come off at the same time. Fresh from the farm corn lasts nearly a year in the freezer.
2. Avocados. You read that right. Yes, you can freeze avocados. But, they will be in better shape for something like guacamole than cubes for a fresh salad. Freezing avocados does change the texture just a little bit, but as guacamole, it is fabulous. Prepare avocados as if making guacamole by pitting and peeling. I like processing a whole bunch up in the food processor with some fresh lemon juice. Then package them in the smallest freezer bags you can find so that you don’t thaw more than you can use at one meal. Fill the bags, be sure to squeeze all the air out, then freeze flat. After they are frozen, they will stack nicely in a bin that you can label if you don’t want to label all the individual bags. You can store these for up to six months this way.
3. Hummus. While hummus is really easy to make, it is even easier to make a big batch all at once and then freeze what you don’t eat. This way you only have to prepare hummus a couple of times a year, package it in freezer bags. Again, use small bags. I like to have hummus ready to throw in a lunch bag, so I try to do single servings for the freezer. Drizzle just a little bit of olive oil before removing all the air from the bag, press flat as you did with the avocados and once frozen store in a bin or box that is labeled.
4. Buttermilk. I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten a quart of buttermilk to make pancakes or biscuits and then put it at the back of my refrigerator only to discover it a couple months later turning into a science experiment. Once I learned to freeze my leftover buttermilk, I have never wasted a drop. Once frozen, buttermilk doesn’t taste quite the same if you want to drink it, but for cooking and baking, it is perfect. It lasts about 3 months in your refrigerator freezer, and about six months in a deep freeze.
5. Flour and nuts. Unless you go through things like flour and nuts very quickly, it is always best to store any extra in the freezer. Nuts tend to turn rancid when it is warm and flour can become rancid or develop meal worms. They will last indefinitely in the freezer.