When we think of frozen foods, most people picture frozen raw meats, frozen veggies, and ice cream. If those are the only things you have in your freezer, you’re missing out!
You could actually freeze a wide range of food items! Here are some of the most surprising foods you can freeze.
If you can’t use up all your eggs in a couple weeks, did you know you can save extra ones in the freezer? There are a few different ways to do this, and most of them involve cracking your egg. You can beat whole eggs together until smooth and freeze in single portion sizes in an ice cube tray. You can also freeze hardboiled or scrambled eggs and heat them up to eat as usual.
2. Fresh Herbs
Freezing herbs is a great way to preserve these delicate ingredients. All you have to do is toss them in a blender with olive oil, blitz them briefly, and freeze them in ice cube trays. This gives you cubes of herb-infused oil to add to pasta sauces, soups, and other meals later on.
If you aren’t much of a baker, it’s easy for flour to go rancid before you can use an entire package. Stick your flour in an airtight bag and toss it in the freezer. It remains soft, fluffy, and easy to scoop, so you can quickly grab some whenever you’re ready to bake some goodies.
Frozen flour thaws very quickly, so you can often toss it in a recipe without thawing it first.
Do you love the idea of a plant-based protein but can’t get past the weird taste and texture of tofu? The secret to good tofu is actually freezing it. When you freeze it, the moisture inside the tofu expands, making tiny holes. Then when it thaws, all the tofu liquid flows right out. This leaves you with drier, firmer tofu that doesn’t have a weird beany flavor. Instead, it’ll soak up the sauce you cook it in.
This life hack comes in handy because it lengthens your ginger’s shelf life and also makes it easier to use. Once you freeze ginger, it can be easily grated on a Microplane or other small grater. This lets you get a finely minced ginger paste that will melt into your curries, marinades, and sauces with ease.
6. Potato Chips
The freezer is a great way to save half-opened bags because it is so low in moisture that chips can’t get stale. Frozen chips don’t become hard and frozen since they don’t have much water in them in the first place. You can bite into them as soon as you take them out, but you might want to let them come back to room temperature first!
Bread freezes beautifully and thaws quickly. All you have to do is slice it first to make sure you can easily grab a portion. Bread slices can thaw to room temperature in about 15 minutes. However, you can also just make a sandwich with frozen bread and toss it in a lunchbox to thaw by lunchtime.
All cheeses can be stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life almost indefinitely. You can freeze whole blocks, but single-serving sizes are simpler. An easier way is grating cheese and tossing it with cornstarch, or you can cut blocks into individual serving sizes.
9. Tomato Paste
Countless recipes call for a tablespoon of super concentrated tomato paste. But it’s always sold in massive cans I cannot use up. It turns out that you can actually freeze tomato paste very easily without affecting the texture. To freeze single serving sizes, dollop spoonfuls onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Let them freeze and then put them all in a freezer bag together.
10. Precooked Rice and Pasta
Did you know that you can freeze and then thaw rice and pasta without changing how it tastes or feels at all? You just have to divide it into serving sizes and freeze it in advance, then you can pull them out to quickly whip up meals when you’re in a hurry. If you want to speed things up even further, consider adding a sauce to make it a complete meal before you freeze it.
Love to bake but don’t have time to gently knead bread dough every day? It turns out that freezing does not impact dough’s structure at all. For non-yeasted things, you can just freeze as is, thaw, and use normally. If you are making dough with yeast, just add a little extra yeast to the recipe and freeze the dough after it’s first rise and initial shaping process.
12. Raw Dumplings and Meatballs
From potstickers to Swedish meatballs, any meal that involves tiny, individual portions of raw meat can easily be made in large batches and frozen. They don’t even need to be thawed to cook.
All you have to do is sear the sides, add a little liquid, and add about ten minutes to your cook time to account for the frozen centers. This lets you grab a few for an easy meal at any time.
13. Frozen Waffles and Pancakes
If you want to save time but still value a good, homemade breakfast, then this is an excellent tip for you to try. You can make bigger batches of waffles or pancakes and freeze them for later! The secret is just to let them cool to room temperature before putting them in the freezer. Then you can just pull out your required amount and pop them in the microwave for a few seconds.
14. Chopped Veggies
Save a lot of time when you cook by pre-dicing a lot of vegetables and freezing them in standard portion sizes. Just keep in mind that this tip only works well for veggies you’re going to cook since some can feel a bit mushy if you want to eat them raw.
15. Shredded Cooked Meat
Most frozen meat is raw, but did you know you can actually freeze cooked meat just as well? Meat is mostly made up of protein and fat, so it can be cooked, frozen, and thawed without getting tough or slimy. This can be a great way to preserve leftovers or save time in the kitchen. Shredded chicken is particularly useful since it can be tossed in all sorts of sandwiches, salads, soups, and pasta, but shredded pork can also be handy for tacos and stews.
As you can see, there are all sorts of great ways to use your freezer. Generally, I find that anything with a low moisture content or a high-fat content can freeze without impacting its quality in any way. Can you think of any other unexpected foods that can do well after being stuck in the freezer?