Food waste is something that we all try to avoid. However, some foods tend to have a very short shelf life. Freezing foods is one method you can use to preserve food to enjoy it later on. There are popular foods that you might freeze already, but there are some surprising foods that you can also freeze.
Most of us know the benefits of freezing foods, and we might do that already. The most common foods that people freeze are bread, green beans and berries, but there are so many other foods that could be preserved, and these include:
Whenever you are going shopping for ginger, there is a high probability that you will get more than you require. The problem with ginger is that it does not have the longest shelf life because if you store the ginger in the fridge, it will only last a few weeks. However, storing it in the freezer will keep it fresh indefinitely. You might have a concern that it might shrivel up if you choose to freeze it, but this is not the case. Some added benefits of freezing ginger is that it becomes easier to grate once it has been frozen. You need to ensure that you peel it first.
To freeze ginger, you should cut it into 2.5-centimetre cubes and peel it first. If you do not want to peel the ginger first when you take it out of the freezer for a few minutes, you can use a spoon to peel it as it will still be cold enough to work with.
Past-ripe bananas are perfect for making banana bread, but they are not enjoyable to eat. You might not always have the time and energy to bake bread every time your bananas are too ripe. The solution to that problem? You can freeze them. Frozen bananas can be perfect for smoothies. You can also thaw the bananas and use them when you have the time to make banana bread. The ideal way to store bananas requires peeling them, chopping them into whichever size you prefer and stashing them in freezer bags for later use.
Many might not be aware of this, but nuts are perishable goods. If you have nuts in your pantry for months, and they do not taste right, that is because they have gone rancid. They become rancid due to the fatty oils that you find in nuts, which leads to them going bad, especially when stored in warmer temperatures. Though nuts being rancid does not pose any health risks, it does affect their taste, making them unpleasant to consume.
An added benefit of freezing nuts is that it prevents them from going rancid. When you buy nuts, keep the nuts that you know you will consume soon in the cupboard, and freeze the rest. Freezing your nuts will extend their storage life to about two years. Shelled pistachios have the longest storage life as they can last for at least three years. When storing shelled nuts, ensure that they are in clean and airtight freezer bags as they tend to pick up moisture and flavours.
4. Whole-grain flour
Whole grain flour tends to go rancid, just like nuts. Whole grain flour is made from the bran and germ of whole grains. This germ has oils that spoil quicker when they are in warm, moist and humid spaces. Flour has a storage life of 1 to 3 months, and freezing it will extend it.
By freezing flour, you will be able to extend its storage life to 2 to 6 months. Regular grains flour can last up to 6 months on the dry shelf but up to a year in the freezer. Since flour remains powdery even when it is frozen, you will not need to thaw it before you want to use it. You need to scoop out the flour you require and put back the remaining flour in the freezer.
Regardless of the type of milk, you can freeze it in an airtight freezer bag. Ensure that you can leave enough room for the milk to expand when it freezes. The kinds of milk that separate when frozen are almond, flax, oat, coconut, soy and evaporated milk. Human breast milk also separates when frozen, and there will be changes in how it smells and tastes, so be mindful of that. Sweet condensed milk, however, does not freeze solid due to its high sugar content.
Once frozen, you can store milk in the freezer for up to 6 months, but it’s best to use it within the first month of freezing. When you want to defrost the milk, you should do so in the fridge and not at room temperature, reducing the chances of bacterial growth. If you intend to cook with the milk, then you can defrost it into the pan or pot you want to add milk in as you are cooking.
Everyone enjoys soup, and the best part is that it is safe to freeze so that you can enjoy it when you want to. It would be best if you stored soups flatly in freezer bags. Ensure that you get out as much air as you can before you freeze them. Not only does storing them flat save you space, it becomes easier to locate in the freezer when you want to have your soup.
Freezing foods can make your life easier as it acts as a pause button allowing you to enjoy your favourite foods for longer, reducing food waste. By following the tips offered above, you can maximize your freezer space and make room for some of your favourite ingredients that appeal to your cooking style.