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  1. #1
    Deal GURU
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    Default What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    A group of the Ladys, from one of my classes put this list together.This list went into a Cook Book, we made. Was scanning over the Cook Book, this evening and found this bit of information to share.

    Alway cool baked goods completely before freezing or they will end up soggy. And remember to lable--date and put item name on the package that is going into the freezer...

    Baked Goods - In general the lower the moisture level in your baked goods, the more successfully they will freeze. Well wrapped bread will keep for about five months in a freezer. You can also freeze bread dough for a month or two before baking. The same goes for pizza or other yeast doughs. If you know you are making yeast dough to freeze, add a little extra yeast to your recipe.

    Unbaked pie crusts
    freeze well as do unbaked fruit and meat filled pies, so you might want to stock up and get ahead when making these. Add a little extra thickening agent to fruit pies destined for the freezer.

    Unfrosted cakes will keep for months -- again well wrapped is the key. You can freeze a butter cream frosted cake as well, although other types of icing tend to separate, especially those made with egg whites and/or brown sugar.

    Prepared Foods - Soups, stews, many sauces (spaghetti sauce comes immediately to mind), unbaked pies , casseroles, lasagna etc. freeze well. Freezing may affect some spices, so it's a good idea to check and re-season, if necessary when cooking previously frozen food. As always wrap and cover well before freezing.

    Eggs - Many people don't know you can freeze eggs. You can store whole eggs in plastic containers (cracked open and with the whites and yolks stirred together) or store egg whites and yolks separately. Raw egg yolks will need to be broken and stirred with either 1/4 teaspoon salt or 3/4 teaspoon sugar for each 1/2 cup of egg yolks or else they will turn to a "gummy" consistency. Cooked egg yolks on the other hand, freeze beautifully. The reverse is true of egg whites: raw are just fine (freeze in ice cube trays, one per cube), but cooked egg whites will change texture so much they will not be at all appealing.

    Vegetables - Most vegetables will need to be blanched before freezing (putting the cut veggies in a pot of boiling water for about 1-2 minutes). After blanching, plunge the vegetables into cold water to stop the cooking process. Wrap and freeze when completely cool. Vegetables will keep in the freezer for about six months. The blanching step will help preserve the veggie's texture, otherwise expect mushy waterlogged veggies upon thawing.

    Fruits - While frozen fruits do retain their flavor, be aware that the texture of many frozen fruits will become softer --think of frozen strawberries as opposed to fresh. Add some sugar (to fruit that will be served uncooked after freezing) or simple syrup (for fruits that will be cooked after being thawed) as this helps to retain the fruit's texture when freezing. Fruit will keep in your freezer for about a year.

    Meat - Trim any excess fat from meat before freezing, as the amount of time meat will stay fresh in a freezer directly correlates to the amount of fat in it. Less fat equals longer freezer times. Also, the more saturated the fat (for instance beef has much higher saturated fat than fish) the longer it will keep). Wrap meat well. If you're going to use the meat within a week you can get away with freezing it in the Styrofoam, plastic wrapped grocery tray it came in. Any more than that, re-wrap it to prevent freezer burn. Beef and lamb chops, steaks and roasts safely keep for about a year. The exception to this rule comes if the meat is ground, as in hamburger, in which case plan to use it within about 4 months. Pork will last about six to eight months and sausage can go for about three months.

    Poultry - It's a good idea to remove poultry innards before freezing (although they can be frozen together). Never stuff and freeze raw poultry, as you risk salmonella contamination. Whole chicken and turkeys will keep for about a year. Chicken and turkey parts, ground poultry, as well as whole duck and goose will last about six months.

    Fish - Scale and clean fish before freezing (this step is probably done for you if you got your fish at a grocery store). As with meat, the higher the fat content in your fish, the shorter the time it will keep well in the freezer. Oily fish will keep for about three months and leaner fish will keep about six.

    Dairy Products - The higher the fat content in dairy products, the better they freeze. Milk products that are under 40% butterfat will separate, but heavy cream does well. You can freeze butter with no texture changes, but remember, fat can go rancid even in a freezer, so never keep it for more than two months.

    Cheese - Freezing does change the consistency of most cheeses, making it more mealy and crumbly, although the flavor remains intact. If you plan to grate or melt your cheese, this textural change won't matter much. If you plan to slice your cheese, it's best not to freeze it. Softer cheeses such as cream or cottage cheese do not freeze well at all, although surprisingly, most cheesecakes will do fine in the freezer. Blue cheese, Roquefort and gorgonzola are usually served crumbled so they freeze well and should keep for about six months. A little of these strong cheeses goes a long way, so they're handy to have in the freezer for quick "flavor pick ups" to add to recipes. Well wrapped firm cheeses such as cheddar, gouda, Swiss etc., should keep for about six months in your freezer. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and romano will keep for about a year.


    If you have a large block of cheese cut it into manageable chunks before freezing in order to cut down on thawing time.

    I like to freeze bags of shredded mozzarella so that I can remove the amount I like at a moment's notice. Shredded cheddar or other firm cheeses are also handy, and they are a lot cheaper to buy in bulk use in cooking.

    Sauces - Tomato sauces and the like do very well in the freezer. Mayonnaise and mayonnaise based sauces, however will separate. Sauces (or even custards) thickened with flour or cornstarch don't freeze well but those thickened with tapioca do.

    Herbs - Don't throw away leftover fresh herbs. Wrap them in Ziplock bags and freeze them. Be sure to blanch leafier herbs like basil. Sturdier herbs like rosemary freeze really well.

    What Not To Freeze
    Some foods just don't do well in the freezer. Vegetables with high moisture contents like lettuces, celery and cucumbers will thaw limpy. Some dairy products like cream cheese or cottage cheese, cream, milk, mayonnaise, custards, cream fillings or meringues will not freeze well because they will separate or curdle. Fried foods will likely turn soggy or rancid when frozen.
    JoAnn
    "Joy is not in things. It is within us"


  2. #2
    Budget101 Done Digging
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    Default Re: What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    Very good info, JoAnn. Thank you.

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    Default Re: What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    Wonderful information here JoAnn. I'll keep a copy of this for reference purposes to look back on.
    Tonia

    Wisdom is doing now what you will be happy with later on.

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    Default Re: What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    Great info! Thanks!

    One thing I ALWAYS buy lots of & freeze are bell peppers. They are the easiest because you don't blanch them! Just slice, dry, & store in ziploc baggies. I'll go to the farmers market & buy tons of peppers & slice them or dice them & freeze them. After they have been frozen, they shouldn't be eaten fresh (like in salads) becaus their consistency does change a bit, but they are wonderful for cooking: spaghetti, fajitas, casseroles, etc. Oh, & you don't have to thaw them! You just pull them out of the freezer & thow them in the pan! So easy!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    rtebalt,
    I've had huge gardens in the past and that's what I do with peppers
    slice them or dice them & freeze them
    This way they are ready for DH to cook with when he is making sauces..
    JoAnn
    "Joy is not in things. It is within us"

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    Default Re: What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    Quote Originally Posted by JoAnn View Post
    rtebalt,
    I've had huge gardens in the past and that's what I do with peppers This way they are ready for DH to cook with when he is making sauces..
    I would love to grow my own peppers, but I've never grown anything. Plus, I don't have a yard, just a patio.

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    Default Re: What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    I see milk is on the list not to freeze. We have had people post about freezing milk before. So my question is how does the milk do for those people who have frozen it before?
    Mdowdy

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    Default Re: What to Freeze and What Not to Freeze

    mdowdy

    DH and I freeze milk all the time, of course we use the 1 or 2%, a gallon is cheaper to buy than a half gallon but we don't use it all up before it goes bad so we usually freeze half of it. It takes a long time to thaw and requires shaking up a bit, but since we use it just for cereal and cooking we haven't noticed a difference. We aren't milk drinkers.

    JoAnn,

    thanks for this useful list, saved it to fav to refer back to from time to time.
    Didn't realize that butter should only be frozen for 2 months though, I've been getting great deals on the Smart Balance 50/50 and have 8 of them in the freezer now with coupons to get 2 more free this weekend. I was thinking they would be OK for about 6 months or so. Has anyone frozen them longer???? would rather give them away than have them turn ranzid and be thrown out.
    Niddi

 

 
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