How to get the best from your freezer
Here are some hot tips to help improve the quality of your food when freezing.
- When defrosting bread, take care to remove any ice within the pack, as this can thaw and cause the bread to become soggy in places.
- Bread fresh from the in-store bakery is delicious but the wrappers are often open, paper or thin film and these should be replaced with sealable freezer bags or plastic freezer wrap when freezing.
- Greater amounts of fat on meats like pork increase the risk of rancidity occurring during frozen storage, so trim off excess fat before freezing.
- High water content vegetables (like tomatoes) may be better pureed before freezing, particularly if intended for use in that condition.
- Some fruits such as apples are better pureed or stewed for use in jam or pie fillings rather than frozen in their original state. This also saves space and makes good use of your freezer
- For products such as strawberries that do not freeze well pureeing is an ideal means to store product that can be used for smoothies, desserts and sauces.
- Many fruits can be made into sorbet or ice cream products to be served directly from frozen.
- If serving frozen fruits as fresh, serve them when they still have a small amount of ice remaining, which will give firmer texture.
- Sauces (that you’ve made to go with rice or pasta) may thicken while they’re in the freezer so add extra water after thawing (when reheating the meal) to better gauge the amount to add, and minimise how much water is being frozen.
- Freeze sauces separately (from the pasta or rice) if possible, as sauces will generally store for longer. Try to minimise overfilling plates, or serve from a central bowl, so that it’s easier to freeze leftovers from the pan
- Milk can sometimes curdle or separate when frozen depending on its fat content. Lower fat milk such as semi or full skimmed milk is likely to freeze most successfully. But don’t worry if it separates, after thawing simply shake the bottle. The same is true for yoghurt, just give it a good stir.
- Yoghurt can also be used to create lollies if portioned into ice lolly moulds or used to create yoghurt based frozen desserts (e.g. yoghurt ice cream.