Whether your freezer is tiny or super spacious, having frozen food on hand is always handy. You still have to know how to use them afterwards. From ready-made meals bought at the grocery store and cut vegetables to leftover spaghetti sauce, each of these products must be frozen, thawed and prepared in a certain way in order to retain all the flavor.
What to freeze?
Freezing portions of meat when they are on sale is a habit. But other foods can also be frozen: soups, sauces, casseroles and breads, but also hummus, guacamole, butter, donuts and cookies, firm cheeses. Although they have a very long shelf life once in the refrigerator, salad dressings made with oil and vinegar can also be frozen.
Conversely, avoid freezing mayonnaise, fruits and vegetables with a high water content such as cucumber, lettuce or water melon, fried foods.
On the pastry side, several staple foods are frozen such as pie dough, phyllo or puff pastry. Many cookies, cakes and desserts can also be frozen. a simple solution for any meal planned at the last moment. Note that these foods are among the only ones that can be thawed at room temperature without risk.
How to successfully defrost?
Generally, food is defrosted in the fridge or in the microwave oven using the “defrost” function. The goal is to avoid sudden temperature changes that could alter the taste and, especially in the case of meats and fish, promote the growth of bacteria. For optimal defrosting, choose foods in individual portions or to portion before putting in the freezer. This will allow you to defrost only what you need. Above all, never put completely thawed food back in the freezer.
Vegetables and fruits do not need to be thawed before use. They can be added to your savory or sweet preparations directly. Steaming helps retain more nutrients and has the advantage of being fat free. The pan or the wok, on the other hand, are perfect for small pieces that are quickly sautéed over high heat. The oven, slow cooker and microwave, on the other hand, can cook vegetables more slowly and for longer. On the fruit side, use berry mixes to make jams or pies as well as tropical blends for a fruit salad or smoothie.
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