Freezers are a miracle of convenience. You can buy products like meat and fruit when they are fresh and on sale, and save them for days when things are not as cheap or readily available.
But when you buy a large amount of food for freezing, chances are you will not want or need to use it all at once. Defrosting a large package of ground beef just so you can split off the pound you need and refreezing the rest degrades the quality.
So what are we to do?
Simple. Freeze smaller portion sizes.
Today I will show you three brilliant ideas for freezing smaller sized-portions that will make both storing and using your frozen food a breeze.
Eggs freeze beautifully in a muffin tin, or if you have just extra whites or yolks leftover from other cooking applications, ice cube trays work great too.
In this example from Macheesmo, the eggs are left in the tray to cook up in the oven into beautiful little rounds for breakfast sandwiches.
Freezing Ground Meat
This is a brilliant trick. How many times have you purchased pounds of ground beef and frozen it on a single hunk, only to find that when you needed it again, you only need enough for a couple of burgers?
By flattening the ground meat in a bag and marking off sections, you can break off only what you need without defrosting the whole thing. Smart!
When you freeze food, the most important thing to accomplish is to freeze it as quickly as possible.
When food freezes, ice crystals form. The more quickly it freezes, the smaller the ice crystals are. If you have a large hunk of food to freeze, the ice crystals form big and slow, slicing their ways through the cell walls of the food. This breaks down the cellular structure, and compromises the structural integrity.
If you don’t believe me, defrost a bag of frozen strawberries and behold the smooshy wonder.
In my house, when fruits are at their peak, we buy a ton of it, cut it up and freeze it in a single layer on plastic wrap-lined cookie sheets, then bag it for future smoothie use.
This idea above is even easier, portioning out a smoothie’s worth into a bag, complete with frozen yogurt cubes for quick and easy blending.
The best part is, these smoothies are packed with goodness, because you don’t need ice. The fruit is the ice!
I hope I have inspired you to give your freezer a little more love today. And if you were wondering how to find fruit when it is in season, check out my handy little Seasonal Produce Cards!