5 Ways to Use Your Freezer Smarter
Your freezer can do more than house frozen meat, vegetables and cartons of ice cream. From cutting waste to saving time and money, here's 5 unexpected ways to use your freezer smarter. Check my freezer and you'll likely find any of these stashed away!
Ground beef, sausage or shredded chicken are perfect examples of meats that freeze well after cooking. Batch cook large quantities and separate into food storage bags and freeze. This time saver helps meals come together faster when time is precious and the family is hungry.
Kassi's Tip: Quart sized freezer bags perfectly fit 1 lb meat.
Why does a recipe never call for an entire can of tomato paste, only 1 or 2 tablespoons?! Dollop out the remaining can onto parchment paper and freeze. Then transfer the frozen tomato paste into a storage bag. To thaw, saute in the pan you're cooking with or pop in the microwave.
Kassi's Tip: Measure out 1 T portions to freeze since most recipes call for tablespoon quantities of tomato paste.
It's an old trick I learned as a kid from farm wives living far from the grocery store - freeze unopened milk before the expiration date to use in the future. Keep in mind, fat content and milk type (raw v pasteurized) may affect quality after thawing. In my experience freezing the pasteurized cream-line milk from Edgewood, a little extra shaking is needed to redistribute the fat molecules.
Kassi's Tip: Best results come from thawing in the fridge which can take 3+ days depending on the jug size.
Homemade Beef or Chicken Stock
I stockpile cooked bones and veggie scraps in a gallon-sized bag in my freezer. When the bag is full I make bone broth or stock using a pressure cooker. After straining into storage containers, extra stock is frozen for future use. I love this hack for cutting waste and making stock with no preservatives and a salt content I control.
Kassi's Tip: Always use cooked bones to make stock. Reuse cottage cheese or yogurt containers to store stock.
Dry the bread heels or stale bred out on the counter for a day then stash it in a gallon bag in the freezer. When I need breadcrumbs for a recipe, I'll pulse the frozen, dried bread in the food processor and store extra in a storage container.
Kassi's Tip: Dry on the counter first before freezing.
I hope one of these tips helps you save time, money or waste in your home, too! -Kassi