You can do your best to be a ‘fresh, make-everything-from-scratch foodie’ 100% of the time but sometimes the pizza in the freezer seems like the easier option in the middle of a busy week. But frozen food doesn’t have to mean breaded chicken or other processed products that you find in the freezer aisle. Try freezing these 7 foods for a healthier week that will make the most of your leftovers and give you fast food of the healthy sort.
You can start off well, buying a load of veggies in your grocery shopping but too often they go bad before you get the chance to use them all. Let’s be honest, frozen food can make your life so much easier! But frozen food isn’t the source of all evil and freezing these 7 foods is a convenient way to save time, money and make healthy choices.
It’s summer and that means smoothies, ice cream and all other refreshing treats. Chop up a selection of fruit for smoothies and freeze in them in labelled bags so all you have to do is pull out your favourite combo. For more snack ideas, place fresh grapes or berries on a baking tray into the freezer and then place in a bag once they are frozen so that you can take a handful out a time, for the perfect snack on a sunny day..
2. Diced veggies
When the recipe you’re using leaves you with half an onion, don’t put it in the back of the fridge to be forgotten about until it makes the rest of your food onion-scented. Instead, dice it up and put straight into the freezer. Likewise, before you see the peppers or courgette you bought for a fresh stir fry going bad, chop it all up, bag it and freeze it. You can always do with extra vegetables, so add them straight to the pot to cook and to bulk up any meal.
This method is the best to preserve your fresh herbs without getting freezer burn. Fill an ice cube tray 2/3 full with roughly or finely chopped herbs then pour olive oil, white wine or liquid stock into each cube. Leave a little bit of space in the cube for the liquid to expand if you’re using oil. Pop them right out of the tray and straight into the saucepan to sauté vegetables or add to soup or casseroles!
4. Potato chips
If you buy the ‘share size’ bag of potato chips for a treat to yourself, you are faced with two dilemmas. You either eat the whole bag of chips in one sitting or you leave them so long that they go stale. Put a whole bag or mini portions into the freezer knowing they will remain crisp once they have ‘thawed’, around 20 minutes after you take them out. A genius way to keep on top of your snack portions and it even makes the flavour pop.
We all know whole grain rice is the most nutritious but it can be a pain to cook because it feels like it takes forever before it’s ready. Quick-cook or already prepared versions are faster, however they are often a more expensive option. Make a large portion and store it in a sealed air tight container straight after cooking. Moisture will collect in the tub but leave to cool and then freeze. You can reheat it from frozen; first lift the lid for ventilation and place the container into the microwave for around 2 1/2 minutes.
Most people have no clue how much dry pasta to place in the pot for one or two people. No, you are not the only one who is left with heaps that you don’t know what to do with once it’s cooked! Unless you want to keep adding cold pasta to your salad for a month, its likely you throw it away. Pasta might be cheap, but why waste it? When you place portions into a container or bag keep it flat to minimize how much it sticks together. And to reheat, all you have to do is run hot water over it or into the microwave topped with a sauce.
After you have cooked and plated up your meal, put any leftovers straight into a container. Although it has to be left to cool before you can put it into the freezer, putting it into a tub before you’ve taken your seat at the table to eat might make you less likely to go back for seconds. If you are cooking for one then getting into this habit means that you can enjoy the same great meal even more next week, rather than letting it become repetitive for lunch and dinner the next two days!
Make freezer food healthy by freezing any of these to help time and even money! Tell us what other foods you freeze that make healthy meals more convenient?