As part of keeping ourselves and others safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, these days we are all (or should be) consciously trying to cut down on the number of trips to the grocery store. This means putting more thought into planning our lists, especially balancing sales with storage capacity, while simultaneously seeking ways to make our supplies go further.
There are many everyday foods that can be frozen to make them last longer and freezing also allows for more mindful stocking up during a sale. Things that can be bought in larger quantities naturally but maybe won't stretch as long in your fridge can be frustrating.
In this blog we've got some standard grocery items and tips for freezing/storing them.
- To freeze whole eggs, you simply mix the eggs together and pour the mixture into either an ice cube tray, or a freezer-safe container or bag. If you will need to use individual eggs, it would make more sense to make sure each ice cube tray holds only one egg so that you can easily separate them.
- Cheese is actually super easy to freeze, but we have a recommendation! Instead of just throwing your extra cheese (ha.. 'extra' cheese. No such thing) in the freezer, first grate it using the larger hole in your cheese grater. Once it's grated, shake it in Natural Nutralean to keep the cheese strings from sticking together. Place in sandwich baggies for easy thawing, and throw in the freezer!
- This may seem like a strange one, but heavy cream is such a staple in so many recipes. It also has a best-before date that makes it hard to buy it in bulk. Both whipped and liquid heavy cream can be frozen and stored for use at a later time. Freeze heavy cream in any container that's airtight, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space at the top. Heavy cream will expand when frozen. When you're ready to use it: thaw the container in your fridge. Shake or whisk vigorously (or use a blender) to thoroughly blend the cream before using. Perfect for making delicious frozen treats when the mood strikes!
- Butter keeps for about a year in the freezer, compared to 4 month shelf life in the refrigerator. Just leave it in its original container and pop it in the freezer and thaw as needed. Butter can be pricey, so freezing allows you to stock up during a sale.
- Avocados are notorious for ripening quickly, but they don’t have to go to waste! Cut the avocado in half, peel and remove the pit. Brush with lemon juice to prevent browning and freeze a freezer bag with air removed or vacuum seal. Freezing will change the texture into being less firm, so use them in dressings, guacamole or smoothies.
- Tomatoes can be frozen for later cooking. Frozen tomatoes are excellent for making soups and sauces, and without all of the added work of canning. And, as an added bonus: peelings can be easily removed when thawed.
- Fresh herbs add so much flavour to dishes, but oftentimes the quantity is a lot more than you need and they spoil quickly. A great hack is to chop herbs and add them to ice cube trays with a bit of butter, and freeze for a flavourful addition to your meals. Green onions and chives can be chopped and frozen in an empty water bottle. Just shake out the amount you need and place back in the freezer. So easy!
Nuts and seeds
- Nuts and seeds are such an amazing source of healthy fats. Freezing nuts and seeds prevents them from going rancid, and can increase freshness for up to a year. Simply freeze in an airtight container. No need to thaw for baking.
Tomato sauces and paste
- At my house, it seems we never seem to use a full container of tomato paste or sauce. Avoid sending it to the fridge to be forgotten. Freezing in ice cube trays and then transferring to a freezer bag or storage container is the perfect way to always have some on-hand to add to recipes. This works great with soup stocks as well!
- Yes, it is possible to freeze sour cream! The texture will change upon thawing so it is best used for cooked dishes such as soups and casseroles.
- Cream cheese can be frozen! It may separate during the freezing and thawing process so it is best used for cooking and baking. You can also grate frozen cream cheese for a yummy addition to homemade icecream, too! Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Perfect for when that cheesecake craving hits, so go ahead, stock up! Try our Healthy Homemade Raspberry Vanilla Protein Cheesecake recipe here, you won't believe it is good for you!
- Citrus fruit, such as lemons and oranges can be frozen in halves for juicing at a later time. Another great tip is to juice the fruit into ice-cube trays, also add zest and freeze to add bright flavour to your favorite dish.
- When it comes to vegetables, there is a process for freezing them, but your best, and currently safest bet, is to continue buying frozen fruit and vegetables... which is both affordable and convenient.
For more tips on stocking up your pantry
Check out our blog Protecting Yourself Against COVID-19: Emergency Groceries & Supplies Guide.