This week I am sharing some ideas about what you can and can't freeze and other modifications you should make when considering freezer cooking.
1. Walk up and down the frozen food aisle and you can see most things can be frozen! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Chances are many of the recipes that you currently make can be frozen!
2. Mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, gravies, and other sauces alone will change consistency. They can be mixed with other ingredients with great success.
3. Cooked potatoes don’t freeze well in soups – although I have frozen twice baked potatoes and potato skins with great success. YUM!
4. Remember you can make more than just main dishes – freeze muffins, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, breakfast burritos for breakfast. You can also freeze cookie dough, cakes, cookies, or other desserts. Just don't freeze cakes that are already frosted, the frosting gets wierd.
What other modifications should I make with freezer meals?
1. Pasta should be undercooked before freezing. If you don’t do this, it can end up being overcooked in the thawing/heating process. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of soggy noodles!
2. When making foods you would normally bake (i.e. lasagna, casserole, etc.) prepare them up to the point that you would put them in the oven, then freeze– this way they taste fresh when you are ready to cook them.
3. When freezing individual items like cookie dough balls, muffins, twice baked potatoes, or bananas put onto a cookie sheet and freeze then put in a freezer bag. This prevents the items from sticking together and being difficult to remove when ready to use. I love doing this with cookie dough! When I taught this class at church, one of the attendees said that she froze Grands biscuits this way - these can be found for almost nothing from time to time, so that was a great tip!
4. You can take meals from freezer to oven, just increase your cooking time by about ½ and do not put glass dishes directly into the oven.
How about you? Any great tips on Freezer Cooking? Don't forget to come back next week for part 5!