Freezing leftovers or garden extras are a great way to save money and save time for future meals. This can be a great thing, however, there are many foods that are not so great after freezing and thawing. Foods that have a high liquid content are not palatable frozen. Here are some examples:
- whole milk, yogurt, milk sauces, mayonnaise, sour cream, and custard fillings = will all separate after freezing
- apples, celery, cheese, egg whites (cooked), grapes, Irish potatoes = become soggy or soft and mushy
- salad greens = will be limp and lose their crispiness
- gelatin and icings = will weep
For food products that will not have the above characteristics (ie. strawberries, melon, etc) thawing is best done at 41 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator. You could also thaw under warm water as long as it takes less than 2 hours or in the microwave as long as the food is cooked right away. To practice proper food safety tips, you should never thaw anything out on the counter top because room temperature encourages microbial growth.
Be sure to use a strong, leak proof container or bag that is easy to seal up and has a space for the date to be written in. The container or bag should be moisture proof and not become brittle and crack at freezing temperatures. Poorly wrapped food or slow freezing allows moisture to evaporate and cause freezer burn. Areas of freezer burn will lose flavor and quality, but the food is technically still OK for consumption.
What foods do you typically freeze?