Posts Tagged: food preservation
If you are really rambunctious try this for your future enjoyable easy eats: freeze small batches of lasagne, leftover pork ribs (these re-heat in the oven most excellently), turkey and fixin's (remember Thanksgiving?) and casseroles--or leftovers in general. Freezing leftover red sauce for pasta is a gift from heaven when tired or sick. You can cook extra chicken when grilling so that it can be defrosted in the refrigerator and you'll have a ready source of sandwich makings or salad add-ins (or casseroles for that matter). There is also the satisfaction of having something at hand to put in the oven on a night when you don't feel like preparing stuff for dinner!
To keep your frozen food safe you must follow good freezing practices. Excellent general advice on such is to be found here: freezing at the NCHFP
If you want to freeze prepared foods, like the lasagne I mentioned above or casseroles try the NCHFP's Freezing Casseroles, Soups and Stews. This is the ultimate in convenience food: your good cooking in your freezer!
For a good booklet (you might want to print up) about freezing all sorts of prepared foods try Preserving Food: Freezing Prepared Foods. You will need a .pdf reader. The foods it covers range from biscuits to whipped cream, and it has a good list of foods that do not freeze well. This is a good and valuable reference to have around the house.
Preserving by freezing requires some organization, just like preserving by canning, but if you can jar fruits and veggies to process, you may certainly freeze other, un-jar-able items as well. As mentioned above, they can be the most convenient foods--sometimes it is nice to be able to throw something in the oven for dinner and not even need to crack open some jars to do so.
This summer remember that fruits are easy to freeze. Many you don't need to blanch or do much to other than wash, dry and perhaps add sugar to (for the best product). Local small berries, if you grow them, are probably past picking, but they are still available in markets. If you can drive up to the mountains or further north, picking both wild and farmed berries should be going on
Summer berries, especially those you pick yourself, or grow yourself, are so much better than those usually sold in stores. If you go somewhere to pick, you are in control of how ripe those berries are. If you plan well you can pick in the morning and have those berries in the freezer or in a jar that evening. Preserving doesn't get much more immediate than than--unless you get the fruit from your own backyard or from a neighbor.
Small berries such as blackberries or blueberries can be washed, dried, placed in a single layer in a flat pan and individually frozen dry or with a little sugar. Place them in freezer containers or freezer bags and you can pour out whatever you need when you need it.
honeydew and cantaloupe can be frozen. Place chunks in the freezer at the height of the season so that you can eat a bit of summer during the winter.
frozen whole in to eat as a sweet, cold treat. Taste first to make sure you are freezing the sweetest ones and they will taste fantastic frozen. Of course you can freeze them in a puree if you want to make some jelly during the winter to warm your home up! And remember grape jam or jelly.
And one last "for instance": don't forget pineapple. Pineapple on sale can be very sweet and cost-effective to freeze. Freezing pineapple is fast too--no sugar needed, just wash, peel, cut it up and freeze. Of course you can jar it up yourself.
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