The way we live and even shop for food has changed. We’ve all been advised to only go to the supermarket when absolutely essential and no more than once a week if you are only shopping for your household. This could throw up a few challenges and if you’re used to buying what you need when you need it, you might be interested in how to safely store your food.
There are lots of things that you can put straight in the freezer instead of the fridge and by being aware of how you can store certain foods, you may find that you enable your stocks to last much longer.
Meat, poultry, ready meals, pasta, cheese, butter and bread can be frozen for when you need them. Here’s what you can freeze:
All milk can be put in the freezer and defrosted before use. Make sure it’s sealed properly as it can expand and when you defrost it and avoid using a microwave which can cause uneven temperatures and could spoil the milk faster once it’s defrosted. Place it in the fridge overnight and in the morning you should be able use it as normal.
Many hard cheeses freeze well and maintain their structure through the process. However, many hard cheeses such as Parmesan do last for quite a long time so it may not be necessary. You can also freeze grated cheese allowing you to use what you need in sauces and dishes.
Bread, rolls, flatbread and wraps can all be frozen and flat packed tortilla and sandwich wraps are very easy to store, taking up very little space compared to a loaf of bread. You can also freeze things like crumpets, bagels and buns. Bread can be toasted from frozen. If you bake cakes, these can also be frozen whole or in slices.
Fresh pasta can be stored in the freezer to ensure it keeps for longer – with egg content it usually only has a shelf life of a week or two. It can be cooked straight away in hot water without the need to defrost. Just note that a packet of fresh pasta takes up much more room than it does in dried form.
If you make smoothies – frozen fruit is an amazing item to have in your freezer. It can be mixed with juice and yoghurt giving you a fresh, cold and healthy smoothie. They can also be used for baking in pies or served with ice cream.
If you make a large pot of stew, soup, chilli, bolognese or pie, try and make extra and freeze it for future meals. Just make sure you only freeze and defrost them once.
If you do freeze your food, make sure you follow the guidance on the packaging and only freeze items that haven’t already been frozen. Make sure that meat and fish aren’t left in the freezer for too long – they can still go off.