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LITTLEWIND53's Photo LITTLEWIND53 Posts: 14,757
11/18/12 12:45 P

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Yes, it can be a lot of work, but much easier to prepare for freezing than to can (which I don't do anymore - I simply cannot stand very long) or even dehydrate (which I do a fair amount of )
Of course when using, it is easiest to open a jar of canned whatever, than it is to thaw out or even re-hydrate......

Linda

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WEAVINGROSE's Photo WEAVINGROSE Posts: 94
11/18/12 12:35 A

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I'm glad to hear from someone who has experience using the replaceable containers. I find it to be really convenient.
My garden isn't really big enough to freeze from. I rely on the farmers market for massive supplies. I have a number of " favorite vendors" I've established relationships with and I can always find bushels of what I need at reasonable prices. I like the idea of eating local and knowing how my food was processed. Of course, putting all this stuff up is LOTS of work!

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LITTLEWIND53's Photo LITTLEWIND53 Posts: 14,757
11/17/12 3:18 A

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I seldom use Zip lock bags if I can avoid it. I have a lot of rubber maid containers that holds 2 cups, and I put most of my stuff in them..... On the other hand, I don't have a garden and have to buy all my veggies either fresh for immediate use or already frozen...

Linda

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WEAVINGROSE's Photo WEAVINGROSE Posts: 94
11/16/12 10:20 A

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Hi Everyone! I just bought a big freezer this summer and have stocked it with fruits and veggies from the farmer's market. My big task was LOTS of marinara sauce from fresh ingredients.

Has anyone tried storing veggies in reusable plastic containers instead of ziplock? After throwing out LOTS of bags last year from my smaller efforts (using my refrigerator freezer). I thought I'd try the reusable. I notice frozen vegetables come in loose bags from the grocery, so why not loose in containers. I'll let you know how this works out. If it works, it will cut down on waste.

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LITTLEWIND53's Photo LITTLEWIND53 Posts: 14,757
11/11/12 3:06 P

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To answer the question about freezing onions: ---

One year I had a whole gunny sack of onions to put up, so I decided to freeze them. They froze well, but I also has shredded some cheddar cheese and I found the cheese took on the taste of the onion. I just made sure I used the cheese in things that could handle the onion taste. Since then I bought a dehydrator and now dry onions instead..... Freezing is actually easier to use because I can just pull it out of the freezer and plop into my recipe. Dehydrating means reconstituting, and that takes lots of time.

There are some great tips here. I'm enjoying reading them and learning a thing or two (or three, lol)

Linda

Leader: Living with Diabetes
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ndividual.asp?gid=10080


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You CAN do it.
You can DO it.
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CRAZYNDNCOOK's Photo CRAZYNDNCOOK Posts: 611
8/18/11 2:04 A
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Hi I just joined this group and bring lots of freezing experience with me. I own 2 chest freezers now because I freeze so many things.

Lots of fruits (apples, peaches, pears, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), only the peaches, apples and pears (peeled, cored sliced) I treat with FruitFresh and water dip and drain before freezing. All fruits I freeze on a cookie sheet first and then store in plastic "shoe" containers in the freezer. I can grab that I need for smoothies or baking and put back, they stack nicely, unlike bags. I put some pics on my spark page of my cookie sheets and the containers.

Veggies, they get blanched before freezing, depends on what veggie it is. I do corn (cob and niblets), green beans, carrots (sliced and shredded), zucchini (diced and shredded), pumpkin (baked in cubes or pureed), shelling peas and sugar snap peas

Potatoes I made into hashbrowns before freezing, diced, washed, dried, tossed with oil and baked at 400 F for 15 minutes.

Corn kiblets, beans, carrots, both kinds of peas, hashbrowns all got frozen on cookie sheets then transferred to containers. Corn on the cob into FoodSaver bags and frozen. That way they are not all one solid lump, you can grab what you want.

The only exceptions to the veggie rules:
peppers (not blanched, diced), tomatoes (peeled and diced)

Pumpkin puree, shredded carrots and shredded zucchini get measured into recipe sized portions. I don't drain the zucchini when I use it for baking. I just cut back on the amount of liquid added, especially oil, less fat and more vitamins. One recipe I can remember I used, 1/3 cup oil instead of 1 cup. I could have cut out the oil all together but I know that you need fat for a more tender muffin. Same with carrots when using them for muffins.

I buy blocks of mozza and cheddar cheese, shred and freeze them in bags, and try to remember to squish them around when they are freezing or I end up using a meat mallet when I need some.

I freeze all kinds of casseroles. I buy foil pans and lids from a restaurant supply store about $28 for 50, I was paying $6 for 5 at the grocery store. I went through over 100 last year alone. I get the 5x9 inch pans, I always bake from frozen for 1 1/2 hours at 400 F, yes along time but at least don't have to cook, I have even taken a nap when they were cooking of my day was extra long.

I pre-cook hamburger and rinse with water to remove all the fat and package in medium freezer bags. That way I know I can eat if hubby cooks dinner, he didn't drain the fat from hamburger and it would make me sick. And making a meal is way faster too.

I pre-cook sausage links too, freeze on a cookie sheet and transfer to a freezer bag, then if hubby is making breakfast he microwaves until hot, I take an extra step and crisp them in a skillet.

I buy my cooked/diced chicken from the grocery supply store instead of doing it myself. I did the math and it was cheaper, way cheaper. Yeah I have to buy a 10 lb box and it is white and dark meat, but if you don't want to pull out a big box every time then you can easily put it into 3 large freezer bags for easier handling.

At work I freeze leftover bananas without their skin lying flat in freezer bags that way I can grab that I need, no messing around with peels. I dump those into muffin mixes or oatmeal without draining too.

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TIMEFORCHANGE11's Photo TIMEFORCHANGE11 SparkPoints: (1,033)
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2/2/11 12:17 P

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I didn't know you could freeze bananas. Does it matter how ripe they are? I think it's a great idea for bananas that are getting too ripe.

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SCRAPLYN's Photo SCRAPLYN Posts: 264
1/27/11 2:28 A

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Great tips. I wanted to add another way to freeze bananas. I slice mine across (so you have little round pieces) then lay them out in layers on a paper plate and stick in the freezer. Once they're frozen, break them apart and store in a bag or container in the freezer. Since they don't get rock hard, they make a nice cool treat in the summer. Also toss a few rounds into a smoothie and it acts like ice and thickens it up. Drop a few frozen rounds into your oatmeal while it cooks and you have banana oatmeal quickly!

To add to the tip about buying ground beef in bulk, in addition to making patties and freezing them, I also cook some up in crumbles, like you would add to chili. I freeze it in 2 cup containers. Then when I need browned ground beef for a recipe I already have it made.

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HRICHELLE Posts: 8
10/10/10 4:18 A

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How do you freeze fruit like apples without them turning brown?

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J4HIM1121 Posts: 8
7/17/10 8:25 P

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Lots of good tips here.

COTSANDRE's Photo COTSANDRE Posts: 285
3/26/10 10:52 P

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Wow - I have only ever heard of people freezing full meals - I didn't even think about freezing fruits and veggies!

I too would be interested in knowing how well garlic and other herbs freeze.

Don't get discouraged! Life always has ups and downs!


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DAFFODILS_FOR_U Posts: 294
1/22/09 10:44 A

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Hi

Thanks for all the tips. I am glad that i found this group.
can you freeze cabbage and cauliflower too?

Also when we freeze onions , what about their smell?

anyone ever tried freezing garlic

 
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OWENS2U's Photo OWENS2U SparkPoints: (13,968)
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1/19/09 2:34 P

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I get produce from a wholesale company that serves resturants. They have weekly box specials and I usually have too much to use. Now I have all sorts of veggies washed, sliced/chopped, fast frozen, and bagged. I fast freeze by putting veggies or fruit single layer on a cookie sheet for at least an hour.
Now when I want to make a smoothie, I grab a bag of frozen fruit and measure out what I need. Also when I cook fish, I have frozen sliced lemons to add. I use my frozen sliced limes as flavoring to fajitas. When the fajitas are done, all that is left is the rind that I throw away before serving. I also have sliced red, green and yellow bell pepper for fajitas. I keep the tortillas and chicken pieces in the freezer too. I make my own fajita seasoning as well. I do buy Healthy Choice on Sale because my 9 yr old daughter loves them. Her favorite is 5 spice beef chinese stir-fry.
~Susie

Susie, 54, in Redlands, California


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MRS.EARLS's Photo MRS.EARLS Posts: 349
10/28/08 8:46 P

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im a newbie at cooking so i have a lot of questions.

when i cook bake chicken i let it sit in bbq sauce and i use stir fry peppers, too.
how would i freeze that, is it possible? how long can it stay in the freezer after its been cooked? when i defrost it, is it going to be watered downed.


what about spaghetti? can that be frozen,too.


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MRS.EARLS's Photo MRS.EARLS Posts: 349
10/8/08 7:16 A

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i didnt know that meat could be cooked and refroze again. i think im going to learn alot here. i cook alot of chicken so could i seasoning, marinate in sauce, cook and then put back in the freezer. how long could that stay in the freezer?

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SCRAPPYLOUISA's Photo SCRAPPYLOUISA SparkPoints: (0)
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2/27/08 9:28 A

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I microwave my rice for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. It depends if I am adding it to a recipe or just eating it.

Shirley

"May the spirit of the wolf watch over you and keep you safe."


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SKINNYFOOL's Photo SKINNYFOOL Posts: 172
2/27/08 8:39 A

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Thanks for the tip! I'm always trying to squeeze my dollar. Do you microwave for 2 minutes?

"You are in Charge of Your Own Ride"

SW: 1/3/08 152.0
STGW: 4/12/09 130 (Easter)
LTGW :7/1/09 125.0
CW: 8/16//08 133.4
Pounds Lost 9/05/08 19.6


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SCRAPPYLOUISA's Photo SCRAPPYLOUISA SparkPoints: (0)
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2/25/08 2:59 P

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Welcome to the group. I freeze rice by measuring out 1/2 cup portions and using plain plastic wrap instead of baggies. I let the rice freeze and then I place the small packets of rice in a gallon zip-lock bag. I've found this is cheaper than using all those zip-lock bags.

Shirley

"May the spirit of the wolf watch over you and keep you safe."


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SKINNYFOOL's Photo SKINNYFOOL Posts: 172
2/25/08 2:49 P

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Hi I'm new to the team.
I recently started freezing rice. I make a big batch, then put it into ziptop bags in 1/2 cup portions. I freeze them flat, then thaw when needed, 2 minutes in the microwave.

"You are in Charge of Your Own Ride"

SW: 1/3/08 152.0
STGW: 4/12/09 130 (Easter)
LTGW :7/1/09 125.0
CW: 8/16//08 133.4
Pounds Lost 9/05/08 19.6


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MARLA7's Photo MARLA7 Posts: 15,488
10/2/07 8:38 P

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Lots of nice tips Shirl. Thanks. I'm a rookie at all that stuff but willing & ready to learn. Keep the tips coming! : )


Marla

It's not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.


Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet.




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MARLA7's Photo MARLA7 Posts: 15,488
10/2/07 8:38 P

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Lots of nice tips Shirl. Thanks. I'm a rookie at all that stuff but willing & ready to learn. Keep the tips coming! : )


Marla

It's not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.


Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet.




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SCRAPPYLOUISA's Photo SCRAPPYLOUISA SparkPoints: (0)
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10/2/07 8:03 P

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Yep, you can freeze them. My Dad freezes them in the skin for his smoothies. He just plops them in the freezer unpeeled in plastic bags. The peelings will turn black but the banana stays good. When he wants to use one he just runs it under cool water and peels. Then uses it in his smoothies.

I also freeze store bought milk, cheese and eggs. These are items that I have been told numerous times that they can't be frozen.

I buy milk when it is on sale.....very rare here lately.....and open it. I pour it into 1 quart freezer containers leaving about 1-inch headspace and freeze. When I see I'm getting low on milk I place 1 of the quarts in the refrigerator and let it thaw. Neither Rich nor I can tell its been frozen.

I stock up on eggs in the summer when they are cheaper. I break 6 eggs at a time in a bowl. If they are going to be used for scrabbled eggs or omelets, or non-sweet recipe I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and beat the eggs to blend. I freeze the mixture in zip-lock baggies. I label them showing they have salt added. If I am going to use the eggs for sweet recipes I add 1 teaspoon sugar to the eggs. I label them showing they have salt added. It seems if you don't put the salt or sugar in the eggs when you freeze them they become gummy when they are thawed. When I need eggs I grab a package and let thaw in the refrigerator and measure out 1/4 cup for each egg I need. I use all the egg in one day so it won't spoil after being thawed. I freeze the packages flat in my freezer. I have opened the package and cut the brick of egg into 6 pieces and just used what I needed if I was only going to be baking 1 item.

I buy cheese when it is on sale and freeze the extra. If I buy a brick of cheese usually 2 pounds of cheddar. I grate it up and put it in a zip-lock bag and freeze. When I want cheese for a recipe I just take out what I need frozen and put the bag back in the freezer. It just takes a few moments for the grated cheese to thaw. Great topping for casseroles, tacos, etc. I find that the Cheddar cheese does crumble when frozen in slices. I freeze American cheese slices to use for cheese sandwiches. I leave them in their original wrapper and put it in a zip-lock bag. When I make sandwiches I take out how many slices I need....reclose the zip-lock bag and put it back in the freezer. By the time I get ready for the cheese its thawed enough to unwrap and place on the bread. I was fortunate enough to be able to buy 12 packages of shredded taco and mozzerella cheese for 67 cents a package. It was getting close to the pull date. I brought it home and put it in the freezer right away. We lasted us a long time.

I may not do everything according to the experts....I do make sure that the uncoventional things I do will not harm my family.

Hugs, Shirley


"May the spirit of the wolf watch over you and keep you safe."


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MARLA7's Photo MARLA7 Posts: 15,488
10/2/07 5:43 P

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Shirl...I didn't realize you could freeze bananas. How many have I thrown out in the past - ugh. Thanks for the tip! : )


Marla

It's not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.


Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet.




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SCRAPPYLOUISA's Photo SCRAPPYLOUISA SparkPoints: (0)
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10/2/07 9:14 A

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Some of my freezer tips

I like to buy bananas when they are marked down and freeze them for nut breads, muffins and smoothies.
I peel the bananas and wrap each one individually in Saran Wrap. Then I put the individual wrapped bananas in a large zip-lock bag and freeze.
They will thaw easily for mashing or you can cut them into chunks and add to smoothies.

I do this with other fruits also. I chop pears, peaches, apricots, apples, etc. and freeze in 1/2 cup servings. I place the small packages in a large zip-lock bag and freeze. You can thaw and add to your recipes or add frozen to smoothies.

I chop and package onions and peppers in 1/4 cup servings for using in my recipes and freeze. I don't have to drag out the food processor everytime I need 1/4 cup of chopped onions or peppers.

I grate my zucchini and package it in amounts called for in my bread recipe. Before using it...I thaw it in a colander so that it drains off the liquid.

By having my fruits and veggies pre-measured I know exactly the Nutrition Count when I use them.

When I find a special on ground beef I buy large quanities. As soon as I get home I repackage it. I have found that it is a time-saver to make 5 ounce patties and wrap individually. I can thaw them quickly in microwave for a hamburger or to use in my recipes.

I cook several pounds of chicken at a time. After cooking and cooling I package the meat into 2 and 4 ounce packages. These small packages then go into a large zip-lock bag. I can use the amount of chicken I need without having to cook it each time.

One of the best ideas I discovered that saves me lots of time is freezing Mashed Potatoes. I don't use a special recipe. I cook my potatoes and mash with a little margarine, milk, salt and pepper. I individually wrap them in 1/2 cup servings. To serve: Place unwrapped frozen potatoes in microwave dish. Heat on HIGH for a couple of minutes; stir. Keep heating and stirring until hot. The potatoes will seem a little watery at first.....just stir to fluff them up. Once again I know the Nutrition Count for each serving.

I also freeze fruit juice in ice cube trays. I keep the cubes in zip-lock bags. I measured and in the trays I use.....6 cubes equals 1/2 cup fruit juice. I can thaw for juice for breakfast or use frozen in smoothies.

I have found that doing the above things has really saved me both time and money.







"May the spirit of the wolf watch over you and keep you safe."


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MARLA7's Photo MARLA7 Posts: 15,488
9/28/07 3:24 P

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Hi - I just found this group today. I always batch cook & freeze for later meals. I either use my FoodSaver or I use Glad storage containers. I get those stickers (white) that you can use for yard sales, etc... then I put one on the container & write what's in it & date it. On the FoodSaver bags I just use a marker in the top corner. It works for me.

I never really wrote an inventory out because we seem to use it up within a month or two anyway. But your tips sound good to try.


Marla

It's not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.


Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet.




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SCRAPPYLOUISA's Photo SCRAPPYLOUISA SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/07 10:14 A

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Great tip!!!!!! It sounds easier than how I keep track of what is in the freezer. I have inventory sheets that I printed. I write down the food and the number of packages I have......when I use a food I check it off as used. It's a struggle at times keeping up with the inventory sheet. I think I'll get a dry-erase board and try out your system.

Hugs, Shirley

"May the spirit of the wolf watch over you and keep you safe."


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AMANDANDOUG's Photo AMANDANDOUG SparkPoints: (0)
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9/14/07 8:10 A

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I use a dry eraser board mounted on the side of my refrigerator to post what is in my freezer and on what date it was made.
Then, I tape a number on to each container of what was made.
When I'm ready to eat, all i have to do is look at my freezer menu for what I want, then go to the freezer and get the number that corresponds to what I wanted. It's a lot better system than digging through containers and reading what each one is to see what I want to eat.

 
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AMANDANDOUG's Photo AMANDANDOUG SparkPoints: (0)
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9/14/07 7:45 A

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Here you can share tips and tricks you use in your own home for using your freezer.

 
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