Kitchen Tips

25 foods you didn't know you could freeze

Your freezer is good for so much more than just ice-cream.

If you took a peek into the freezer of the average foodie you’d most likely find a few of the following things: ice cream, berries, unused and forgotten ice cubes, some guilty frozen dinners, and some leftovers they swear they’re going to eat (eventually!).
But the truth is, the common freezer is just as versatile and useful as your fridge – you might just be using it wrong.
By this we mean that the only things you’re delegating to your ice box are the things that are typically associated with being frozen (mostly the things you buy in the frozen food aisle of the supermarket), but we’re here to tell you there’s a lot more to freezing than meets the eye.
There's an abundance of foods that can be frozen to help preserve their shelf life and make them tastier.

Freezing tips

~ Remember that liquids will expand in the freezer, so be sure to leave a little extra room in the container.
~ Freezing does not destroy nutrients. Freezing causes very little change in the nutritional value of foods.
~ The natural acids in fruit help slow the deterioration caused by natural enzymes.
~ Because they are low in natural acids, most vegetables require partial cooking to prevent deterioration.
~ Freeze food as fast as possible to maintain its quality.
~ Frozen foods don't last forever, so label and date the foods you freeze.
~ Freezing food does not kill bacteria and other harmful microbes. Freezing renders the microbes inactive, but they can become active and dangerous again once the food is thawed.
~ To avoid contamination, thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave.
~ If you freeze a lot of fresh foods, consider investing in a vacuum sealing machine.

Which foods are freezer friendly?

1. Pizza

A way to make homemade frozen pizza is to par-bake the dough without toppings. Let the crust cool, then add your sauce and toppings. Wrap the pizza well with cling wrap, then store in a freezer bag or aluminum foil.

2. Veggie burgers

With foods like this one, it's easy to make big batches that can be cooked directly from the freezer.

3. Stock

Once you've made your stock you can freeze it to be used later. Freezing in small containers or ice cube trays allows you grab a small portion of stock from the freezer which will add a lot of flavour to dishes.

4. Corn on the Cob

To freeze it, remove the husk and blanch the corn by cooking it very quickly in boiling water, then cooling it in iced water. Once cooled, remove from the water and allow to dry, then place in bags and freeze.

5. Cookie dough

Cookie dough is a great backup to keep in the freezer for last minute guests. Make the dough as usual, portion into cookie-sized balls, and freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Once frozen, put them in bags or containers and bake directly from the freezer when needed.
Our favourite chocolate chip cookies can go from freezer to oven. Get the recipe here.

6. Mushrooms

Did you buy up big when mushrooms were on special? It may be hard to know what to do with them all before they go off. Freezing them for soups and sauces is a good option. Clean and slice your mushrooms, then sauté them in butter or oil. Let them cook long enough to reabsorb the liquid they will first lose during the cooking process. Remove them from the pan and allow to cool before freezing.

7. Green leafy vegetables

Kale and cabbage freeze easily. Wash the greens, allow them to dry and then freeze whole. You can then add them to dishes straight from the freezer.

8. Bread

It's so easy to freeze. Just make sure you wrap it well to preserve its moisture.

9. Fresh herbs

Simple herbs can add a lot of flavour and complexity to a dish. Preserve your herbs by placing them in an ice cube​ tray, cover with oil and freeze. You'll then have perfect little cubes of flavour to use when needed.

10. Pancakes

Freezing pancakes and waffles is a good solution for fast breakfasts for school days. Cook the pancakes/waffles all the way and allow to cool. Then wrap in plastic, store in freezer bags or foil.
We love this old fashioned pancake recipe and so will you!

11. Pancake and waffle batter

Keep that extra batter for next time by placing it in a freezer bag (but remember to leave some room for expansion). Allow the batter to thaw in the fridge, then clip the tip off the bag and squeeze dollops of batter into a hot frypan or waffle iron.

12. Cheese

This only applies to hard and semi-hard cheeses. Soft cheese like ricotta or cream cheese don't freeze well. Try shredding or slicing cheese before you freeze it, so it's ready for use once thawed.

13. Leftover wine

Don't pour it out! Fill up ice cube trays with it and freeze it. Now you have just the right amount of wine to add to a dish or deglaze a pan without opening a new bottle.

14. Berries

If you have access to fresh berries in the summer, it may be hard to figure out what to do with them all, so the freezer is the perfect option. Wash and dry them and remove any stems and leaves, and then place them in the freezer on a plate or baking tray lined with baking paper. Once frozen, you can place the berries in bags or containers.

15. Tomato sauce or passata

This is the perfect way to use up all those tomatoes from the Summer garden. The acidity of tomatoes means they keep well, so you can freeze your tomato treats to capture every bit of Summer long into Winter.

16. Nuts

Saving nuts in the freezer will keep them fresh much longer, as they contain oils that will break down and cause the nuts to go rancid.

17. Pastry

Just like pasta, pastry takes some effort to make, so why not prepare a large batch and freeze it? You can either freeze the dough in a ball and roll it out once thawed, or freeze it directly in a pie plate and bake it directly from the freezer.
Lemon tart made easy uses frozen pre-made pastry. Click here for the recipe.

18. Bananas

This is a good way to save bananas that may soon be over-ripe. Simply peel, slice and freeze on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, then transfer to a container. These are perfect to add directly to smoothies!

19. Fresh pasta

Making pasta at home requires some effort, so it may be more efficient to do it in large batches and freeze some for later.
Nothing beats fresh pasta and this recipe is a winner!

20. Pizza dough

If you have extra dough left over on pizza night, let it rise once then put it in the freezer on a plate lined with baking paper. Once the dough is frozen, you can put it in a container or freezer bag. This will keep the dough from sticking to the bag as you freeze it. When you want to use the frozen dough, let it rise as you would normally. Just be sure to give it plenty of extra time.

21. Uncooked meat

While you can also freeze cooked meats, uncooked meats keep better because moisture is lost during the cooking process. Buying in bulk is a great way to save. You can then freeze meat in smaller portions to be thawed as you need it.

22. Vegetable scraps

Save your peel and veggie scraps in the freezer to make stock later on.

23. Eggs

These should not be frozen in their shell. You can, however, crack eggs and scramble them before putting them in the freezer.

24. Grapes

Follow the same process as freezing berries, but there is no need to thaw grapes out. They are a perfect treat straight from the freezer.

25. Chips

Did you grab a bunch of bags of your favourite chips while they were on sale? Stick them in the freezer and add a few more months to their shelf life.