A lesson I learnt many years ago when you are cooking, was to do a double batch then eat one and freeze the other. Making a cake? No, make two cakes seeing you do have at least two shelves in the oven. Your freezer compartment will soon become full with very little effort. Imagine many nights of not having cook, a bit like getting take-away without the price tag!
I do have an upright small freezer with pull out wire baskets and I call it my food filing cabinet. I was using plastic containers but I gave up on those because most times the containers were never full. I now use sandwich size zip lock bags and snack size ones for left over lemon juice, pizza sauce, nuts, fresh herbs etc.
I tried larger sized bags but 1. They are too difficult to freeze and 2. They are too difficult to defrost. Sandwich size is perfect for two meals and as long as you freeze the contents flat, you can stand the bags upright, just like files in a filing cabinet. Each bag is uniform in size which makes it easier to utilise all the space efficiently, unlike cheapy freezer bags which always seem to end up in mis-shaped ball. Only taken me 33 years of being a cook to work that one out!
My [Masterchef :p] top tips:
- Use zip lock bags instead of freezer bags
- Write the contents on the bag BEFORE adding in the food or you may think you are having a curry instead of a casserole
- Once you add the food, lay flat on the bench and extract as much air out of the bag as possible – air takes up valuable real estate in your freezer
- Freezing your nuts keep them fresher for longer
- No more lots of left-overs in your fridge only to be thrown out days [weeks] later. No matter how small, freeze it!
- Divide pizza dough into 150g portions then freeze before the second rise. This dough is perfect to use as wraps. Recipe to be posted soon!
- Rice freezes so well so if you are only cooking for two, cook for four then freeze the rest. I cook my rice in the microwave – perfect every time
- Always portion your fresh meat BEFORE freezing then you only defrost exactly what you need
Freezing meals means if you have had a bad/busy day, dinner is already done. If you work full-time, you have more time to relax after work and finally, less mess in the kitchen – and we all love that idea!
What tips do you have to make time in the kitchen more efficient?
Posted by GG