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December 8th, 2011
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Week 2 – Freezer Cooking: Freezing Preparation Food

Yesterday, was talked about how to free entire meals for your freezer. This is a great way to help save time in the kitchen, however sometimes that just isn’t possible. There are other ways that you can freezer cook.  Today we are going to talk about freezing preparation food. This is my favorite way to freezer cook, because it is so easy. (Yep, I am lazy like that! ;) )

Have you ever found yourself doing the same thing over and over in the kitchen? Do you chop onions often, brown ground beef often, or slice green peppers often? These are what I call preparation food that you use frequently to prepare family meals.

For example, we use a ton of onions in my family. In fact, there isn’t very many dinners that I do not use onions. Chopping up onions doesn’t take much time, but it is annoying! It makes a mess, normally makes me tear up, and it does take up some time in the kitchen. By chopping them in bulk and then freezing them you will save you time and sanity in the kitchen.

Another great example is ground beef or ground turkey. Did you know that you can brown it all up at the same time and then freeze it? Yes, it may sound a little backwards, but it is true! Infact, this is the only way I freeze my grond beef/turkey now. This is a HUGE timesaver in the kitchen. By having my meat already browned, I don’t have to do any thawing. Spaghetti just got easier! Crockpot meals that require browned ground beef just got easier! Something so simple, now makes my life in the kitchen easier -if life is easier in the kitchen then we are more likely to eat at home.

More ideas off preparation food that you can freeze:

  • Onions (freeze in a freezer bag. You will probably have to do a quick “bang” on the counter to break it up before you use it)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery (I dice it up and then freeze it so I have it on hand for soups in my crockpot)
  • Any kind of peppers – If you find your favorite pepper on sale, stock up, chop and freeze. Now you can have it to cook with when you need it.
  • Ground beef and ground turkey. You can read a post here explaining how you can freeze it all browned and ready to go.
  • Chicken -If you eat meals that require cooked chicken, then go ahead and cook it in bulk. Slice, shred, or dice it up and then freeze. Then it will be ready to heat up for tacos, to put on salads or pizzas -or use you in enchiladas.
  • Bananas -freeze your old bananas in baggies for baking
  • Fruit – I love to freeze fruit for smoothies -this is a huge time saver. You can read my post here to learn how to freeze them without sticking together. You can also use it to mix in with your homemade yogurt or oatmeal.

I hope that you are inspired to give some of these a try. Remember, if cooking in the kitchen is more convenient for you, then you will less likely go out to eat… resulting in saving that money!

Stay Tuned for tomorrow where we will talk about making freezer packets!

Have you missed some of the posts in the 4 Weeks to a Lower Grocery bill series? Don’t worry, you can read them all here!

 

Comments

    8 Comments
  • Sonya - December 08, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

    Another thing to try would be a meal swap. My sister and I are going to start small by swapping 4 meals a month, then move up from there. I will be making up 4 freezer meals for my family and doubling the recipe for my sisters family. She will, in turn, do the same thing. This will give us each 8 different meals to stick in our freezers.

    • Carrie - December 08, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

      I have actually done this. We did this one with a group of 10 women. We had to make 10 of one meal, but then we went home with 10 different meals. It was a lot of fun.

      • Sonya - December 09, 2011 @ 8:22 am

        I made your lasagna casserole last night. We ate one and froze one. It was a hit! The hubs and kids loved it, and they can be quite picky. Thank you so much!! :)

  • kim - December 08, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    thank you so much! i love this site!

  • CassandraMarie - May 10, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    One thing I do is chop and freeze fresh herbs. A meal I make almost weekly is tomato basil pizza from scratch. Basil isn’t terribly expensive, but it would be if I had to buy a new bunch every time I wanted to make pizza. I chop it all up at once, and then put it in ice cube trays with just enough water to cover, then freeze. Each cube is supposedly about 1 tbsp. When I need it, I just defrost in a prep bowl, and spread the basil on the pizza (or if adding to another recipe, drain most of the water). I’ve done this with a few other ingredients too– other herbs, pureed strawberries to put on pancakes, and juices that go in recipes. I’m planning on doing that for spaghetti sauce too since the two of us never need a whole jar. I didn’t know it would work for onion too– I’m so trying that!

    • Carrie - May 10, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

      that is such a great idea. I am going to have to try it!

    • Dawn Stover - August 06, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

      Cassandra, when you defrost the basil has it lost or changed it’s color, or does it look the same as when you froze it?

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