Don’t Waste It: Freeze It!

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This weekend I made some amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with bananas that I’d thrown in the freezer after they’d gotten too ripe to eat.  They worked perfectly (and those muffins were just delicious!)  I’ve posted this list a time or two before, but it’s so helpful to know what items you can freeze to help pinch an extra penny in your grocery budget!

 

You can freeze . . .

Shredded or Block Cheese No preparation required

Butter & Margarine No preparation required

Sour Cream No preparation required, may be a little separated when you thaw but when you stir it up and it should be fine, especially for use cooking or baking recipes

Cream Cheese Some people have told me that freezing cream cheese is fine, but I’m a little leary of it!  For tips on freezing cream cheese check out this article

Milk You should probably pour out a 1/2 cup or so first so that the container’s not completely full as it might burst

Meat and Poultry (fresh or cooked) Make sure to wrap well to prevent freezer burn

Green Peppers Just chop into small pieces, then place in plastic baggies – perfect for casseroles or chili, not-so-perfect for salads (they’re a little water logged!)

Fruit It won’t freeze perfectly, but it’s great for making fruit smoothies! Thanks, Nancy  :)

Yogurt No preparation required

Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Chips May want to place in plastic bag to prevent freezer burn

Cookies/Brownies Just wrap well to prevent freezer burn

Waffles/Muffins/Pancakes  Just wrap well to prevent freezer burn

Egg Beaters No preparation required

Lunchmeat No preparation required

Hot Dogs No preparation required

Bread No preparation required with loaf bread; I have had NO success freezing hot dog buns or hamburger buns, if you have any tips on this I’d love to hear them!

Tortillas No preparation required

Wraps No preparation required

Refrigerated Biscuits or Rolls (i.e. Pillsbury products) It’s possible that a can might explode in the freezer, if you’re concerned about this you can try opening the package just enough to expand and then place in plastic bag and close tightly

 

What else do you all freeze?  Leave a comment if you have more suggestions and tips I’d love to hear them!  I’d also love to know if freezing has worked for you (especially milk, sour cream, and cream cheese!)  If only I had a bigger freezer. . .  ;)

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Comments

  1. Julie McInnis says:

    I freeze everything!!! I freeze cream cheese all the time and never have a problem. We freeze cakes and they make it easier for icing. I have never had good experiences freezing milk.

    • Laurie says:

      I definitely can tell something different with my milk when I freeze it – it works (and is great for baking), but I can tell a bit of a taste difference. I’m betting it wouldn’t be so bad if I had a deep freeze!

  2. xana says:

    You can freeze nearly any fresh herb. I usually dry them first to avoid water log but it’s not necessary. Simply roll them up in between sheets of paper towel and pop them into a freezer bag. I have had success with small peppers such as Serrano and jalapeno just straight freezing in a freezer bag.

  3. Gena B says:

    I’ve worked in a bakery/deli and they used to freeze the cakes before they were frosted and after, lol. I freeze bacon (prepackaged and from the butcher) all the time and it’s perfect after it’s thawed. I freeze hot dog and hamburger buns all the time too and I just take them out of the freezer and set them on my stovetop to defrost. You can freeze Girl Scout cookies too.

  4. Crystal I. says:

    I freeze hot dog and hamburger buns, a lot. Just defrost them on the “bread” setting, Then, put them in the oven under broil for a minute or two, to evaporate the water from defrosting them, and to toast them a bit. Or top them with butter and garlic for garlic bread, to go along with pasta.

  5. mai-ling says:

    good eats devoted an episode to freezing specific things properly.

    for instance, fresh peaches by adding sugar and vitamin c crushed
    and i think some salt. it allows it to juice and then freeze.
    (I might be a bit off on it a bit but something close).

    other things like properly meat and cookie dough.

  6. CathyV says:

    I’m not sure why you have a problem with hamburger/hotdog buns? They’ve always frozen fine for me with a little heat on defrosting? I guess I usually toast them lightly in a skillet or the oven…maybe that makes a difference?

    • Laurie says:

      I don’t know either Cathy – but I can’t ever seem to get them to work! I may try to toast them next time….

    • Karen says:

      I was wondering about refreezing the buns. They’ve already been frozen once. We had a lot left over from a party, and I didn’t know if they can be refrozen. Tha nks

  7. Krista Hahn says:

    Thanks for the tip on the green peppers – I know I read that on here a while back and thought to myself, of course, why didn’t I think of that before!! I have been buying them on sale and dicing/freezing them ever since. :-) I also do this with onions too. It’s so nice to have some prediced and ready to go!

    Be careful with cheese though. Shredded is totally fine but if you freeze a block, it will not shred properly when thawed – it will crumble – but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. :-) I shred our blocks first and freeze it that way.

    • Laurie says:

      That’s a good point Krista! I’m pretty sure shredded cheese has some kind of flour to keep it from caking, and that’s probably why it freezes well. Great tip!

  8. Carol Vasey says:

    I freeze hamburger and hotdog buns all the time. I take them out of the original bag and wrap each with Glad’s Press and Seal wrap. Then I put them all back in the original bag and freeze. The extra wrap seems to keep them better for me.

  9. Sue says:

    I freeze yogurt in little dollops on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. After freezing put the mouth sized bites in a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. I use plain yogurt and my dogs love them for treats. Great for their digestive system too!

  10. Katie says:

    I freeze quite a few of these items, but I was wondering about yogurt this week! I am so glad that you posted this. I found a great price on milk and made a huge crockpot of yogurt last week, but we haven’t finished all of it yet. I wasn’t sure if it would freeze okay. I am so happy to be able to freeze it and not have it go to waste! Thank you!!

  11. Jessica C says:

    If you can freeze peppers, why couldn’t you freeze onions too doing the same thing?! Anyone have success with that? And I know my mom freezes head-lettuce. She just uses her off-brand (I think Ziploc) food saving machine and freezes it and takes out just what she needs – as far as I know she has never had any concerns. She also freezes some of her homemade jam – wonder if you could do the same for store-bought jam?! Also, what about oatmeal (homemade)? We are having our first baby sometime this month and I wanted to start freezing breakfasts and lunch….any other suggestions – would love all the tips I can!!

    Thanks everyone!

  12. Carmel says:

    I freeze nuts all the time. The oils can cause them to become rancid very quickly but freezing keeps them fresh for salads, baking, etc.. I also just learned you can freeze lemons and limes whole. This probably goes for any citrus. The flesh will be mushy upon thawing, but it is still able to be zested and the juice is fine. I know green peppers are on your list, but I also freeze peppers of all colors. I cut them into strips and freeze them in gallon size ziplock bags. That way I have the option of leaving them in strips when I cook them in stir-fry, fajitas, sausage & peppers, etc, or I can dice them first for eggs, home fries, or whatever dish I am adding them to. This can also be done with onions, sliced or diced, and I have also frozen chopped celery for soups and stews. Pretty much any veggie can be frozen after being cleaned and chopped. This is great for buying items on sale and saving them for later use in soups, stews, omelets, casseroles, etc.. Another thing I love to do when making soup, stews, and spaghetti sauce is to make extra and freeze it later for a meal for my husband and myself. I save the quart size plastic containers from take-out soup and will put 2 sausages and 4 meatballs in each container per meal, plus a quart of my homemade spaghetti sauce. I recently did this with an eggplant spaghetti sauce and all I had to do was thaw it out and heat on the stove while the pasta was cooking. We had a very delicious homemade meal within 15 minutes when we were short on time. I also do this with soup, which is fabulous for winter. A couple of weeks ago I made a ton of stuffed cabbage and froze it in ziplock bags with the sauce for company coming in a couple of weeks. All the work is done and we can now enjoy a tedious homemade dinner with none of the time and energy it takes to make it. The possibilities are endless! :)

    • Carmel says:

      I also cook meat such as ground beef, stew meat, etc. and freeze them for soups, stews, sloppy joe, casseroles, etc. even if I am not making the dish right away. The seasoned, cooked meat is then ready to be thawed and added to whatever I am cooking without the additional time required to do so.

  13. Dawn says:

    I have never had success freezing butter, cheese, sour cream, or yogurt. The taste and consistency after thawing is just not the same.

  14. I freeze all nuts to keep them from going rancid. The cocoa covered almonds are especially good cold….and a handful makes a really healthy snack!

  15. Beth Thiel Engfer says:

    I should be better about freezing stuff, esp veggies. I end up throwing out so much rotten food.

  16. Andrea says:

    SPINACH!! Omgosh It seems like it goes bad so quick . I felt terrible throwing some out . I would buy the HUGE bag from Costco . I could barely keep up with it all the time. I used it in soups ,salads, smoothies, casseroles, sauces , eggs and my favorite “healthy” turkey meatloaf (I hide so much stuff in meatloaf lol) Now that I know I can freeze it .. I can chillax a bit. You can freeze as is(in a freezer bag ) or blend it with a lil water , pour into ice cube trays, freeze , and then into a freezer bag.

  17. Andrea says:

    Since I’m trying to stick to budget , I’m going to go back to keeping a SOUP bag in the freezer. Throw leftover meat &veggies from dinner from the week in there (or meat or veg about to perish) and cook a big batch of soup with it once a week (or when full. Great for dinner and lunches and to freeze some for later :)

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