Where would we be without the freezer! With food quickly disappearing from our supermarket shelves, it's more important than ever to make sure that perishable items such as fruit and vegetables are not going to waste. Freezing is a great way to preserve the shelf-life of fresh ingredients, so we've put together a guide to freezing food at home.
How to freeze fruit and veg
Food that you are freezing should be fresh and ripe as you will be preserving it in its current state.
In order to freeze vegetables, you should briefly blanch them in boiling, drain and then plunge into ice water.
Ensure that they are dried thoroughly to preserve colour, flavour and nutrients. Then, store in air-tight containers or remove as much air as possible from bags. Some foods will freeze for longer than others, but most things will last for up to 12 months.
If you’re looking to freeze fruit and vegetables quickly, spread them on a rimmed sheet pan in a single layer before popping in the freezer.
Did you know...
A freezer full of food is far more economical to run, as the cold air doesn’t need to circulate as much meaning that less power is needed. Try freezing everyday items such as bread to fill your freezer or you could use half-filled plastic bottles.
Good to freeze:
- Fruits such as berries, apples, banana, mangoes and pineapple.
- Vegetables such as broccoli, onions, peppers and asparagus.
- Raw pastry
- Sliced bread
- Grated cheese
What not to freeze:
- Hard-boiled eggs – these go rubbery
- Vegetables with a high water content such as lettuce and cucumber will go mushy and limp when frozen
- Soft herbs to be used as garnish
- Dishes with a crumb topping – these will go soggy and lose any crispiness
Ensure that all food is covered properly, either wrapped or in containers to prevent it from getting freezer-burn. It is also a good idea to label your food and date it, so that you know exactly when it has been cooked. It may seem a pain to do at the time, but your future self will thank you. If you aren’t sure if something it good to use, it is best not to use it.
A great way to save time for the week ahead is to batch cook. Take a look at some of our recipes.