Don’t toss it … freeze it


Bought too much?  Going on holiday? Don’t toss it – freeze it! Read on to stop wasting these 10 foods you probably wouldn’t think of freezing - and save money too.


These days we are all trying to make our grocery dollar go further.  Throwing things out is wasteful and bad for the environment.  Here’s a tip - try freezing things next time you’re cleaning out your fridge or pantry.


1.             Bananas
The three or four bananas sitting in your fruit bowl waiting to be made into the banana bread you planned to make a few days ago… peel them, chop them up into thick slices and put them in a Ziploc bag. They will be perfect for smoothies and baking.

2.             Herbs
Sometimes we just don’t use that entire bunch of basil or coriander. Chop it up finely and put it into ice cube trays.  Pour in water making sure the leaves are all submerged.  Once frozen (about 1 hour) you can put the cubes in Ziploc bags if you need the ice cube trays. When you need a certain herb for a recipe, just toss in a cube or two. Note, most recipes can handle the additional amount of water you will be adding.

3.             Ginger
Most of us find a wizened root of ginger in the bottom of the crisper when cleaning out the fridge, unused, forgotten and to be consigned to the rubbish bin. Waste not, by storing your ginger in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag with the air squeezed out.  And it’s easier to grate ginger when it’s frozen too.

4.             Butter
If you’re going away for some time and your butter won’t last in the fridge, you can freeze it by wrapping it well in cling wrap or by placing the butter in its original packing directly into the freezer. It will last about 4 months.


5.             Milk
Similarly, milk can be frozen without any deterioration and will keep for 3 months in the freezer. 


6.             Crusty bread
Crusty bread is often wasted as it becomes stale before we can use it.  Cut it into chunks which you can use within a day, and then freeze by wrapping them well in cling wrap to guard against freezer burn.


7.             Berries

Berries are great to freeze.  If you have an excess of berries or have bought them cheap at the height of the summer season, freeze them in a container or flat in a Ziploc bag with as much of the air pressed out as possible. Frozen berries are great in smoothies or for baking.


8.             Cooked grains
This is a little-known one.  Although we are warned not to refrigerate rice for more than a day or two due to salmonella risk, you can freeze freshly cooked, cooled rice and other grains such as quinoa, in meal-sized portions – very handy when you need some in a hurry for making a salad, to accompany a curry or to make fried rice. Just put the cooled rice in a freezer bag, pat down to flatten to about 3cm thick and press as much air out of the bag as possible. Rice can be frozen for up to one month.

9.             Bacon
If the expiry date is coming up and you know you won’t eat your bacon before that, freeze it flat in a single layer between sheets of cling wrap. When frozen you can transfer it to a freezer bag with the air pressed out. Bacon will last up to 6 months in the freezer.

10.         Avocado

If you won’t be using your avocado within a few days, you can freeze it. Just cut it into chunks and put them in a freezer bag. They will be great for using in a smoothie or can be thawed for avocado on toast.

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