Winter is here and it’s time for warmer, hearty foods as we head into the colder months. This is the perfect time of year to prepare make-ahead meals for your freezer to save a little time in the kitchen. Try to use the “cook once; eat two or three times” method when making a big pot of food. (You can always double a recipe and freeze half for another meal later in the month!)
This is a great short tutorial from Serious Eats on the best way to freeze food. I was excited to see this video and wanted to share it. The video shows you how to achieve the perfect freezing method for both semi-solid (e.g. meats, stews) and liquids/soups/stocks as well.
Here are some tips to freeze meals:
- Use freezer bags for freezing foods, not a sandwich bag.
- Refrigerators and freezers cannot cool soups quickly enough to be food safe. Speed up the cooling process by placing the pot of soup in a bath of ice water in the sink. Stir soup often to help release the heat.
- Label and date gallon- or quart-size zip-top plastic freezer bags, place in a bowl, and cuff the bag over. Ladle soup into each bag, and then let out any excess air and seal.
- Lay bags flat in a single layer in the freezer; when frozen, stack bags to save space.
- Always freeze flat for better freezing and better defrosting. It also helps preserve the quality of your food because less is exposed to air.
- Thaw overnight in fridge. Reheat over low heat, stir occasionally.
- Leftover soup will last up to 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 2-3 month in the freezer. Follow these steps on how to freeze and store soups, chili and meats you’ll be set all winter long!
I hope this helps you make, save and enjoy more food this winter!
Happy freezing! (Food, not from the weather!)