9 Foods You Didn't Know You Could Freeze
If you’re short on fridge space or just looking to save leftovers, freezing is a great way to preserve both fresh and prepared foods. When properly stored, many foods will retain their texture and even their nutritional content. Read on to learn which nine foods will do just fine “chilling out” in your freezer. Bacon. Yes, it’s true. Bacon will do just fine in the freezer. Roll up each strip, and then pop them into a plastic freezer bag, where your bacon will stay fresh for up to six months. Casseroles. Looking for a dinner that’s easy to throw together? Think “casserole.” Experts suggest completely cooking any casserole with meat, seafood, or poultry prior to freezing. To freeze your casserole, line the dish with tinfoil and bake. Lift the casserole out of the dish by the tinfoil once it cools and place it in a freezer bag or container. Bananas. When you’re stuck with a bunch of overripe bananas, just peel and place them in an airtight bag or container before freezing. Bananas can be kept frozen for up to three months. Looking for a yummy dessert? Pulse one or two frozen bananas in a food processor, add a little bit of vanilla extract, and you’ll have a healthier version of ice cream. Applesauce. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and phytochemicals, applesauce makes for a great snack. You can always have it on hand by keeping it in the freezer. Homemade applesauce can last in the freezer for up to 12 months, while store-bought products can be kept frozen for about two months. Avocados. Whether cut or smashed, avocados can be frozen for up to six months. Just add lemon juice and seal tightly to preserve their taste and reduce browning. Since freezing can slightly change an avocado’s texture, you may want to use it in a salad dressing or mashed up in guacamole. Butter. You can never have too much butter…unless you need to free up some space in the refrigerator. Don’t worry. Butter can last up to six months if you freeze it in its original packaging or store it by wrapping each stick in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Cheese. If you’ve purchased cheese in bulk but don’t think you’ll have time to finish it before it goes bad, just freeze it. Cheeses (like parmesan) that are used for baked dishes are excellent candidates for freezing and will stay fresh for six to nine months. Chocolate. Chocolate lovers, rejoice! You can keep chocolate in the freezer for those days when you’re searching for a delicious snack. Just cover it tightly in freezer wrap. Frozen chocolate will stay tasty for up to two years. Cream Cheese. If you’re getting ready for a big brunch but your refrigerator shelves are bursting at the seams, just put your cream cheese straight into the freezer. It’s best if left in its original packaging and will keep for up to two months. Remember to cool heated foods before freezing, wrap everything tightly to prevent freezer burn, and label each item with its name and the date it was prepared. Don’t forget to give your frozen foods plenty of time to thaw before serving.