- Ginger root- For recipes and tea. It's still easy to grate or cut off a piece. I stick it right in the freezer with no container. (you may or may not choose to put it in a container)
- Onions and peppers- For soups, omelets, and other recipes that require cooked onions and peppers. I use them for some recipes that i would normally use fresh onions and peppers but only if their being soft instead of crisp doesn't matter. Simply set them out on a paper towel to defrost. I try to buy enough for several months whenever they're on sale and I cut them up and put them into a freezer bag. *Some grocery stores have pre-chopped onions and peppers in the freezer section; this is even easier.
- Citrus- For zesting, recipes that call for slices or juice. I have citrus trees and I also buy citrus. I buy it when it's on sale then I freeze it. I jus stick the whole fruit in the freezer.
- Avocado- For recipes and hair treatments. If you don't use all of an avocado in a recipe or you find a great deal on avocados, buy them and freeze them. It's important that the avocado is ripe when you freeze it because you will have to take it out of the skin, mush it and be sure to add citrus juice (lemon or lime) so that it will maintain it's green color.
- Berries- For smoothies, recipes and snacks. I buy fresh berries when they are on sale and I wash and freeze them. In addition to using them in recipes, frozen berries are a great snack.Try frozen grapes- yum.
- Spinach- For smoothies, recipes and snacks. Great for smoothies and soups. Simply wash and freeze it.*You wouldn't want to freeze any leafy vegetable (besides broccoli) that you want to eat raw. it will likely be wilted after defrosting.
- Many vegetables- For meals, snacks, and recipes. Most vegetables can be washed, cut and frozen for later use. Many people buy frozen vegetables but if someone gives you vegetables or you find a great deal, don't pass it up, freeze them.
- Herbs- For drinks and recipes. Usually when I buy herbs for a recipe, I have to buy a whole bundle which is more than I need. Most herbs can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen. If you know you want to use the herb in a drink or soup, you can make herd ice cubes by pushing the herbs into the mold and then filling it with water. Make sure you don't crush the herb so much that it's unrecognizable. I take the cubes out of the mold when the water freezes. If you are experienced with their appearance, you can mix the cubes together in one dated freezer bag. If you're a beginner, I suggest putting each kind of herb in a small, labeled and dated freezer bad.
- Cooked meat- I cook all the meat all at once. I buy large amounts of meat because not only is it cheaper, this also means less visits to the store. after cooking all of it, I separate it into the amount that I'll need for meals, put them into appropriate-sized freezer bags, label what it is and date it.
- Cooked beans- Beans are a staple in several cultures. I cook the beans in a crock pot, mash them, put them into bags appropriately sized freezer bags, label and date them.
- Bread/ Flour Tortillas- I buy large amounts of bread and tortillas and I put them in the freezer until needed. My grocery store makes fresh breads of all kinds and they always have a discount rack as the bread gets old. I buy the clearance bread and i freeze it. These items freeze great in the original packaging. Just make sure that you don't put anything on top of the bread before it's frozen and make sure the tortillas are laying flat because they will freeze into whatever shape they are placed. When they defrost, you can't tell they were frozen.
- Cheese- I buy large amounts of cheese because the larger the amount, the less expensive it is. I just separate it into an amount that I think we'll eat in before it could get moldy. When it defrosts, you can't tell it was frozen.
- Butter- I buy large amounts of butter because running out of butter would be a definite emergency in our house. When it defrosts, you can't tell it was frozen.
- I also freeze cooked meals so that they are ready to defrost and eat at a later date. In addition to the potential to freeze pretty much any meal here are two quick suggestions:
- I make a huge wok of fried potatoes, divide them into small amounts for meals and freeze.
- I make a ridiculous amount of pancakes and waffles, let them cool completely, then put the whole batch into the freezer.
I mentioned frozen onions and peppers in my chili post. I freeze many foods that many people don't thinks of freezing. I hope this post helps you. I also did a video a couple years ago. I freeze
I make this chili and I freeze some and I also use it in another recipe I'll share soon. If you are preparing this days before you want to eat it, put the pot or slow cooker on warm. If it's being prepared early on the day of, put the slow cooker on low. If you plan to eat some within two hours, put the slow cooker on high.
• pack of chili seasoning
• can of tomato paste
• canned (or fresh) tomatoes
• onions and peppers
• canned beans (I use black, dark red, kidney)
• browned ground turkey/ ground beef/ caramel colored tofu
* add other seasoning and ingredients to taste
* you may like to substitute tomatoes and onions and peppers with salsa.
Dump all of the above ingredients into your slow cooker. and stir. You will want to add water. I put a little water in the cans so that I'm getting all of the ingredients out of the can as I'm adding water. Do not make the chili too watery.
After the chili has been cooking for at least a few hours, I remove all except what I plan to eat that day from the slow cooker and I let it cool in a bowl to prepare it for bagging. Bag the food in a freezer bag the sized bags needed to feed your household. Be sure to label the bag before you fill it with what it is and the date you are bagging it.
I have some essentials that I must have on hand at all times so that I can prepare meals ahead of time. I have previously made a video about this but here are some of my essentials. This is a living list...
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