Roughly one third of all the food produced for human consumption across the world is wasted every year! This equates to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of different foods being thrown away, which is a huge cost to the environment, let alone our pockets.
If you’re stocking up on food at the moment, make sure none of it goes to waste by freezing any extras of the following foods, right away!
Dry pasta lasts forever! So you don’t have to worry about that. Cooked pasta, however, can be frozen. Whether you’re cooking spaghetti, penne, lasagne or any other type of pasta, it’s best to make sure it’s cooked al dente (still slightly chewy), as soft pasta stands less of a chance of surviving the reheating process.
A definite necessity! If you find you’ve got too much bread to get through, pop a loaf in the freezer before it gets mouldy. You can then take it out slice by slice when you need it. Bread will only take about an hour to defrost but if that’s too long for you, put it straight in the toaster for perfectly crunchy toast!
Eggs don’t have a long shelf life so if you’ve got too many and they are nearing their expiry date, freeze them! The best way to store them is to crack each one individually in a egg container or muffin tin. Once frozen, you can put the frozen blocks in a bag in the freezer where they can be kept for up to a year.
Milk can be frozen and stored for up to three months which is useful is you’re hoping to bulk buy a few bottles. Just make sure that there is space inside the bottle for the milk to expand or it could bust through the lid or crack the container. Leave to defrost for a day before consuming.
You can freeze most cheeses but be warned! If you freeze a block of cheese it can turn quite crumbly once it defrosts. Grate your cheese first to make it easier to use and keep the grated cheese in an airtight bag or container. Then defrost as required to put in your sandwiches, use in your homemade sauces or sprinkle on a plate of hot pasta to melt!
Pats of butter can be put straight into the freezer in their packaging. If you’re looking to save some butter that’s already open, freeze it by wrapping it tightly in aluminium foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. Frozen salted butter will keep for up to 12 months and unsalted butter will stay at best quality for about 6 months.
Brown rice has a higher oil content than white rice, so its shelf life isn’t as long. Freeze it uncooked and it will last for several months.
If you’ve stocked up on fruit but don’t think you’ll be able to eat it all before it goes off, freeze your bananas! If they are starting to go brown, put them in the freezer whole with the skin on. You can defrost them later to make smoothies or banana bread or mash them into porridge.
Other fruits that can be similarly frozen are berries like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Frozen berries last a lot longer than fresh ones, plus they taste great in smoothies, as fruit juices or mixed into porridge.
Garlic is one ingredient we use in the majority of our dinners! So, if you fancy stocking up, remember you can freeze it. Just put your garlic bulbs in an airtight bag or tub then break off the cloves as and when you need them. If you’ve already sliced the garlic, no problem. It will keep in the freezer with some olive oil.
So there you have it! We hope this has helped with your future cooking and to prevent wasting your precious food.
Hungry for more freezer advice? Make sure you’re not missing out on these 10 freezer hacks that will save the day!