Tips To Freeze The Leftovers, Here’s What To Keep In Mind

Having leftovers is one advantage of cooking in large quantities. On days when cooking simply seems impossible, storing leftover chilli, soup, or even meat can save time, money, and food waste. aA win-win situation. Knowing how to freeze leftovers is a crucial culinary skill to have for keeping you and your family safely nourished, whether we're talking about meal preparation, decreasing food waste, or money-saving techniques. Here's how to properly freeze your extras so you may enjoy them later. 

For the overly exuberant host or the fired-up urban farmer, the freezer can be a great companion. As long as it's done correctly, it increases shelf life while maintaining nutrients. Do not forget that time, air, and enzymes are the three enemies of frozen food. For optimal benefits, minimise your exposure to each one. 

Time:  As quickly as you can, freeze food. Food crystals grow more readily the slower the freezing process is. Internal cell damage increases as crystal size increases. It will become a mushy mess when you thaw the meal. Foods should not be frozen in tall, deep containers to prevent this. To allow for speedy freezing, wrap the food in a thick, sealable plastic bag and put it flat. Don't overfill your freezer with heated foods at once. Ensure that the chilly air has a good flow. 

Air: Food that has been frozen will get freezer burn if it is directly exposed to chilly air. The chilly, dry air of the freezer absorbs moisture from the food, much like how winter weather causes you to have dry skin. When storing food in plastic bags, choose thick ones. Squeeze out as much air as you can after filling it to avoid exposure. 

Enzymes: Raw foods will deteriorate over time and come out nasty when they thaw if the enzymes are not deactivated. Raw fruits and vegetables contain enzymes; cooked foods do not. Spend three minutes blanching your raw fruits and veggies. Dry for a while, then freeze. They will be able to keep their vibrant colours and flavours for a lot longer because of this. 

There are some other factors to safely freeze your leftovers for enjoyment later on. 

Temperature: Proper food storage aims to stop the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria and the illnesses it might bring on. The first step in keeping food safe is to store it securely. Temperatures in the freezer should not get over 0 degrees F. 

Prep Food: Foods should not be left out at room temperature for longer than two hours, or one hour in hot weather (at or above 90 degrees F). Always pay attention to the time or set an alarm on your smartphone to remind you to pack up leftovers. When food is at or almost at room temperature, store it in shallow containers to encourage speedy cooling and then immediately into the freezer (70 degrees F). 

Best Food To Freeze: Cooked chopped meats, casseroles, pizza, soup, tomato sauce, bread, and baked goods are a few of the greatest leftover items to freeze. Hard-boiled eggs, filled and raw meats like chicken breast and pork chops, cold tuna, and pasta salads are examples of leftovers that don't keep well in the freezer.