I was super excited to hear from a lot of Mom Thyme readers after last week’s blog entry, Seven Surprising Foods to Keep in Your Freezer. Many of you shared with me your favorite “freezer friendly” foods and I was thrilled to hear all of your great time and money saving tips (and, thought they were definitely worthy of a follow-up blog post!).
Below is an additional list of seven surprising items to keep in your freezer, thanks so much to all of the Mom Thyme readers who passed along these fantastic ideas!
- Fresh Ginger – Don’t let leftover ginger get lost in your vegetable drawer only to be tossed weeks later, freeze it! To freeze ginger, cut it into 1-2 inch pieces (no peeling required) and store it in freezer bags. Ginger will keep up to six months in your freezer and you’ll find that frozen ginger is super easy to grate on a Microplane (be sure to peel the ginger with a spoon before using).
- Brown Rice – By freezing brown rice, you’ll have a healthy side dish that can be ready in minutes! The next time you’re cooking brown rice, make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. With a measuring cup, scoop leftover brown rice into freezer bags (lay them flat and push the air out) and it’ll keep in your freezer up to six months. To heat, just pop the frozen rice in your microwave and heat (covered) in 1 minute increments until done. Fluff with a fork and serve.
- Egg Whites – What do you do with leftover egg whites after making a recipe that calls for only egg yolks (i.e. ice cream)? Freeze them, of course! To freeze egg whites, simply pour the egg whites (make sure there is no yolk in the mixture) into an ice cube tray and freeze. To use, thaw egg whites overnight in the refrigerator. Note: For higher volume, let egg whites sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using. Egg whites are great to keep on hand for a last minute meringue or angel food cake and will keep in your freezer for up to a year.
- Homemade Pancakes/Waffles/French Toast – The next time you’re cooking pancakes/waffles/French toast, make extra, as they freeze beautifully! To freeze leftovers, place pancakes/waffles/French toast on a sheet pan and place in the freezer until fully frozen (about 6 hours). When fully frozen, transfer the pancakes/waffles/French toast to a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to two months. To eat, pop the pancakes and French toast in your microwave or toaster oven for a few minutes. For waffles, heat in your toaster as you would any store bought frozen waffle. Love this idea!!
- Coffee – Be your own barista and make iced coffee at home! Simply pour any leftover coffee from this morning’s pot into an ice cube tray and freeze. Coffee cubes can be stored in your freezer for up to six months. To make iced coffee, throw a few coffee cubes in your blender with your favorite milk and blend.
- Citrus Fruits – Go ahead and buy lots of citrus fruit on sale, you won’t waste a bit! Squeeze juice from lemons/limes/oranges into ice cube trays and store cubes in freezer bag up to six months. This is a great way to always have “fresh squeezed” juice on hand for cocktails, smoothies, and other recipes! And, don’t forget about the zest, it too will keep in your freezer for up to six months.
- Pesto Sauce – If you’ve got lots of fresh basil on hand, make a big batch of pesto sauce and freeze it! Just freeze the pesto sauce in ice cube trays and store the cubes in freezer bags until ready to use. To use, thaw pesto sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Pesto sauce will keep up to six months in your freezer.