Wine. Butter. Tomato paste. Fresh basil. What do each of these items have in common besides being the main ingredients for a show stopping Italian dinner? They’re all items that are surprisingly “freezer friendly” and can be stored in your freezer for up to six months or longer.
Maintaining a well-stocked freezer is a fantastic way for us busy moms to save money on our grocery bills, and, it’s very convenient! Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite foods that freeze surprisingly well and the best way to store them. When freezing food, always label the storage container with the name of the item and the date that you placed it in the freezer. Enjoy!
- Butter – Go ahead and buy lots of your favorite butter when it’s on sale, it freezes beautifully! All you do is place the sticks of butter (in their original wrappers) in a freezer bag and freeze. When you’re ready to use the butter, simply thaw it in your refrigerator. Butter freezes well up to six months.
- Wine – What do you do with all those half-empty bottles of wine after a party? Freeze them, of course! Pour leftover wine in ice cube trays and freeze, then transfer the frozen wine cubes to freezer bags for storing. To use, thaw or just toss the frozen wine cubes directly in the soup, stew, or sauce you’re making. Wine freezes well up to six months and it’s a great way to always have wine on hand for recipes without having to open an entire bottle.
- Tomato Paste – Tomato paste freezes very well and will last up to six months in the freezer. To freeze tomato paste, put one to two tablespoons of tomato paste in small freezer bags (label how many tablespoons are in each bag) and freeze. Thaw before using.
- Fresh Herbs (Cilantro, Basil, Parsley, Mint, etc.) – So that you always have fresh herbs on hand, simply freeze any that are leftover from a recipe. To freeze fresh herbs, place washed and chopped herbs in an ice cube tray and cover them with a few tablespoons of boiling water (this will help the herbs retain their color). Freeze, then transfer to freezer bags for storing. To use, thaw or just toss the frozen herb cube right in the pan that you’re cooking in. Frozen herbs will keep up to six months in the freezer.
- Nuts – A walk down the nut aisle of your local grocery store is enough to give a lot of us a serious case of sticker shock! And, unfortunately, many of those pricey nuts become rancid in just a short period of time due to their high oil content. The solution? Freeze nuts in freezer bags and they’ll keep up to a year or two. Thaw before using.
- Maple Syrup – 100% pure maple syrup will keep indefinitely in your freezer. Freezing it is great for those times when you’re able to buy a large quantity of maple syrup at a really good price. 100% pure maple syrup will not freeze solid, so you can pour it straight from the freezer, warm it up, and it’s ready to serve in minutes!
- Cookie Dough – Chunky cookie dough like Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin freezes well and it allows you to serve fresh baked cookies anytime! To freeze, portion out cookie dough on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat (or parchment paper) and freeze. Transfer frozen cookie dough to a freezer bag and store until ready to use. To bake, cookie dough can be placed in the oven still frozen (it may require an extra minute or two of cooking time for cookies to be done), or, you may thaw the dough before baking. Cookie dough will keep in the freezer up to six months.