Are you making the most of your freezer? It might be time to start idolising the ice-cube tray. These 22 food hacks will help you eat healthily and save $$.
It’s time to make your freezer work for you and help you eat healthily. If you need help sticking to a budget, these freezer hacks will help you save money and reduce food waste.
I live in a very small apartment with a tiny freezer so I have to make the most of my freezer space. It really helps me eat healthier.
Here are 22 items I always have in my freezer along with some of the best freezer hacks to help you and your family eat healthily (and save $$).
1. Freeze milk in ice-cube trays
Want to make a thicker smoothie? Struggle to get through your milk before it goes bad? Freeze milk in ice-cube trays. Pop out a milk-cube and add it to your smoothie, tea or coffee.
2. Buy seasonal fruit in bulk when on discount – and freeze
I recently bought 18 punnets of strawberries (a tray) for $7! I’ve been enjoying delicious strawberry smoothies and strawberry sorbet ever since. When you see cheap fruit, buy up big and get freezer-happy. They are great for smoothies and frozen desserts. I love mangoes (for mango sorbet), berries and peaches.
3. Juice limes (and lemons) and freeze
Limes can be SO expensive when they aren’t in season. So when they’re cheap, buy in bulk and then freeze the juice in ice-cube trays or freezer bags. Perfect for salad dressings, marinades and drinks like mojitos :)
4. Freeze Medjool dates (and grapes)
One of my favourite food hacks. Dates and grapes are great fresh but I also love them frozen! A deliciously sweet and high fibre snack that is perfect to combat sugar cravings.
5. Make ready-to-go smoothie freezer packs
Bulk prep your breakfast smoothies by freezing smoothie ingredients into individual freezer bags. I love banana, mango, baby spinach and berries.
6. Freeze fresh herbs in stock or oil
Don’t let fresh herbs get sad at the bottom of the fridge. Freeze fresh herbs in stock or extra virgin olive oil in ice-cube trays. Then you can easily use them when you’re next cooking.
7. Leftover stock can be frozen
When you only use half a carton, freeze the rest of the stock and use it the next time you’re cooking.
8. Coconut milk, coconut cream and cream
If a recipe only calls for half a tin of coconut milk or coconut cream, freeze the rest. You can also freeze normal cream, to help reduce food waste. You can also use the leftovers to make this healthy 20-minute laksa recipe!
9. Grated ginger and lemongrass
Who really gets through all the ginger and lemongrass in one recipe? I grate ginger and freeze it. And I chop up lemongrass too.
10. Store bay leaves in the freezer
They will still be perfect to add to your cooking.
11. Slices of banana bread
When I make chocolate banana bread, I don’t want to eat the whole thing. instead, I cut it into slices and freeze them individually. When I want a treat, I can simply toast it. It really helps me savour baked goods and not feel the need to demolish them in one go. Apply this technique to brownies, cookies etc.
12. Bags of breadcrumbs
When half my bread loaf is stale, I put it in a food processor and turn it into breadcrumbs. They freeze wonderfully. I sprinkle them on roast vegetables when I want some crunch, with garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Or parmesan!
13. Overripe tomatoes (or the rest of the tin)
Squish in a bowl or blitz in your food processor then freeze in bags. You can add garlic and herbs if you like. Write down the number of tomatoes per bag. I also freeze the leftover half a tin of tomatoes or passata. Freeze shakshuka sauce, ready for a quick breakfast.
14. Don’t waste tomato paste
Only used half the paste? Freeze the rest for next time. Or buy tomato paste in the squeezy bottle.
Because avocado has such a high-fat content, it freezes really well. While I wouldn’t use defrosted avocado for a salad, it’s great in salad dressings like this avocado dressing or in smoothies.
16. Overripe bananas
17. Healthy soup
Soups help me eat healthily so when I make a batch, I double it and freeze the rest. When I don’t feel like cooking, future-me has a healthy meal sorted. Try this Quinoa Lentil Soup or Thai Corn Soup. They’ll stay fab in the freezer for about three months.
18. Portion sized dinners
Got leftover spaghetti bolognese? Freeze it. Made lots of meatballs? Freeze it too. I try to ‘cook once, eat twice’ so I always make lots. The trick is to freeze meals in single portion sized containers so they defrost quicker (essential when you’re hungry!) and you don’t need to defrost the whole thing.
19. Shelled Edamame beans
I love edamame in salads (like this Zesty Thai Salad), poke bowls or as a snack (with a bit of chilli salt). You can find frozen edamame in the frozen section of any good Asian grocer.
Whisk up your eggs and freeze in ice-cube trays, ready for an omelette.
And most of your other condiments will freeze wonderfully, ideal if you’re going away for a while and won’t get through them.
22. And some frozen treats…
I also love to keep frozen dumplings in the freezer for a delicious option because… dumplings are amazingly yummy. I try to make frozen desserts too. Health is about balance and your freezer doesn’t have to be perfect. It simply helps you make healthier choices.
I hope you enjoyed these food hacks! Here are 2 more freezer tips
Before freezing, try to get rid of as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
Reuse your bags to reduce plastic waste and save money.
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