Food freezing advices? What NOT to Freeze? “The good news is that there are plenty of items that are good to go in your freezer,” Jacobs said. “However, there are a handful of items that won’t fare well at all.” Since there are only a handful of foods that aren’t great frozen, we’ll go ahead and get those out of the way. These foods include: Raw eggs still in their shell (when frozen, they can expand and crack); hard-boiled eggs (they can get rubbery and tough); Lettuce and other water-packed veggies, such as cucumbers, onions and peppers (they can get freezer burn, leaving you with limp, soggy veggies); Mayonnaise and cream (they separate and curdle when frozen); Canned vegetables (they can be frozen if removed from can)
To prevent pieces from freezing together (and for freezing delicate fruits like berries), spread the pieces out in a single layer on a plastic wrap-lined sheet pan. Once they are fully frozen, transfer the pieces to your container and place it immediately in the freezer. With this method, any ice films form around each individual piece, rather than freezing all the pieces together in a big chunk. Many nights if I am making a lasagna or baked ziti, instead of making one, I make two: one to eat right away and one to freeze later on. Cook once, eat twice. It’s the same amount of work and you will be happy to have a casserole prepared on those busy nights. It’s also great to have a made-ahead dish on hand when you want to bring something to someone who’s sick or having a baby.
Yes! Produce is one of those food types that seem to go bad before you can eat it. The beauty of freezing fresh fruit and veggies – it can be past its prime and you can still freeze it for smoothies or cooking in something else! Bananas – Whole, sliced, blended, whatever floats your boat! They make a delicious addition to a smoothie and obviously make good banana bread. Berries – Whole cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. These are all super easy to freeze and they’re GREAT in smoothies! Fruit – Sliced watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, grapes, kiwi, etc. freeze well. Just make sure you flash freeze (spread them out on a sheet pan and freeze) before putting them into a freezer baggie or else you’ll end up with a huge clump of fruit that you’ll never get apart! Read even more info on Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese.
The reason ground meats have a shorter time frame than the other types of foods listed above is they stand a relatively higher chance of bacteria exposure due to the way they’re processed and handled, says Cambridge, Massachusetts–based William Li, MD, cancer expert and author of Eat to Beat Disease. Also, even if you’re thawing within the recommended time frame, he suggests smelling any meat once it’s thawed, because if the aroma is off, that’s a sign it’s no longer safe to eat. Usually the scent is pungent and unpleasant, and may smell like ammonia due to the breakdown in proteins and fats, adds Wu. Do: Consider How Your Fish Is Handled Seafood is highly perishable, which is why it’s great to have some in the freezer rather than hanging around for too long in the fridge, but how it’s handled and packaged can make a big difference, says Dr. Li.