Okay, lets go back to the beginning. After a particularly awesome sale on organic avocados at whole foods, I purchased a few too many of my favorite source of healthy fat. Fearing they would turn from vibrant, rich, and buttery green to slimy and mushy brown I took a leap of faith and froze my avocados. I quartered one avocado, peeled it and sealed it in a freezer safe bag. The second avocado was mashed with a squeeze of lemon before it met its frosty fate.
This winter has been a particularly busy season for my freezer. Storing abundant soups, curries, tomato sauces, and recipe elements has kept the cooler half of my fridge occupied. Freezing prepared foods as well as abundant ingredients helps save you money, prevent produce waist, and makes a home cooked meal a flash in the pan.
A few days later I pulled my avocados out of the freezer and thawed them for 20 minutes in a bowl of cold water. They returned to their rich and creamy state as I sliced them on a piece of ezekiel toast. So in honor of those delicious defrosted aligator pears, I present to you
5 SURPRISING FOODS YOU CAN FREEZE
AVOCADOS – Freeze quartered and peeled or mashed with a squeeze of lemon
FRESH HERBS – For whole sprigs, wash, pat dry with paper towels, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. Alternatively, chop herbs and place in an ice cube tray. Pour a tablespoon or two of water or olive oil on top of the herbs and freeze. Transfer cubes to freezer bags; freeze for up to 6 months. To use, simply toss a cube into a skillet when the recipe calls for herbs and let the water cook off.
EGGS – Whisk together whites and yolks until just combined. Measure into an ice-cube tray, using 3 Tbsp. of the mixture per segment (3 Tbsp. is equivalent to 1 large egg). Freeze until solid, then transfer cubes to a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
CITRUS- Freeze lemons or limes whole and defrost for juice, or juice oranges into ice cube trays and transfer cubes to a freezer bag.
VEGETABLE STOCK – Reduce stock by half, allow to cool completely before pouring into small containers (once again, ice cube trays come in handy here).
Also good for freezing…
It’s true not all foods freeze well. Onions loose their flavor, while garlic’s flavor becomes more abundant when frozen. Water- rich vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes and celery become limp upon defrosting. It’s also really important to use proper freezing technique to keep food tasty when thawed. Try to keep air out of the containers by using freezer zip bags (these are thicker and more durable) or freezer air tight containers (if your using glass make sure to leave about 3/4 inch of space between the top of the food and the lid to prevent breakage). Keeping the air out, keeps the freezer burn away. Also, some vegetables benefit from a light-blanching before freezing. Blanching stops enzymatic activity that decays vegetables. These enzymes can survive freezing temperatures and continue the decaying process even though the food is frozen. In other words, your veggies will come out as vibrant as they went in. The Joy of Cooking has a comprehensive list of blanching times found here.
Extra Credit : 3 Ways to Defrost
1. In the refrigerator. This takes the longest time, but is the safest way especially when it comes to defrosting meat.
2. In a bowl of cool water. This gentle approach is great for frozen soups and veggies. Seal food in watertight bag and immerse in a large bowl of cool water. Change water every 30 minutes. Don’t use this process for more than 2 hours.
3. In the microwave. Easiest and fastest.