I’ve long used my freezer for a lot of storage; but with Evelyn eating so much and such a wide variety and even the smallest bit of leftovers capable of providing part of a meal for her, I’ve developed a new love for my freezer. (Plus we have an extra one in our garage now!) I thought it would be fun to put together a list of some of my favorite things to put in my freezer along with tips on how to freeze them.
Using my freezer to store meat is perhaps my favorite thing. I can buy whatever is on sale, wrap it in plastic and foil, label it, and then pull it out to defrost whenever I need it. And this isn’t limited to beef and chicken either. I love freezing bacon, too–we never use the whole pack at one time, so I’ll freeze what’s left in little packs of three or four slices. It is perfect for things like carbonara or brussels sprouts with bacon.
I am not a big fruit fan, but Evelyn is. I buy a lot of frozen fruit for her (and she loves eating it with minimal defrosting). I also freeze a lot of fresh fruit that I buy because we rarely use it all before it goes bad. I place the fruit on a parchment lined baking sheet, spread it out evenly, and freeze it. Then, once it is frozen, I put it all in a plastic freezer bag.
Pancakes and Waffles
This is a new favorite freezer trick, and I especially love having them on hand for Evelyn. It helps us mix up her usual banana-yogurt-cereal/oatmeal breakfast. Just place pancakes or waffles between sheets of parchment paper and freeze them. Then, once they are frozen, put them all in a plastic bag (without the parchment paper). They reheat so quickly, too!
Freezing leftover cake is the best. I especially love when we have people over and all I have to do for dessert is pull out a wedge of leftover cake from the last birthday my family celebrated. It is always delicious and everyone is so impressed and really all I did was pull it out of the freezer. To freeze it, I cut cake into large wedges (enough for about 4-6 slices), then wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, label it, and stick it in the freezer. Before serving it, I usually pull it out to defrost for a couple of hours.
Parmesan Cheese Rinds
I have so many parmesan cheese rinds in bags in my freezer. They are great flavor boosters for soups. Admittedly, I don’t make soups that often, but when I do these are great to have.
This is something I used to do a lot more than I do now, although I’d like to get back into the habit. Whenever you have leftover chicken bones and vegetables, stick them in a bag in your freezer. Then later, dump it all into a pot with some water, add some onion and garlic, salt and pepper, and you can make homemade chicken broth
with a few hours of simmering on the stove. (And then you can freeze the broth, too!)
Pizza Dough and Pizza Sauce
We always have leftover pizza sauce when we make pizza, and sometimes we also have leftover dough. I love putting it in a plastic freezer bag, and then we have everything we need for the next pizza night.
Extra Pasta Sauce
I love to have extra pasta sauce on hand; it means that for dinner on any given night, all I have to do is boil some noodles and heat up my sauce. One of my favorite sauces to freeze is roasted red pepper pasta sauce
A Few Other Things I ALWAYS Keep in My Freezer…
Frozen store bought sweet potato fries.
Frozen peas for Evelyn.
Nuts (they last longer in the freezer).
Ice Cream Maker bucket.