Don't let limited supplies and social distancing get in the way of great flavour!
It can be really frustrating when you're stuck at home all day, thinking about what you're going to eat, what you're going to cook for dinner, only to find shelves cleared and freezers emptied once you get to the shop.
Fresh produce is available, but you might be hesitant to buy it over non-perishables. Organic goods do not last very long and it is understandable wanting to avoid going out to the shops for repeat purchases.
In times like this, remember to utilise your freezer. It is your friend. Here are some little-known techniques for freezing fresh food items that, in a pandemic-panicked world, will save you money, time and pay off big time on taste.
Milk is something that is selling out fast in supermarkets across Australia. But, if you live alone, for example, you might not be able to finish a whole litre before its use by.
It's the unfortunate truth that we may need to make what we have last. Luckily, milk can be frozen! Milk expands in the freezer, so it should not be full to the top when frozen, so as not to risk an explosion. It should then be fully defrosted in the fridge, and then shaken before it is used again.
The idea of using a dozen eggs within only a short time can seem unrealistic, but freezing them to then use on a long-term basis is budget savvy and sustainable.
Eggs also expand when frozen, so you cannot put them in the freezer whole. You can crack them into muffin tins or ice cube trays and then put them into a lunch bag - ready to grab - when they are frozen solid, to save space.
Every home-cook has some fresh herbs in the fridge at risk of drying out. Don't throw them away, freeze them!
You can prep your favourite fresh chopped herbs - coriander, parsley, even chili or garlic - by putting them in ice cube trays and then filling them with butter or olive oil and popping those in the freezer.
You can then empty those trays into ziplocs, allowing you to just grab a flavour block to chuck into a pan. Combine herbs to stock up on your favourite flavour profiles, making simple mixes and starters.
Cheese is good. You can make your cheese last longer by freezing it.
Cheese can be frozen in a block for storage, but grating it beforehand you can grab a handful and add it to whatever you're cooking, as needed. All types of cheese can handle freezing - except cottage cheese.
Bread is quick to go stale and mouldy, but it is also the ideal food for freezing. Make sure to put it in the freezer while it is still fresh, as stale bread it still stale after defrosting.
Especially simple with sliced bread, you can grab a piece from the freezer and pop the frozen slice directly into the toaster. You may have to run it for a second go in the toaster, but it's definitely worth the extended shelf-life.
When you freeze your yogurt, you don't even need to defrost it. It is delicious thawed and as frozen yogurt. You can even specifically purchase the children's yogurt tubes for a quick and easy frozen yogurt treat.
Some low-fat yogurts can be impacted negatively by freezing, so put a small amount in the freezer as a test before storing bulk amounts.
If you're an avocado lover - worry not. You can stock up on avocados without worrying about them going brown.
Take your fresh avocado, then wash and cut them into halves. Peel the slices and then puree if you'd like. Put them into sealed lunch bags and freeze. They will stay nice and green, and ready for you to take them out as needed.
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