To Freeze Or Not To Freeze
You Really Can Freeze These Foods!
Here is a collection of many foods you may not have thought about freezing. They will keep best if used within 3 to 6 months.
- Bananas—ripe in their skins but unable to be used right away. Thaw each 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave and use in baked foods. Frozen bananas can also be eaten as a treat
- Bread crumbs—buttered or plain
- Candied fruits—such as fruitcake mix
- Coconut—grated fresh or purchased
- Coffee, beans or ground—package in small amounts to avoid repeated exposure to air. Or freeze leftover brewed coffee in ice cube trays for adding to iced coffee or for extra added flavor to gravies or sauces
- Cranberries—freeze them when in season and use year round
- Dried fruits—such as apples, apricots, dates and raisins
- Flavored butters—reshape into blocks; refrigerate until firm. Cut into small amount and freeze in a single layer; package when frozen
- Flour—especially in hot, humid weather or if not frequently used
- Herbs and spices, dried—flavors keep longer in the freezer. Fresh herb sprigs and leaves can be frozen but will become limp; chop while frozen and use in cooked recipes
- Melon—leftover chunks can be frozen, then used in fruit drinks
- Nuts—shelled or unshelled
- Orange or lemon peel—fresh grated or finely shredded
- Pasta and rice, cooked or uncooked—texture of cooked pasta may change slightly; freezing dry pasta in hot, humid weather can help prevent bugs
- Pesto, soup stock or spaghetti sauce—freeze in ice cube trays for quick and easy flavor additions to your recipes
- Seeds—such as poppyseed, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower
- Tea, loose or in bags—or leftover brewed tea in ice cube trays for adding to iced tea or punch
Please Do Not Freeze These Foods!
Some foods are not recommended for freezing because the quality of the thawed product is poor.
- Cooked egg whites become tough
- Crackers and chips absorb moisture
- Cream, custard or meringue-topped pies will separate and lose texture quality
- Crumb topping on casseroles and desserts can become soggy. Add the topping before baking.
- Egg-white frostings and meringues for pies shrink and become tough
- Mayonnaise or salad dressings may separate
- Raw apples and grapes become mushy, though some people find frozen grapes a refreshing snack
- Raw tomatoes will become limp and watery, but can be frozen for use in cooking (reduce amounts of added liquid)