Making and Freezing
Cool quickly. Cool items quickly to about 100 °F before freezing to retain the best flavor. The slower food freezes, the larger the ice crystals are, which makes food mushy when thawed.
Safety first. Don’t let perishable foods such as meats, eggs, dairy products, fruits and vegetables stand at room temperature to cool. Instead, place them in the refrigerator before freezing.
Make two, freeze one. Double the recipes of your favorite pasta bakes, casseroles, sauces and stews and freeze an extra batch for later.
Soup scoop. Most broth-based soups freeze well for up to 6 months. So if you’re not freezing your leftover soup already, it’s time to start. To do so, pour soup into freezer containers, leaving ¼- to ½-inch of room at the top (soups expand as they freeze). Soups made with cream may separate after freezing. To freeze this type of soup, skip the cream and add it after reheating thoroughly.
Freeze in portion sizes. For foods you’d like to use in small portions or keep from getting mushy, (think meatballs, rice and berries) spread evenly on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. This allows for individual freezing and easier-to-manage portion sizes.