Your frozen foods can be just as nutritious and tasty as when they were fresh. While there is a short space of time between food being made or harvested, stored in a shop and to your pantry – they still only have a limited shelf life. As they do not have any added preservatives, their quality decreases over time. If you have the option of freezing these products (not all foods are suitable, see below) this would maintain the quality of the goods right up until you’re ready to eat them. Considering we're moving towards the time of year of cooking vegetables and meats in soups, stews and stir fries - it's a no brainer to be extending your foods life in the freezer.
Not all foods are suitable to freeze though, here's some common examples -
- Cucumber, lettuce, fresh herbs or cabbage; go limp, get 'freeze burn', loose their aroma and flavour.
- Cream or custard; separates, goes lumpy.
- Milk sauces; may curdle.
- Crumb toppings; goes soggy.
If you do decide to freeze your food - note these key points when defrosting your foods.
- Always defrost food in the fridge, allowing enough time for it to defrost completely.
- Do NOT defrost at room temperature.
- If defrosting meat in the fridge; place the meat on a plate, cover it and place at the bottom of the fridge.
- While some meat can be cooked from frozen, poultry should always be defrosted full before cooking. Use a fork to ensure it has thawed completely.
- It is recommended you boil frozen berries for 1 minute before eating or adding to smoothies to kill off potential bacterias.
Always be careful of food you have defrosted - if in doubt, don't chance it.
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