12 Foods You Didn't Know You Could Freeze
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BY FOOD NETWORK KITCHEN
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Here’s proof that the freezer is more like a handy extension of your pantry and fridge — not just a spot for ice cubes and frozen dinners.
We all know that the freezer is a great place to store raw meat, casseroles and sweet, icy treats for later. But many everyday ingredients also keep surprisingly well frozen — which is great if you’ve got leftover items, like to stock up during a big sale or just sleep a little better with a fully stocked larder.
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The only thing better than eating buttermilk pancakes in your pajamas is eating buttermilk pancakes in your pajamas without making a last-minute grocery store run. Freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag. The cubes will last for 3 months.
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Homemade pudding and ice cream call for lots of yolks — good thing you can freeze the orphaned whites for up to 12 months. Turn them into coconut macaroons, angel food cake or even marshmallows. For best results, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind that frozen whites don’t always whip up to a foam as well as fresh ones.
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Brown-baggers, rejoice: Both unopened and opened packages of lunchmeat will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.
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You’ve probably frozen a loaf before, but did you realize you don’t need to thaw it before eating it? Sliced sandwich bread is good for 3 months in the freezer, and revives quickly in the toaster — making the freezer a better storage option than the fridge, which can dry bread out. Even a good baguette will last for 1 month in the freezer. Sprinkle it with a little water and bring it back to life in a warm oven.
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After 2 weeks at room temperature, the oils in some nuts can start to go bad. Freezing slows their decline. Just make sure you keep what you’re planning to use immediately in the fridge; repeatedly opening and closing the bag in the freezer will introduce moisture and the potential for contamination.
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Accidentally buy a carton right before you’re about to go out of town? You can freeze milk for up to 3 months.
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Just like nuts, whole-wheat flour contains oils that can go bad at room temperature. It’ll keep in the freezer for up to 2 years.
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Pantry staples like quinoa, farro and bulgur last for up to 3 months at room temperature, which is plenty of time for most people work through their supply. But if you have extra packages, sock them away in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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A vacuum-sealed package of salmon (or trout or mackerel) is good for 2 months in the freezer. And hey, so are bagels — instant brunch for days!
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The texture will become much denser, but you can freeze tofu for up to 5 months to make smoothies or braises.
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If you’ve got too much for your coffee, it’ll be good for up to 4 months in the freezer. However, you can’t say the same of heavy cream, which doesn’t hold up well in freezing temps.
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Yes, you can freeze them, so long as you let them thaw fully in the fridge (not the microwave) before using.