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Food freezing advices? If you aren’t planning to use meat right away, it’s important to freeze when you get home from the store and not leave it sitting in the fridge for a few days. How to freeze: Remove meat from packaging and place in an airtight heavy-duty foil, plastic wrap or plastic freezer bag. This will help prevent freezer burn and extend the shelf life of your meat. Storing: Fresh, uncooked beef can last in the freezer for 3 to 4 months, uncooked chicken about 9 to 12 months and uncooked seafood 3 to 12 months. Fruit and vegetables are best stored when they are at peak season. How to freeze fruit: Wash and let air dry completely before storing in a container or bag. Depending on how you’ll use them later, you may want to chop larger fruit into bite-sized pieces—but leave smaller berries intact.

Why make freezer meals? Your freezer is one of the most useful tools in your kitchen for make-ahead meals and freezer-friendly dishes.Not only do freezer meals help on those busy weeknights, but they also cut back on food waste and allow you to stock up on ingredients that go on sale. These benefits all add up to saving time, money and calories. Maximize space in your freezer: Use good quality freezer bags to freeze soups, beans and sauces. They save space because you can lay them flat to freeze. Once frozen, you can stack them up on top of each other or keep them in bins upright.

Yes! Produce is one of those food types that seem to go bad before you can eat it. The beauty of freezing fresh fruit and veggies – it can be past its prime and you can still freeze it for smoothies or cooking in something else! Bananas – Whole, sliced, blended, whatever floats your boat! They make a delicious addition to a smoothie and obviously make good banana bread. Berries – Whole cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. These are all super easy to freeze and they’re GREAT in smoothies! Fruit – Sliced watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, grapes, kiwi, etc. freeze well. Just make sure you flash freeze (spread them out on a sheet pan and freeze) before putting them into a freezer baggie or else you’ll end up with a huge clump of fruit that you’ll never get apart! Find extra info on How to freeze.

Thaw in cold water This method takes about 20 to 30 minutes per pound of food. As the USDA points out, make sure to use waterproof packaging, change the water every 30 minutes, and keep the water at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below the entire time. Thaw in the refrigerator This is by far the easiest and safest way to thaw frozen food, but it takes the longest. Depending on the fare, it can take 24 hours per pound of food. Do: Refreeze Properly When it comes to refreezing foods that have previously been frozen and then thawed, a good rule of thumb is to avoid it when you can, because the moisture that’s lost through the initial thawing process will affect food quality, says Hutchings.

Marian Vasilescu

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