Reasons to buy a deep freezer
The deep freeze in our basement is one of my favorite appliances in the house. It was a birthday present a few years ago and I never even took off the happy little red ribbon.
I love the freezer because it's just the two of us and no one seems to make recipes for two (why is that?). I love to cook, but I hate to waste and leftovers can only be consumed so quickly...unless of course you freeze them.
Whenever I make a meal that can be frozen (I tend to cook a lot on weekends), I always double it. After we've eaten, the leftovers are packaged into meal sized containers and go straight to the freezer (for my work lunches). I know what you are thinking...is that the only reason I love a freezer?
Let me give you more reasons - most of which revolve around not wasting perishable foods and the money you bought them with.
Grapes. Frozen grapes are delicious as they never freeze solid so you can snack on them whenever. I also throw them in vegetable smoothies for sweetness.
Bananas. You can freeze ripe bananas and not just for smoothies. You can throw frozen banana chunks into a food processor and zap them until they turn into an ice cream like consistency. Seriously. If you like bananas and are trying to limit ice cream consumption, blend up bananas. Throw in Nutella or peanut butter if you like.
Cookies. We make so many cookies around the holidays. I've found that just about every cookie freezes well in the dough stage. And most cookies freeze well after baking. I'll blog about what I've learned about cookie-freezing soon, else this post could turn into a book.
Bell peppers. Whatever the color, if you have peppers in your refrigerator that are about to go south, chop them up and freeze them. You can spread and flash freeze first but if they are pretty dry to start with I've not had pepper-brick-problems tossing them straight into a container. A hearty thump on the counter usually releases them.
Buns. Hot dog or hamburger buns freeze really well. Buy them in the summer when they are on sale. They thaw on your counter in about an hour. Not stale tasting at all - assuming they weren't stale when you tossed them in the freezer. I've had lesser luck with french bread. You can do it, but it doesn't keep as long.
Pancakes/Waffles. Yup, you won't find Eggos in my freezer. Just make an extra batch and when you want a waffle, toss it in the toaster just like you would any frozen waffle.
I could go on and on with this list. I'm going to have to continue it at another time. But let me offer some general tips in case you want to give this a try.
Here are some tips:
You don't have to have a dedicated freezer to bulk freeze though! If you have a side by side freezer, you can find toaster oven sized cookie sheets and silicone sheets for flash freezing. Those fit perfectly in the side by side in my kitchen.
Use silicone. If you are going to be freezing pieces often, I'd recommend investing in Silicone baking sheets (like Silpat). They are expensive, but much better over the long hall versus parchment.
Labels. I use post-it labels because if I don't label it becomes a mystery. And we don't solve food mysteries in this household. Better safe than sorry.
I bought partitioned food storage containers so I can make our own "TV dinners" out of leftovers. They heat in the microwave just like the ones you buy in the freezer aisle. Less process, less preservatives.