I live alone, but when I cook I make recipes for a family, then put portions into small 1 or 2 cup containers and put them in the freezer. Then I take them out when I want them. However, often when I do, they are freezer burnt and I have to toss them!
Try using zip lock bags, and double bagging the food. Put the first bag into the second upside down after squeezing out as much air as possible from both. I find that I have much less freezer burn when I do this. I wash and reuse all bags except those which held meat. By the way, we're neighbors as I'm on Grand Island.
I use a little thing called Handi-Vac by Reynolds (it is where the food bags are). I freeze the food in a cheep 1 quart bag then slip it into a Handi-Vac bag and use the Handi-Vac device to remove the air. No air no freezer burn. Since no food touches the Handi-Vac bag I reuse them. Glad has a product that does the same thing. I have had stuff in the freezer for 60 days with no burning. It is only 10 bucks but well worth it.
Those are great ideas, but what do I do with the small plastic containers I have? I guess I could put the food in them, then put them in one of those vaccuum bags or another plastic bag?
When freezing food in 1 or 2 cup plastic containers, I place a piece of saran wrap on top of the food and press it down so there are no air bubbles on the surface of the food. This eliminates air contact and the food freezes better this way. The plastic wrap does not have to be cut to size perfectly. I usually put the lid on with the excess wrap sticking out of the container, then I trim it roughly with scissors. If there is enough head room in the container, I just fold the excess wrap over the food and put on the lid.
How long are you keeping your frozen food? I think the quality does deteriorate the longer it's kept. I wouldn't like to keep frozen leftovers more than 3 months. Or maybe it's your fridge--how old is it?
I found an article online:
iI referred to a blog and I found a menu on there that is specifically for people short on time and money - it is all cooked and then frozen to reheat later. It is just enough for one adult and two children under 5 to eat for 20 days. You could take a look at it and adjust it a little since you do not have the kids! Hope that helps! Lara
I, too, live alone and freeze portions for future use. I freeze the item in freezer cartons, once frozen hard, pop it out and into ziplock freezer bags, squeezing out all excess air. Should be good for several months. I also store them in larger plastic cartons for easier access and doubling the danger of freezer burn.
The freezer in a refrigerator is not cold enough for storage longer than a week. A deep freezer is much better. I use sandwich bags, folding the top back over the contents to eliminate air then zip shut. I then store all the small bags in one or two large freezer bags which are date labelled.
I also live alone and do the plastic baggie storage technique. I love OliveOyl's idea about the plastic wrap placed on top of the food in the 'containers' because pasta sauces, refried beans, etc sure are messy once thawed trying to remove from a plastic baggie ;-) LOL! Thanks so much, OliveOyl ;-)
As for takelababy's comment about a refrigerator freezer not being sufficient to freeze for more than a week, well, that's simply not true. I've been freezing small portions of all sorts of foods for years and they freeze quite well for up to three and four months depending on the food type. Just place the items you know will be stored for a longer period of time towards the back of the freezer.
I use a vacuum. sealer (food saver). My sister just got one, and loves it. 3 of my friends use mine, all the time. I have had mine for about 7 years.
I, too, live alone, and live a hectic life, so when I cook, it's for several meals! I purchased a "Food Saver" last fall....and don't know how I live this long without one! Not only the extra cooking, but now do now canning as my trusty Food Saver looks after all! It has paid for itself time & again! I also live where seafood, shellfish is plentiful (in season) so love preserving this way, to be enjoyed a yr. long! Cheers!
What I do is line my heating grabbit bowl with a baggy that is filled with the leftovers, freeze it like that, then put the bowl away. So later unmolding it fits my bowl exactly. Also if you freeze fresh fish I fill with water. Meatballs keep better with lots of sauce.
Place food in small ziplock sandwich bags make sure all air is out then place bags in large freezer ziplock bag again press down so you can release air and now the grand finale. Place large freezer bag in a large brown paper bag make it as flat as you can place rubber band around bag put in freezer take one small bag out as you need to use. Guess what no more freezer burn.
I like to freeze my food in sandwich bags. I put the food/ sauce in the bag and gently squeeze out all of the air. Then I place the bag in a gallon freezer bag. If you lay the bag flat in your freezer, you'll have extra room. Plus it makes thawing a breeze! When it comes to freezing pasta, be sure not to cook the pasta thoroughly. This will help prevent it from being less than desirable once it is thawed.
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