Saving the contents of a partially opened can; and other tips to use freezing certain condiments, spices and even garlic.
This one is really easy. Once you have opened a large jar of a product, usually it goes into the refrigerator, and sometimes spoils if you do not use it quickly enough. This applies to most canned goods, or other things that may only be used a certain amount of the time.
Why waste opening another jar, or buying more of that item? Get out your ice cube trays! This is a great solution if you are saving something like pizza sauce, tomato sauce, broth, salsa, barbecue sauce and many other items. Even cheese dip seems to work as well. We've tested most possibilities over the years and the only poor outcome was potatoes; mashed or cubed.
This also works really well with garlic. If you are like me; you may like fresh garlic, but it's a pain to peel, chop, and sometimes goes bad if you leave it in the refrigerator too long.
For each liquid item, fill up the ice cube trays about 2/3 full (each "cube"). put in the freezer and when frozen, pop out and put in a ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer. Use as many cubes as you like, it's the perfect portion size and no chance of waste.
The garlic trick is to peel and wash the garlic, toss it into the blender with some water and then pour it into the ice cube trays. it's a wonderful way to have fresh garlic around at all times. Only one warning with the garlic, please make sure you put your frozen garlic cubes in a good container to prevent the garlic odor from mingling with the other foods. I don't recommend ziplock (odor still got out into the rest of the freezer). Now I use a glass jar, which seems to be working just fine.
All those left over sauces and broths can be frozen as well, with the exception of flour-thickened gravy.
I believe over the last 15 years that I have been using this technique it has worked with all items with those exceptions: gravy, potatoes. Everything else comes out just fine. So easy to reach for the proper amount without opening a new can.
By Bella S. from Forks, WA
I freeze mashed potatoes all the time with great results. Just use sandwich size Ziplocks, and put a cup or so in the bag, press the potatoes to flatten the package, and push them into all the corners to eliminate as much air in the bag as possible. Zip it and stack them in the freezer. To serve, thaw them in the bag, then put them in a microwavable bowl, and heat in the microwave. When hot, stir well with a fork to refresh them. If they are a little dry, stir in a bit of milk and butter. They are as good as fresh done in this manner. This is a good way to store potatoes if they begin to sprout before you can use them up.
Harlean from Arkansas
Do you use separate ice trays for freezing spicy foods, and sweet foods, etc? It seems to me that it'd be easy for the flavors to overlap between uses of the ice trays.
I use a cookie batter scoop (or an ice cream scoop) for mashed potatoes. Freeze individual scoops on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, put in a ziploc bag and then you can take out however many you want when you need them.
I know how much garlic can penetrate. I even had the problem with glass. I saved a jar that had the chopped garlic in it. I was making my own lotion and used the jar to put the lotion in. I brought it to work for some quick lotion on hands. I have no sense of smell LOL, but my co-workers did! They said the lotion reeked of garlic! I learned my lesson on never re-using a garlic jar!
I freeze all leftovers in zip lock bags. The small ones. I have a small cutting board that I set the bag on in the freezer until the food is frozen then move it to another shelf. You can freeze liquid items this way.
I also freeze mashed potatoes and they are always good. I don't freeze them in ziplock bags though; don't like using any more bags than I have too. I freeze them in glass bowls. They don't stay frozen very long because we eat a lot of mashed potatoes.
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