Food waste is a massive problem for our pockets and for the environment. This article will give you tips on how to make better use of your freezer, how to keep your food for longer, how to stop food waste and will help you save you money. Shiny Smeg or crusty old appliance-manufacturer-unknown, let’s get lovin’ that humble freezer!
There is much speculation surrounding the freezer and what it can and cannot be used for. Mark Kelly, product director at AppliancesDirect.co.uk offers advice on how best to utilise one of the kitchen’s most relied on appliances.
As a nation, we’re wasting a lot of food on a weekly basis because we’re unsure what food we can and can’t freeze. There are very few things you should never freeze, such as vegetables with a high water content, some dairy produce including cottage cheese, plain yoghurt and low fat cream as well as boiled eggs and egg based sauces. Aside from these product types, everything else can be frozen, within reason. Raw meat, poultry and fish freeze much better than when cooked, as it’s less susceptible to drying out or freezer burn. Fresh cooked vegetables, breads and baked goods such as pastry and cake also freeze well.
Most packaging will display information on freezing capabilities and offer advice, however a general rule which is useful to follow would be to never freeze dairy or fish for more than three months, and everything else should remain frozen for less than six months. Labelling products with the date they were frozen will help you keep track of how long they’ve been in there. Contrary to popular belief, freezing doesn’t kill bacteria, so if you’re unsure how long a product has been frozen, just throw it out – better safe than sorry!
It’s important to make best use of your freezer, as it can save families both a lot of time and money. Below I have suggested some top tips to help you maximise on your savings and keep your family safe;
– Store your frozen food in the freezer as soon as you can following purchase.
– Always cool hot foods before freezing.
– Avoid freezer burn by storing food in sealed containers or proper food bags which you can seal and label.
– Avoid refreezing raw meat or fish that has been defrosted and anything that’s already been frozen.
– In the event of a power cut, keep the freezer door shut and your food should be safe and keep frozen for the next 24 hours.
– Be sure to defrost your freezer at least once a year to prevent reduced efficiency
– Retain vitamins, minerals, colour and the flavour of your food by freezing it quickly whilst the produce is at its peak freshness. This can be done by placing food directly against the side of the freezer. Freezing food quickly will mean ice crystals are smaller and don’t effect the texture of food.
– Keeping food constantly below 0°c means food is safe to eat once thawed; fluctuations in temperature can affect the food’s condition and texture.
photo by : Kathleen Franklin