Favorite undervalued kitchen appliance? The freezer! You may think of it only as a place to store ice and frozen peas for when someone gets an owie, but your freezer has so much more potential. When utilized properly, your freezer can help you save time, eat healthy, reduce food waste, and save money.
When you stock your freezer with frozen fruits and vegetables, you will always have them on hand to make any meal more nutritious. They last for months in the freezer, unlike their fresh counterparts, which means they won’t spoil if you change your dinner plans last-minute. (Hate how that happens sometimes with a fridge stocked with fresh produce!)
Additionally, frozen produce can be cooked straight out of the freezer. No chopping, peeling, dicing, or slicing necessary. Most often, you don’t even need to thaw it before use. Just open the bag and add it to whatever you’re cooking.
Finally, frozen produce like Earthbound Farm frozen organic fruits and vegetables—which are packaged without preservatives or added ingredients—are just as healthy as fresh produce. They are individually quick-frozen right after harvest, when their flavor and nutrients are at their peak, and they stay that way until you consume them.
THREE TIPS TO MAKE YOUR FREEZER COUNT
Here are a few tips on how to make everything count in your freezer:
1. First, organize. Take inventory and purge what no longer belongs.
2. Second, re-stock as soon as possible. Freezers are at their most efficient when they are about 75% full. The frozen food helps keep the air cold, but it can still circulate, which helps for maximum efficiency.
3. Finally, re-organize. Cook, bake, and shop with your freezer in mind.
We’re celebrating Earth Month all April long with tips, tricks and tools you can use to be green at home and to make conscious buying decisions.
Stay tuned on our Earth Month page for more details!
Organize. Throw out anything that has been in your freezer for over a year. Not sure? It’s probably been in there too long! Toss it for a fresh start but plan to stay organized from here on out. Store the oldest things at the front or top, where they are easiest to reach so you can use them first, and the fresher items towards the back or bottom. Start a list of what’s in there so you know what you have and store like items together so they are easier to find.
Re-stock. Look for deals in the frozen section at the grocery store and buy in bulk to save money. Don’t buy things you normally wouldn’t as you may not ever use them—resulting in food waste and no ultimate savings. Repackage any larger fresh items into portion- or family-size smaller portions before freezing. Make extras for dinner and store in the freezer as well—just be sure to label what it is and the date. Guaranteed you won’t remember what it is a month from now. (Sorry, but it’s true!)
Re-organize. There are really amazing, time- and space- saving things you can do with frozen products, especially those you make and freeze yourself. For example, you can freeze individual portion-size soups flat in a clear freezer bag and then stack them vertically like books or magazines. You can peel overripe bananas, put them in clear freezer bags, and then mash before freezing. When you’re ready to make banana bread, just take the banana mash out, let it thaw while you prepare the batter, and add. No frozen fingers trying to peel a frozen black banana!
You have a freezer. Make it work for you, not against you. You can get time back in your cooking routine when you utilize frozen ingredients and save money at the same time!
Bonus: once your freezer is stocked and organized, try these 6 quick recipes using organic frozen ingredients.