If you are looking for the best freezer meal tips and tricks, you came to the right place! Let me walk you through all the ways to simplify freezer meal prepping!
Freezer Meal Tips and Tricks You Need to Know
What are freezer meals? Well, freezer meals are where you take time ahead and prep dinners. Whether they are a dump ingredients into a freezer bag and toss in slow cooker later. Or pre-cook the meat and then freeze part of the ingredients. Then when it comes time add some fresh with the frozen and cook.
First off let’s talk about dairy. Most dairy items like heavy cream, cream cheese and more don’t freeze well. So if you plan to do a freezer meal hold back these items, reheat as directed then stir in the dairy products at the end if applicable. When the dairy thaws it will curdle and separate leaving you a different texture than what you would expect. Some recipes can work with dairy items like those above, but not all.
Pre-Cooking Bulk Meat
I am a huge fan of buying ground beef, chicken and more in bulk. Or when the store has to buy one get one free roast, I take full advantage. I meal prep my meat with basic seasonings so I can use it for all types of meals. I do this with roast, ground beef, chicken, etc. Then just freeze in serving bags so all you do is grab a bag of pre-cooked meat from the freezer and your good to go.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Don’t discredit frozen fruits and veggies. They are both frozen at their prime for optimal flavor. So it can save time and money to reach for a mixed bag of frozen veggies or that bag of frozen blueberries.
Fresh Vegetables and Fruit
If you are a fan of buying fresh fruit and vegetables follow this tip. When they are close to going bag, slice them up and get them prepped and toss in the freezer. That way you don’t waste the pepper that is gaining on expiration. You can easily use it for stews, casseroles and more.
How To Store
I find that buying freezer bags is a great method. Pour in soups, stews, and other dishes, remove as much air as you can and seal. Then freeze as directed. Freezer bags take up minimal space and are affordable. Now, if you have a vacuum seal system this is another fantastic option. Vacuum sealing can extend the shelf life of your food dramatically.
Freezing In Containers
If you plan to freeze in containers, always leave room for it to expand. Soups especially need a little room to expand as it freezes. If you don’t you run the risk of it breaking off the lid.
Cool Down Before Freezing
You never want to place super hot food right into the freezer. This is a way that bacteria can grow rather fast. Store in the fridge until completely cooled down, and then transfer it to the freezer.
Label and Date
Make sure to label and date your meals. That way you can ensure that the food is still good when you go to serve it. You might forget what type of meal you tucked into that freezer bag, after a month or so.
Prep Similar Meals
Consider having a large batch of ground beef you can make into 2-5 meals. This will help you get a handful of meals prepped at once. Or do all pasta dishes one day, so you have them stocked up. Look for ways to use the same ingredients for a handful of meals so you don’t spend tons of money buying new ingredients for each recipe.