Month: June 2017

Beverages

Can You Freeze Kombucha?

Kombucha is a type of sweet tea infused with bacteria and yeast culture. This beverage is considered as a health drink that promotes better digestive health.

Kombucha used to be rare in the US but these days, the drink can be found at local supermarkets. Some people are even brewing their own kombucha! This sweet drink is best stored at room temperature to keep the culture alive. But what about freezing this drink? But can you freeze kombucha?

Some believe that kombucha shouldn’t be frozen because the probiotic culture might die during freezing. This is a myth; kombucha can be frozen for future uses! Now here’s the thing, it’s important to freeze the drink properly through “fast-freezing” so the bacteria and yeast culture won’t die during freezing.

can you freeze kombucha

Image used under Creative Commons from thedabblist

The fact is, freezing kombucha won’t kill the bacteria and yeast culture, the cold temps will only cause them to stay dormant.  Still, there are many things to consider before freezing the drink.

For one thing, the cell membranes of yeast and beneficial bacteria could rupture as they expand from being kept in the freezer for too long. In addition, the ice crystals that form during freezing could be harmful to the bacteria. As such, we don’t recommend freezing kombucha for weeks at a time. You need to consume kombucha as soon as possible if you want to enjoy its health benefits.

What about chilling the drink, is it safe to keep kombucha in the fridge? Yes, you can store kombucha in the fridge.  When stored in the fridge, kombucha will keep for up to 3 months. But to reiterate, we don’t recommend keeping this drink stored for too long if you want to enjoy its health benefits.

Kombucha has a long shelf life and it will never spoil. Why? The bacteria in the drink kill any contaminant they meet. When kept at room temperature, kombucha will continue to ferment, getting sour as the day goes by. Fermentation stops when the drink is chilled in the fridge. The only time you should throw kombucha is if mold starts forming. This happens when the drink has been left sitting for too long.

If you’d like to store your favorite health drink in the freezer, here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze kombucha:

How to Freeze Kombucha?

Before you go ahead with the freezing, it’s important to note that this process won’t guarantee the survival of the probiotics post-freezing.

Slow freezing is the enemy when storing kombucha in the freezer. If you brewed your own kombucha, it’s important to pack the drink properly. That includes avoiding using any metal to store the drink.

can you freeze kombucha

Image used under Creative Commons from Stephanie Neil

The probiotic culture will react with the drink so always use plastic utensils as well as plastic funnels to prep kombucha. You can use a rigid plastic container or heavy duty releasable plastic bags to freeze the drink. Just pour the kombucha into the container and leave for a couple of inches of space before sealing it. Never shake the kombucha.

Fill a large bowl with ice and place the packed drink it in to chill then add water as well as ¼ cup of salt. The salt will cause the water and ice to turn extremely cold, chilling the drink almost instantly. Once the drink is nice and chilled, stick in the freezer and keep the temperature at constant 0°Fahrenheit.

The same process can be done to flash freeze store-bought kombucha although there’s no need to transfer the drink to another container.

How to Defrost Frozen Kombucha?

To defrost frozen kombucha, transfer the drink from the freezer to the fridge. Consume the drink immediately as soon as it’s been thawed. Just to make sure most of the probiotics survived the freezing temps, consume the rest of your kombucha stock within a few days or weeks of freezing. Never leave defrosted kombucha sitting in the pantry or re-freeze leftovers.

Summary

Freezing kombucha is a tricky process that requires careful preparation and considerable knowledge about proper handling kombucha microorganisms. While there is no guarantee that flash freezing will ensure the survival of the probiotics once the drink has been defrosted, it’s worth a try if you need to store gallons of the drink in the freezer. Our advice is to freeze the drink in small batches to avoid waste.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Kimchi?

Kimchi is a Korean condiment made from shredded cabbages pickled in spices and seasonings. This condiment is often served as a side dish as well as ingredients to other dishes. For instance, kimchi is added to ‘slaws, burgers, soups, fried rice and even quesadillas. Suffice it to say, kimchi is one versatile condiment.

Traditionally, kimchi is stored in a large clay pot that’s been buried in the ground. The cool ground temperature allows the kimchi to ferment and develop stronger flavors.

can you freeze kimchi

Image used under Creative Commons from Republic of Korea

Kimchi has a long shelf life because it’s been salt-pickled. That said, it could still go bad when exposed to indoor air for too long. In fact, leftover kimchi will keep in the fridge for only 5 to 7 days. When kept in the freezer, leftover kimchi will keep for 2 to 3 months. That said, some Koreans believe kimchi never goes bad, it only ripens.

Still, never leave leftover kimchi sitting at room temperature for long. When you have leftovers, keep in the fridge immediately to limit exposure to air.

A sign that kimchi has “gone bad” is if takes on a too-sour taste.  Now, kimchi that’s gone bad isn’t completely unusable. You can still use it in cooking. You can mix it in pancake batter, fried rice, or tofu stew.

The only time you should throw kimchi is if mold starts growing on it or it is starting to produce pungent odor. If say, you have a lot of kimchi in your hands, here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze kimchi:

Image used under Creative Commons from Divya Thakur

How to Freeze Kimchi?

For bottled kimchi, it’s not a good idea to stick the bottle straight in the freezer. The glass bottle will shatter as the kimchi freezes. It’s best to repackage the kimchi in manageable servings using heavy duty plastic bags or even freezer-safe rigid containers. Just make sure the container is airtight to prevent freezer burn.

Water crystals could form into exposed or poorly packed kimchi and they will dilute the flavors of the condiment once it’s defrosted. Also, the melted water crystals will turn the kimchi soggy.

Using a clean spoon, spoon the product into the plastic container or plastic bag. If you’re using resealable plastic bags, squeeze as much air as you could before sealing the bag. Get a marker, label the package with the storage date and stick in the freezer.

The same method goes for homemade kimchi and leftover kimchi. Just pack the condiment in manageable portions before sticking in the freezer. This way, the kimchi won’t get soggy during thawing. For store-bought plastic-wrapped and unopened kimchi, you can stick the product directly in the freezer. If the pack’s been opened, you can either transfer the kimchi in a resealable container or seal the original packaging before sticking in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Marcus Buchwald

How to Defrost Kimchi?

To defrost frozen kimchi, just transfer the product from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the condiment to thaw for several hours. The key here is to thaw the kimchi slowly to reduce flavor or texture changes. Since kimchi is traditionally served cold, you can enjoy this popular condiment as soon as it’s thawed completely. On the other hand, you can add frozen kimchi directly into cooking if say, you’re using it for stews and soups.

Summary

Kimchi is the perfect condiment for rich dishes because of its distinct acidity. It complements all types of foods particularly grilled meats and Korean barbecue! Now that you know how can you freeze kimchi, you can store this delicious condiment for future uses so you’ll never run out.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Ketchup?

Can you freeze ketchup? You might not know this, but ketchup is one of the best condiments to freeze because it keeps so well in extremely low temperature. As a staple condiment, most households have bottles of ketchup in the pantry. Although this condiment has a long shelf life, you can extend the shelf life of ketchup that is nearing its expiry date by freezing it.

People freeze ketchup for different reasons. Some do it because they use ketchup sparingly, others buy in bulk. An unopened bottle of ketchup will keep for 2 years. Kept in the fridge, an opened bottle of ketchup will keep fresh for a year. When kept in the freezer, ketchup will keep indefinitely.

Image used under Creative Commons from jeffreyw

The great thing about freezing ketchup is that there’s little change in the flavor once it’s defrosted. However, there is a good chance that the consistency will be thinner but it’s still usable. Ketchup is high in water so it freezes like ice. By the time it’s defrosted, the ingredients will start separating and the consistency is not the same as a freshly opened bottle of ketchup. If this is the case, give the defrosted ketchup a good stir to incorporate the ingredients. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze ketchup:

How to Freeze Ketchup?

Just like any type of food, ketchup is prone to freezer burn so pack the condiment properly for long-term storage. Never freeze whole bottles of ketchup, except those packed in plastic bottles. Again, ketchup has high water content. Freezing it in its original packaging will cause the bottle to explode as the liquid within the condiment freezes! For ketchup kept in a squeeze or plastic bottle, just stick the product in the freezer, no prep needed.

But if you’re freezing ketchup in smaller batches or in single serving portions, you can use a silicon mold or an ice tray to do this. Just pour the ketchup into the mold or tray, making sure each slot is filled evenly. Give the silicon mold or ice tray a gentle shake to keep the surface even then stick in the freezer.

Wait for an hour or two until the ketchup is frozen solid. Then, take the ice cube tray or silicone mold out and either place the container in a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. To keep the condiment in single serving portion, pop the frozen ketchup and then place them one by one in a large plastic bag. Either way, the plastic bag will protect the condiment from freezer burn and moisture exposure.

Image used under Creative Commons from Richard Gillin

You can also use a rigid plastic container in place of a resealable plastic bag to pack the frozen ketchup. Label the container with the storage date, stick the whole thing back in the freezer and you’re done! Whenever you need a serving of ketchup, you can simply take a couple of portion out instead of defrosting the whole container.

How to Defrost Frozen Ketchup?

To defrost frozen ketchup, just transfer the condiment from the freezer to your kitchen counter. Leave the product to thaw at room temperature for an hour or two. Once it’s thawed, there’s a good chance that separation to set in or the consistency will turn runny. This is normal.

Give the ketchup a good stir to incorporate the ingredients again. The ketchup is now ready to use.  The same thing goes for frozen ketchup kept in squeeze bottles. Just give the container a good shake to mix the ketchup to the right consistency.

Image used under Creative Commons from Rachel Tayse

Summary

Ketchup has a long shelf life but there are times when you need to freeze this popular condiment to prevent waste or spoilage. Now that you know how can you freeze ketchup, you can store excess condiment in the freezer without worrying about flavor changes after thawing.

Meat

Can You Freeze Jerky?

Jerky is a fantastic snack that could last for months because the meat has been dehydrated. Dehydrating the meat inhibits bacteria from contaminating the meat. But can you freeze jerky? Of course, you can!

When it comes to freezing jerky, the enemy here is the fat. Fatty beef jerky is more prone to spoilage because moisture remains on the beef’s fat lining. When the moisture in the jerky fat is exposed to air, contamination will set in and this will cause the jerky to go bad way before its expiry date.

Image used under Creative Commons from Arnold Gatilao

If you’re storing jerky in other places apart from the fridge or freezer, keep your stash in a cool, dark place. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight could cause condensation within the packaging and this could lead to mold growth.

Unopened, leftover, and homemade jerky will keep well in the fridge. A pack of unopened jerky will keep for 1 to 2 months in the fridge, a long time if you’re a jerky lover. Freezing the jerky will extend its shelf life to about 7 to 12 months!

It is worth noting that chilling or freezing the jerky may alter its texture and flavor. This goes especially if the jerky has been left in the fridge for too long. The meat could also absorb fridge flavors, which could ruin the taste of the jerky. Simply put, proper packaging plays a crucial role in preserving jerky.

 

Image used under Creative Commons from theimpulsivebuy

While you can always freeze a large batch of jerky for future consumption, we recommend freezing just a few batches at a time. Then, consume all of it within a month or two for optimal flavor. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze jerky:

How to Freeze Jerky?

If you’re freezing unopened packs of jerky, simply stick these in the freezer, no other prep is needed. On the other hand, if you’re freezing opened packs of jerky, remove the jerky from its original packaging. Place the jerky in a freezer-safe, resealable packaging.

If you have a vacuum sealer, vacuum seal the jerky prior to freezing. This extra step will help retain the flavors and texture of the product once it’s been defrosted. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing the plastic bag. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

For freezing homemade jerky, be sure the jerky has been cooled and dried completely prior to freezing. A hint of moisture or condensation within the packaging could increase the risk of freezer burn!

Once the jerky is ready for freezing, place the product in resealable plastic containers and squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing. Get a marker, write the label then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from ryan.dowd

How to Defrost Jerky?

Thaw frozen jerky by transferring the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave to defrost for a few hours to overnight. Never thaw frozen jerky at room temperature because this will increase the risk of bacterial growth.

Once the product has been thawed, it’s ready to eat as is. It’s worth noting that defrosted jerky should be consumed right away to reduce the risk of spoilage. Also, it’s not a good idea to refreeze defrosted jerky. There will be a significant change in flavor and texture when the jerky is frozen twice.

Summary

Jerky is one of the easiest products to freeze because it keeps so well in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze jerky, you can make them at home or hoard all the jerky you could get your hands on and keep them in the freezer for later use!

Legumes

Can You Freeze Kidney Beans?

Kidney beans are a staple among vegetarians because they’re such a great source of plant-based protein and soluble fiber. But if you have too much kidney beans in your hand, can you freeze kidney beans? Kidney beans are often sold in cans or dried. And if for some reason you’d like to store your favorite beans in the freezer, you can.

Depending on the state of the kidney beans before freezing – if the beans are tinned, dried, uncooked or soaked/cooked – you can prep the beans for long-term storage.

can you freeze kidney beans

Image used under Creative Commons from Marco Verch

But how about the taste of thawed kidney beans, will it be just as good as fresh beans? Again, the flavor and texture of the kidney beans will depend on the prep.

Beans that have been soaked but uncooked prior to freezing will keep fresh for up to 4 months in the freezer. Cooked beans that are frozen will last in the freezer for 6 months or so. Leftover canned kidney beans should keep in the freezer for up to a month. Dried or uncooked beans that are kept in the freezer have the longest shelf life. The beans will keep indefinitely when kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer.

Now that you know how long kidney beans could keep fresh in the freezer, let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze kidney beans:

How to Freeze Kidney Beans?

The prep will depend on how you’d like to freeze the beans. Would you like to freeze the beans without cooking or would you like to cook the beans first?

Freezing Dried or Uncooked Kidney Beans

If you’d like to freeze dried or uncooked kidney beans, give the beans a good rinse first. The beans should be free from dirt or debris that could otherwise increase the risk of bacterial growth. Essentially, the beans should be clean enough that they’re ready to be used as soon as they are defrosted.

Image used under Creative Commons from perkumpulan lesman

Once the beans are clean, sort through them. Remove rotting beans or other debris left after rinsing. When the beans are clean, pat them with paper towels or a clean washcloth to soak up all the excess water and dry them up thoroughly. Then, pour the kidney beans in a large, rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Don’t fill the container to the brim, leave a couple of centimeters of space. Finally, close the lid, add the label and storage date using a marker and stick in the freezer.

Cooking Dried Kidney Beans Prior to Freezing

If you’d like to boil the cooked or dried beans prior to freezing, start by rinsing the beans. Sort through them and then soaking them in water overnight (for long soaking) or 2 to 6 hours (short soak). After soaking the beans, drain the liquid, give the kidney beans a thorough rinsing and then pour the beans into a large pot. Boil for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turn off the heat, then leave the beans to cool at room temperature.

Do note that kidney beans take a long time to cook. Partially uncooked kidney beans will cause gastric problems so be sure the beans are cooked thoroughly.

Once the cooked beans have cooled completely, drain the cooking water using a colander. Pour the cooked kidney beans in heavy-duty resealable plastic bags. Squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing. Finally, mark the plastic bags with the label and storage dates then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Leftover Cooked Kidney Beans/Tinned Kidney Beans

If you have leftover kidney beans, just pour the beans in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Leave about an inch or two of space so the liquids could expand as the kidney beans freezes. Close the lid and then label with the storage date and stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Steve Johnson

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Kidney Beans?

Freezing is a great way to lengthen the shelf life of leftover, cooked, or fresh kidney beans! To defrost frozen kidney beans, simply transfer the container to the fridge. Leave it to thaw for a few hours. If you’re defrosting cooked or fresh kidney beans for cooking, you can pour the kidney beans directly into the pot, no thawing required. To prevent the beans from splitting, simmer the beans in the lowest temperature. Adding salt halfway through cooking may also reduce splitting.

For leftover beans that are cooked, you can reheat the beans using a microwave. You can also reheat by simmering over low heat in a pan.

Summary

Do you love kidney beans? Kidney beans are such versatile ingredient, you cannot have enough of them. Now that you know how can you freeze kidney beans, you can keep a steady stock of beans for future uses.

 

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Jicama?

Looking for a great alternative to potatoes or starchy root crops? Give jicama a try! Jicama is a type of yam bean plant with an edible tuberous root. This plant originated in Mexico and South Africa and is often used in cooking.

Jicama’s fleshy root is crunchy and mild in flavor, similar to turnips. Its exterior is light brown or gray. As for the flavor, this vegetable has a sweet, nutty flavor and a crispy texture. Its crispiness is retained even when the vegetable is cooked briefly. Jicama can be eaten raw, added to salads, or cooked in stews. The flavor is so mild; it will not alter the flavor of the dish.

Image used under Creative Commons from spiralmushroom

Jicama is widely available in the US but you can buy this root crop in bulk. But can you freeze jicama? Jicama does surprisingly well in the freezer, unlike regular starchy roots! Fresh, uncut tubers will keep fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks. As long as you do not cut the vegetable into pieces, there’s no need to wrap jicama in tin foil or cling wrap to retain its freshness in the fridge.

However, once it is cut, you have to prep the vegetable prior to freezing. Although its root is crisp and white, it could turn soggy and yellowish once it’s left exposed to cold temperature. Exposure to moisture could also alter the flavor of jicama. It could even absorb fridge flavors when it’s not packed properly.

You can freeze jicama but this will change the texture of the root crop unless it’s frozen whole and uncut. If it’s cut, you can still freeze it but it will take on a softer texture once it’s been defrosted. Frozen jicamas could keep fresh in the freezer for up to 4 to 6 months.

Image used under Creative Commons from Forest and Kim Starr

One thing to keep in mind when wondering if can you freeze jicama is the moisture level of the vegetable prior to storage. Jicama is extremely sensitive to moisture and once exposed to it, decay, discoloration, and texture loss will set in. As such, you need to keep the product as dry as possible prior to freezing. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze jicama.

How to Freeze Jicama?

If you are simply chilling whole jicamas in the fridge, there’s no need to add protective wrapping as long as you plan to consume the root crops right away. But if you’re freezing whole jicamas, you will still need a protective wrapping to protect them from freezer burn or moisture loss. Before freezing, wrap each jicama in aluminum foil then stick them in the freezer.

For cut or shredded jicamas, use an airtight rigid plastic container to store the vegetables in the freezer. Start by patting the jicamas with a clean cloth or paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible. You want the jicamas to be dry to the touch before freezing. Once the jicamas are dry, place them in a plastic container and close the airtight lid. Do not overfill the container so the jicamas will freeze without bruising. Get a marker to add the storage date and label before sticking in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Eliazar Parra Cardenas

How to Defrost Jicama?

To defrost jicama, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the frozen jicama to defrost overnight then, it is ready to use. Do note that defrosted jicamas must be consumed right away because the changes in temperature will turn the tuber soggy.

Summary

Jicamas make a great ingredient for healthy dishes including and salads, barbecues. Now that you now how can you freeze jicama, you can store this diet-friendly tuber for future uses!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit often seen at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. This fruit is distinct for its spiky green rind and musty aroma. Jackfruit happens to be the largest fruit in the world and it is cumbersome to prepare. Why? Its rind is so thick and tough; it will take a lot of elbow grease to extract the edible flesh off it. The fruit also yields a sticky substance that adheres to anything it touches. This sticky substance is hard to wash off.

Jackfruit pods can be eaten fresh on its own or added to frozen desserts, rice pudding, etc. This fruit has a sweet taste that many say is a cross between a banana and a pineapple. It also has a gummy texture (depending on ripeness). The seeds are also edible. Roasting or boiling the jackfruit seeds will bring out their natural sweetness.

Image used under Creative Commons from oinonio

Can you freeze jackfruit? Jackfruit isn’t available all year round. However, most supermarkets offer canned jackfruit in case you cannot get your hands on fresh jackfruit. Regardless if you’re storing canned or fresh jackfruit, you can freeze the fruit for future uses.

Storing jackfruit in the fridge, it will keep fresh for up to a week or so. But when frozen, jackfruit will keep safe indefinitely. Of course, the temperature has to be kept at a steady 0°Fahrenheit to extend the shelf life of frozen jackfruit. Otherwise, the fruit will turn soggy once it’s been defrosted. Although the fruit will keep fresh in the freezer for a long, long time, it’s best to consume it within a month or so. Now, let’s discuss how can you freeze jackfruit below:

How to Freeze Jackfruit?

Prepping the fruit will depend on the state of the product before freezing. For instance, a whole jackfruit does not require any prep prior to being frozen. The thick, tough rind will do a better job at preserving the integrity of the fruit as it freezes than any airtight container.

Image used under Creative Commons from Fruitnet.com

Leftover jackfruit (fruit pods still attached to the rind) will keep well in the freezer too. All you need to do is to cover all exposed parts of the fruit, spots that are not protected by the rind. You can use aluminum foil or cling wrap to do this. Once all exposed parts of the fruit have been covered, stick the whole thing in the freezer.

As for canned jackfruit, never freeze it in its original packaging. Get a rigid plastic container with an airtight cover and pour the product. Leave about an inch or two of space to let the liquids expand as the fruit freezes. Then, close the lid and add the label and storage date before sticking in the freezer.

For freshly extracted jackfruit pods, get an airtight container and place the pods inside. Then, close the lid, add the label and storage date before sticking in the freezer. You can also use heavy-duty plastic bags to store the fruit pods instead of rigid plastic containers. Just squeeze as much air as you can before you seal the bags.

How to Defrost Jackfruit?

To defrost frozen fresh or canned jackfruit, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the fruit to thaw for an hour or two and it’s ready to use. Do note that fresh jackfruit that’s been frozen will no longer be as gummy or chewy once it’s defrosted. Freezing will alter the texture of the jackfruit slightly.

Image used under Creative Commons from Adam Skowronski

If you’d like to reheat the thawed preserved jackfruit, you can use the microwave. Just pour the right amount of jackfruit on a plate and microwave for a few seconds. You can also reheat the thawed canned/preserved jackfruit in a skillet, simmering the fruit for a few minutes.

Summary

Jackfruit may be uncommon but you can certainly stock up on this versatile fruit for baking and cooking. Now that you know how can you freeze jackfruit, you can enjoy this fabulous tropical fruit anytime of the year.

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Injera?

Can you freeze injera? Injera is a type of Ethiopian sourdough-risen flatbread. This bread is typical in the East African region and is traditionally eaten with stews, soups, and salads.

Injera – which is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea – is an incredibly thin bread yet has a spongy texture and mild flavor. This type of bread is quite rare so if you found some in your local supermarket and you love flatbread, stock up on injera! Of course, you can also make your own injera using teff flour and a skillet.

Injera does turn moldy much more quickly than other flatbreads so it must be stored properly. It is possible to retain the soft, chewy texture of the flatbread as long as you prepped the injera prior to storage.

Image used under Creative Commons from Serene Vannoy

When kept at room temperature, injera could keep fresh for up to 2 to 3 days only. In the fridge, injera is safe to eat for up to 7 days. And when frozen, it will keep fresh for 2 to 3 months. However, we recommend consuming the flatbread as soon as possible even when it’s frozen. The longer the injera is kept in the freezer, the higher the chances of texture and flavor change.

If say, you overestimated the amount of flatbread you bought, here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze injera:

How to Freeze Injera?

If the flatbread’s packaging is unopened, you can simply stick the injera into the freezer as is. Just make sure to label the product with the storage date. For homemade injera, leave the flatbread to cool for an hour or two on a cooling rack prior to freezing.

To prep leftover and/or homemade injera, wrap each flatbread in cling wrap or aluminum foil completely but layer a sheet of wax paper on each bread. This will keep the injera from sticking to one another as it freezes. Wrapping the bread with cling wrap or aluminum foil, there should never be a spot exposed or the bread won’t freeze properly. Water crystals will form into exposed bread and this will affect the shelf life and texture of the injera once it’s been defrosted.

Image used under Creative Commons from Steve Graby

After wrapping the bread in protective cling wrap or aluminum foil, place the whole thing in a freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as possible before sealing. Get a marker, label the product with the storage date, and stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Injera?

Injera is easy to defrost but do so gradually so the texture and taste won’t change at all. To thaw injera, transfer the frozen flatbread from the freezer and onto the kitchen counter. Do not put the frozen injera in the fridge because once you reheat the flatbread, it becomes dry and tasteless.

Once the injera has been thawed for an hour or so, get several damp paper towels. Place the paper towels on top of the injera and then stick the flatbread in the microwave to reheat. The damp paper towels will protect the injera from heat while also keeping it moist as it is heated.

Image used under Creative Commons from Ernesto Andrade

Once you’re done reheating, you can now serve and enjoy this delicious flatbread. You can also reheat the injera in oven toasters for a minute or two, depending on how you like your flatbread.

Summary

There’s no doubt about it, injera is one of the best types of flatbreads to use for stews and saucy dishes. The flatbread has a mouthwatering smoky flavor that’s totally unique and delicious! Now that you know how can you freeze injera, you can store more of your favorite flatbread for future meals.

Dairy

Can You Freeze Heavy Cream?

We’ve discussed how to freeze double cream but what about heavy cream? Can you freeze heavy cream? Heavy cream is a dairy product often used to make pastries and desserts. With just a whisk, this thick cream transforms into whipped cream! Heavy cream has a mild creamy taste and a luxurious texture that makes anything it touches a little bit better! And if you’ve got heaps of heavy cream, that’s not a bad thing at all!

Yes, you can freeze heavy cream! Heavy cream is a delicate product and though you can freeze it for future uses, it won’t transform into fluffy whipped cream once it’s been thawed. But don’t let that stop you from freezing leftover heavy cream. You can still use defrosted heavy cream for a variety of treats. You can use it as topping or ingredient for cakes, sauces, hot drinks, desserts, and so much more.

Image used under Creative Commons from Heather Katsoulis

But what about heavy cream that’s already been fluffed into whipped cream, can you freeze it? Yes, you can also freeze whipped cream as is but there is a right way to do it. When kept in the fridge at below 40°Farenheit, heavy cream should last for 2 to 3 weeks. On the other hand, freezing heavy cream will extend its shelf life to 3 to 4 months! If you’d like to know how can you freeze heavy cream, continue reading below:

How to Freeze Heavy Cream?

In its natural, un-whipped state, heavy cream is a thick, liquid cream so it’s easy to store in the freezer. We do recommend freezing the cream in single-serving portions so you don’t have to take the whole container out of the freezer to defrost each time you need it.

To freeze heavy cream, use rigid plastic containers or a couple of silicon molds. If you’re using a plastic container, just pour the cream into it and then close the container. Leave about an inch or two of space to give the cream extra room to expand. Choose a container with a snapping or a locking lid so the cream won’t leak during freezing. Get a marker and label the container with the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you’re using silicone molds, pour the cream into each mold, cover the top with tinfoil and then stick in the freezer. Make sure to place the mold on a level surface so the cream won’t pour out. Once the cream has been frozen solid for two to four hours, take out each mold, pop the single serving frozen heavy cream and place them all in a resealable freezer-safe plastic bag. Get a marker, label each bag with the storage date and stick them right back in the freezer. Each time you need a serving of cream, just get a single portion from the freezer.

For leftover heavy cream that’s been whipped already, just stick the cream in the freezer after transferring in an airtight container. The cream will freeze into a semi-solid state.

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How to Defrost Frozen Heavy Cream?

Defrosting frozen heavy cream couldn’t be any easier. Just take the cream out of the freezer and then transfer it to the fridge. Leave to thaw overnight. After thawing, the cream will take on a runnier consistency and there will be separation. This is normal. Just give the cream a good stir to incorporate the ingredients again and it’s ready to use.

For frozen heavy that’s been whipped prior to storage, do not leave the cream to thaw completely or it will melt. When at its semi-frozen state, just wait for 10 to 15 minutes then add the whipped heavy cream on desserts or pies.

Summary

Heavy cream is a versatile ingredient, one that you can use for baking and cooking. There’s no such thing as having too much heavy cream. Now that you know how can you freeze heavy cream, you can store this dairy product without worrying about spoilage or unnecessary waste.

Sauces

Can You Freeze Gravy?

From fried chicken to pot roast, grilled meats to Thanksgiving turkey, a special meal isn’t complete without a savory sauce like gravy! But if you made more sauce than you can handle, can you freeze gravy? Gravy is typically made from flour, fat, milk, cream, and chicken stock.

These ingredients typically keep well in the fridge but combined in a sauce, they’ll go bad quickly. This makes gravy an extremely perishable sauce. In fact, gravy that’s been left sitting for two hours at room temperature is no longer safe to consume and should be discarded.

If you made a lot of gravy, you have to store it properly. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with a lot of wasted gravy and no one wants that!

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When left in the fridge, homemade gravy will for about 2 days. That’s a pretty short lifespan. Freezing cream-based gravy will extend its shelf life to about a week or so. On the other hand, gravy made from flour could keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.

The fact is, gravy will start breaking down when stored for too long. This goes regardless if the sauce is kept in the freezer or fridge. When freezing gravy, we recommend packing it in a single serving portion. This way, you don’t have to take the entire batch out of the freezer for a small serving of the sauce.

Prepping the sauce is important when you’re freezing gravy. This is a dipping sauce so naturally; most of your loved ones will either dip their food directly into a bowl of gravy or pour the sauce over their food. It’s best to serve the sauce in serving plates. Do not let anyone touch the leftovers without using a serving spoon or ladle. This will prevent contamination or bacterial growth.

Regardless if you are freezing homemade or store-bought gravy, always boil the sauce for 3 minutes prior to freezing. This will kill the bacteria that could otherwise shorten the lifespan of the gravy while in storage. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze gravy:

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How to Freeze Gravy?

Assuming that the gravy has been boiled prior to freezing, leave the sauce to cool completely before packing for storage. Get several freezer bags or airtight plastic containers. If you’d like to freeze micro-servings of gravy, you can use ice cube trays.

Pour the cooled gravy into the freezer bag or airtight container, leaving about an inch or two of space to let the sauce expand. Seal the container tightly. If you’re using freezer bags, squeeze as much air as you can prior to resealing. Mark each container with the label and storage date then stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Gravy?

Defrosting and reheating gravy is straightforward but it should be done with care. Because the sauce is sensitive to temperature changes, you should never thaw frozen gravy at room temperature. Leaving the sauce to sit too long increases the risk of bacteria growth. To defrost gravy, just transfer a portion of the frozen sauce from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the sauce to thaw overnight.

Once the gravy is defrosted, there will be separation between ingredients. This is normal, especially for cream-based or milk-based gravy. Give the gravy a good stir and it’s ready for reheating.

Image used under Creative Commons from Kari Sullivan

To reheat thawed gravy, pour the sauce into a pan and simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes. If the sauce is on the watery side, you can add a thickening ingredient like cornstarch (dissolved in water) as you simmer. Once the gravy is smooth and thick, it’s ready to serve!

Summary

Gravy is such a versatile sauce. There are so many ways to eat leftover gravy. Now that you know how can you freeze gravy, go ahead and make a batch without worrying about the leftovers!