Month: July 2017

Condiments

Can You Freeze Cheese Dip?

Cheese dip has a variety of uses but it’s best known as a dip for nachos. Cheese dip and nachos go together like two peas in a pod. Together, they make a fantastic snack during a get-together or movie nights! But what if you have leftover cheese dip or you made too much dip? Can you freeze nacho dip?

You’d think cheese dip won’t keep well in the freezer because it has dairy in it. Dairy products have the tendency to lose their original textures once they’ve been frozen and defrosted. Luckily, cheese dip does keep well in the freezer as long as it is prepped right.

Image used under Creative Commons from jamieanne

The problem with keeping leftover cheese dip is that 1) bits of nacho chips get mixed into the cheese sauce and 2) some will double dip. This can be problematic because all these increase the risk of bacterial growth. If you made a too-large batch of cheese dip, our advice is to divide the dip into serving portions. This way, you have control over the amount of dip you serve to guests and minimize the risk of contamination.

When kept in the fridge, cheese dip will keep for 4 to 6 days. But when kept in the freezer, it should last for 4 to 6 months. Below is a step-by-step guide on how can you freeze cheese dip properly:

How to Freeze Cheese Dip?

Cheese dip is best frozen when it doesn’t contain bits of nacho chips in it or any other food. If you’re making cheese dip from scratch and prepping some of it for freezing, wait until the cheese sauce has been cooled completely.

Image used under Creative Commons from julie rohloff

Once the cheese dip has cooled down, it’s ready for prepping. Start by dividing the cheese into small serving portions. This way, you won’t have to defrost the whole container for a small serving of cheese dip. Defrosting frozen cheese dip repeatedly will shorten its shelf life.

Use small resealable plastic bags to pack the cheese dip into manageable portions. Just spoon the dip into your desired container, leaving about an inch or two of space before sealing. Get a marker and write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you bought cheese dip packed in plastic containers, there’s no need to repack the product for freezing. Just stick the unopened pack of cheese dip in the freezer. For canned or bottled cheese dip, you’ll need to transfer the product to a freezer-safe container first.

Image used under Creative Commons from Lindsey Turner

How to Defrost and Reheat Cheese Dip?

To thaw the frozen cheese dip, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the cheese dip to thaw for several hours to overnight. Sometimes the ingredients of the cheese dip will separate or the consistency will become watery when thawed. This is normal. You can restore the original consistency of the dip through reheating.

To reheat the cheese dip, pour the dip into a skillet and heat over low. Stir frequently so the dip won’t stick to the bottom of the sauce pan. After simmering, the cheese dip is ready to use. You can also reheat the dip in the microwave. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, whisk the dip, then microwave again if needed.

Summary

Storing cheese dip in the freezer is convenient because you can make quick snacks anytime. Now that you know how can you freeze cheese dip, there’s absolutely no need to worry about wasting product when you buy the dip in bulk!

Sauces

Can You Freeze White Sauce?

White sauce – also known as béchamel – is a rich sauce with a variety of uses. You simply cannot get enough of white sauce. You can use it for lasagna, pasta, gratins, or as pie fillings. You could also tweak an ordinary white sauce recipe to make mac and cheese for the kids!

Making béchamel sauce is easy but if you have an upcoming event, you can make white sauce ahead of time to cut the cooking prep in half. But can you freeze white sauce? Regardless if you made too much white sauce or you’re dealing with a lot of leftover sauce, white sauce can be frozen for later use. Although white sauce contains dairy, it keeps so well in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Javier Lastras

White sauce has a relatively short shelf life. It will stay fresh for up to 4 to 5 days in the fridge. But in the freezer, it will keep fresh for 6 to 12 months. Never leave white sauce sitting at room temperature for too long. Exposure to air and humid temps will increase the risk of spoilage or bacterial growth. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze white sauce properly:

How to Freeze White Sauce?

There are two ways to freeze white sauce: you can freeze the sauce directly into the freezer or flash freeze the sauce first prior to freezing.

If you’d like to freeze the white sauce without flash-freezing, begin by leaving the sauce to cool completely. Before leaving the white sauce to cool in, say, a bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap. This will prevent the sauce from forming a thick skin as it cools.

Once the white sauce has cooled down, get several small resealable plastic bags or a rigid, freezer-safe container. Pour the white sauce into the container or small bag, making sure to leave at least an inch of space for the sauce to expand as it freezes. Seal the bag or cover the container with an airtight lid then write the storage date with a marker. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

Image used under Creative Commons from Edsel Little

Now, if you prefer flash freezing the white sauce first, prepare a bowl of ice water. Prepare the white sauce for freezing according to the instructions outlined above. Then, submerge the plastic bag of white sauce in ice water for 15 to 30 minutes. This will chill the sauce almost instantly. Once the white sauce has been chilled, stick in the freezer for long-term freezing.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen White Sauce?

To defrost frozen white sauce, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the white sauce to thaw for several hours to overnight. Once it’s thawed completely, the sauce is ready for reheating. When thawed, white sauce will appear grainy or the ingredients will separate or clump together. Reheating the sauce properly will restore the sauce’s original consistency.

When it comes to reheating white sauce, it’s important to do it gently and slowly. In a skillet, pour the defrosted white sauce and heat over low. Stir the sauce frequently so the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. As the sauce warms up, you can tweak the ingredients if needed. Once the sauce is thick and glossy, it’s ready to be used.

Summary

While white sauce is best enjoyed freshly made, there’s absolutely no need to go through the hassle of making the sauce from scratch when you can keep a stash in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze white sauce, there’s no need to worry about the leftovers.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Coffee Creamer?

Nothing completes a morning cuppa joe than a serving of creamer. Coffee creamer comes in two types, dairy, and nondairy liquid or powder creamer. Can you freeze coffee creamer? Yes, you can freeze coffee creamer. While liquid creamer is commonly frozen to extend its shelf life, powder creamer can be frozen too. Liquid creamers tend to have a shorter shelf life compared to nondairy powder creamer because they’re often made with dairy.

The main issue with freezing any powdered product is that the powder tends to clump together. But since powder creamer will dissolve in hot liquid regardless if it’s frozen or not, freezing this product should be fine.

Unopened powdered creamer will keep well in the pantry for weeks. But if it’s nearing its expiry date, freezing will extend its shelf life. When kept in the freezer, any creamer will keep for 6 months or so. This goes the same for liquid creamers too. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze coffee creamer:

Image used under Creative Commons from Steve Snodgrass

How to Freeze Coffee Creamer?

When it comes to freezing any type of coffee creamer, it’s best to divide the product into single serving portions. A couple of ice cube trays make a perfect container for the creamer. For liquid coffee creamer, just pour an ample amount of the product into the ice trays. The amount should be enough for a regular cup of coffee. Cover the ice trays with aluminum foil, stick in the freezer, and leave the coffee creamer to freeze for about 2 to 3 hours.

Prepare several resealable plastic bags while waiting for the coffee creamer to freeze. Once the coffee creamer is frozen into cubes, take the ice tray out of the fridge, pop each one and place them into the plastic bag. When the bag is full of cubed coffee creamer, give the bag a good squeeze to remove excess air and then seal. With a marker, write the storage date and stick in the freezer. This freezing prep can be applied for powdered coffee creamers too.

If you’d like to freeze an entire container of coffee creamer (opened or unopened) without dividing the product into serving portions, you can too. Just pour the contents into a resealable plastic bag. Do not fill the bag, leave about an inch or two of space to let the product expand as it freezes. Write the storage date on the bag using a marker and stick in the freezer. Since you’re freezing a whole container of coffee creamer, you have to consume the entire thing within 2 to 3 days after thawing for optimal flavor.

Image used under Creative Commons from LaShawn Wiltz

How to Defrost Coffee Creamer?

To defrost the coffee creamer, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the creamer to thaw for several hours. That said, there’s absolutely no need to wait for frozen coffee creamer to thaw because it’s usable as is. With a steaming cup of coffee, simply drop the frozen cube of coffee creamer directly. This goes regardless if the coffee creamer is in powder or liquid form. Just stir the coffee well so the cubed creamer dissolves quickly. Of course, putting frozen creamer directly into a cup of coffee may cool the coffee. If you want your coffee to be piping hot, go ahead and thaw the creamer first.

Summary

For most people, coffee creamer is a staple. If you love shopping in bulk and bought too many bottles of coffee creamers, freezing these products will extend their shelf life until you’re ready to use them. Now that you know how can you freeze coffee creamer, go ahead and keep your stash in the freezer for future uses?

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Cream Pies?

Who could say no to a delectable slice of cream pie? A freshly baked cream pie makes any occasion so much special. But what if you have a lot of leftover cream pies? Can you freeze cream pies? The thing with cream pies is that the filling doesn’t keep in the fridge or freezer well. You simply cannot chuck leftover cream pies in the freezer and expect the dessert to maintain its original texture and flavor.

Most bakers do not recommend freezing cream pies. We feel the same way simply because the ingredients will not hold up well in freezing temperature. The cream filling isn’t firm because it’s mostly made of liquid ingredients and there lies the problem. Once the cream filling comes in contact with the crust, the pie will go soft and soggy. This can be problematic once you’re thawing the frozen cream pie.

Image used under Creative Commons from Lisa Williams

If you must, it’s possible to freeze cream pies for later use. However, there will be significant texture changes no matter how carefully you prep the pie for freezing.

Cream pies have a short shelf life because of the delicate ingredients. When kept in the freezer, cream pies will keep fresh for 3 to 4 days. But when kept in the freezer, cream pies will last for at least 6 months. For leftovers, here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze cream pies:

How to Freeze Cream Pies?

If you’re making cream pies from scratch and you’re anticipating a lot of leftovers, we highly suggest holding off the cream filling until you’re ready to serve the pie. This way, you can freeze the cream filling and piecrust separately. And whenever you need to make a cream pie, just thaw the cream filling and crust then assemble. Assembling and baking the pie will only take minutes so it’s still convenient to do it this way.

To do this, you have to pre-bake the crust and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack. Whip up the cream filling and then divide it into manageable portions. Using a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, spoon the cream filling into the bag. Squeeze as much air as you can then seal the bag. Mark with the storage date and stick the bag in the freezer.  Cover the cooled pie crust with tin foil then place it in a resealable plastic bag before sticking in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Annie

When it comes to leftover cream pies, those that have been served for a while, they’re probably soggy by the time they hit the freezer. Don’t transfer the pie to a smaller container because this could cause the already-soggy crust to break apart. Use the serving container the pie came with unless you don’t mind the filling and crust getting all mixed up as you transfer the pie to a different container.

Cover the pie with aluminum foil, making sure no part of the pie is exposed to freezing temps. The cream filling has high water content so it is quite sensitive to freezer burns. Once the pie is covered completely in aluminum foil, you can simply stick the whole pie in the freezer. You could also place the container inside a resealable plastic bag before freezing for added protection.

How to Defrost Frozen Cream Pies?

If you’ve frozen the cream filling and pie crust separately, just take them out of the freezer, remove the aluminum foil if there’s any and transfer to the fridge. Leave the pie components to thaw for a few hours.

If you’d like to speed up the frozen cream’s thawing process, go ahead and immerse the sealed bag in a bowl of tap water. It should soften up in a couple of hours. Never thaw the pie components ahead of time. Bake them into a pie as soon as they are thawed to maintain the integrity of the ingredients.

Image used under Creative Commons from luftholen

Once the pie components have been thawed, cut the corner of the bag and pipe the cream filling into the piecrust. Then, bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes at 350 to 375 degree Fahrenheit and serve.

As for frozen leftover cream pie, there’s no need to thaw the pie because it can be eaten as is. But if you’d like to soften the filling and crust a bit, just transfer the pie from the freezer to the fridge and give it at least 2 hours to partially thaw. Once thawed, it’s ready to be eaten.

Summary

Some experts would straight up say cream pies should never be frozen at all. But if you have too many leftovers in your hands, there’s not much choice but to freeze the pie to prevent waste. Now that you know how can you freeze cream pies, there’s no need to worry about spoilage when you’ve got more pies than you can handle!

 

Dish

Can You Freeze Scrambled Eggs?

Scrambled eggs may be a quintessential breakfast option for some, but this dish is quite versatile. You can serve scrambled eggs as a bowl topper to your favorite grains or as a filling for sandwiches! Really, scrambled egg is so flexible because of its many uses but what if you have leftovers? Can you freeze scrambled eggs?

Cooked eggs are typically tricky to store in the fridge or a freezer. The egg white tends to take on an unpalatable rubbery texture once it’s been chilled for a while. But scrambled eggs fare better than say, fried eggs or hard-boiled eggs when frozen. Why? The egg whites are mixed with the yolk and this helps retain the original texture of the dish.

Image used under Creative Commons from Larry Hoffman

When kept in the fridge, scrambled eggs will keep up to 4 days. But when stored in the freezer, scrambled eggs could keep for a year or more as long as the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze scrambled eggs:

How to Freeze Scrambled Eggs?

If you’re planning to freeze the leftovers before cooking the eggs, it’s important to cook the eggs halfway through or under done. Keep the consistency soft, runny as opposed to dry, and spongy. Runny scrambled eggs are less likely to turn rubbery or unpalatable once the dish has been thawed and reheated. Wait until the scrambled eggs cooled down completely before prepping for freezing.

Once the eggs have cooled down, it’s time to pack the dish into single or double serving portions. This way, the dish will be much easier to thaw and reheat. You can use several small resealable plastic bags to divide the dish into manageable portions. Just spoon the scrambled eggs into the resealable plastic bag, squeeze as much air as you can before sealing and marking with the storage date. Stick the baggies of scrambled eggs in the freezer and you are done.

Image used under Creative Commons from larsomat

How to Defrost and Reheat Scrambled Eggs?

Defrosting scrambled eggs is easy, just transfer a frozen bag of the dish from the freezer or fridge. Leave the dish to thaw for several hours to overnight. You could also submerge the sealed pack of frozen scrambled eggs in a bowl of tap water. This will speed up the thawing process. You may also add your favorite toppings or seasonings, including salt, cheese, milk, etc.

When the scrambled eggs are thawed and ready for reheating, transfer to a microwave-safe platter and add a little water to the eggs. This will prevent the scrambled eggs from drying out as the dish is reheated. Stick in the microwave and cook for 20 seconds on high. Check the doneness of the eggs and microwave again for another 20 seconds if needed. Once the eggs are warm enough, you have to consume the dish right away. Cooked eggs should never be left to sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Summary

Compared to hard-boiled eggs or fried eggs, scrambled eggs keep so well in the freezer. However, it’s not a good idea to bring defrosted and reheated scrambled eggs in the freezer because texture and flavor changes will set in.  When reheating the scrambled eggs, make sure to consume the dish right away. Don’t reheat more than you can eat in a single seating. Now that you know how can you freeze scrambled eggs, you don’t have worry about wastage or spoilage when you have leftovers.

Pasta

Can You Freeze Ziti?

Ziti is a popular pasta shape and is often used in a baked casserole dish. If say, you cooked too much ziti or you have a lot of baked casserole leftovers, can you freeze ziti? Yes, you can freeze ziti and save the leftovers for a weekend meal. You can also make baked ziti in advance to bring to a potluck. However, experts have conflicted views when it comes to prepping the ziti for freezing. Should you freeze ziti before or after it’s been cooked?

Raw, uncooked ziti has a long shelf life. There’s no need to freeze the uncooked pasta but you need to keep it in an airtight container. As far as cooked ziti goes, it’s best to season and bake the pasta prior to freezing. Cooking the pasta without seasonings (just boiled and salted) and then sticking it in the freezer increases the likelihood of flavor and texture changes once it’s defrosted.

Image used under Creative Commons from alanagkelly

Also, since you’ll be cooking the ziti a second time, the pasta will become soggy once it’s been thawed and recooked. So our vote is to complete the cooking process as opposed to par-cooking the pasta before freezing.

The extent of the freezing conditions will determine how long the ziti will keep in the freezer or fridge. When kept in the fridge, cooked ziti will keep for a week or so. Freezing ziti will extend its shelf life to 2 months or more as long as the freezing temperature remains a steady 0°Farenheit.

The fact is, bacterial growth is highly likely if the ziti is kept between 40°F and 140°Farenheiht so you should never leave baked ziti sitting at room temperature for long. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze ziti:

How to Freeze Ziti?

If you’re cooking and/or baking the ziti from scratch, you have to leave the dish to cool completely prior to freezing. If you don’t the shelf life of the ziti will be shorter. Once the ziti has been cooled completely, you’re ready to pack. We suggest dividing the dish into single or double servings to save space in the freezer as well as to make thawing less of a hassle. This goes especially for large batches of the dish. Instead of thawing the whole slab of baked ziti, you can simply take the right amount you need for a meal and keep the rest in storage.

To pack the dish for freezing, get a slotted spoon, a roll of aluminum foil, and freezer-safe resealable plastic bags. Lay a couple of layers of aluminum foil on the counter and scoop ample portions of ziti into it. Wrap the dish with aluminum foil carefully, making sure to cover the dish completely. The folds should not expose the dish to freezing temps otherwise, freezer burn will set in.

Image used under Creative Commons from alanagkelly

Once the ziti has been wrapped in aluminum foil, place the entire thing in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date and stick in the freezer. You can always freeze par-cooked ziti the same way.

How to Defrost and Reheat Ziti?

To defrost frozen ziti, just transfer the dish from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the ziti to thaw for several hours to overnight. Slow defrosting is essential to maintain the original taste and texture of the dish. If you’re pressed for time, you could also submerge the packed dish in tap water for at least 30 minutes. This method is great if you are planning to eat the dish right away.

To reheat the ziti, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, transfer the thawed dish on a pan lined with parchment and stick in the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is melty and bubbly then serve immediately.

Summary

Baked ziti makes a fabulous make-ahead meal. It’s comforting, filling, and nutritious. Now that you know how can you freeze ziti, you can whip up a large batch and enjoy the leftovers for later.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Yams?

Yams make the perfect diet food. They are high in energizing complex carbohydrates as well as dietary fiber. Whether baked, fried, mashed or boiled, yams are filling, delicious, and nutritious! That’s why keeping these root crops in stock is always a good idea. But can you freeze yams?

The fact is, yams are not available all year round. Freezing yams ensures that you have your favorite starchy vegs in stock when supplies are limited. Just like other starchy root crops, cooked yams keep well in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from liz west

However, the starchy flesh of a yam is quite delicate so prepping the root crop is essential to maintain its original taste and texture. As for fresh yams, we don’t recommend freezing raw yams because the texture and flavor will change no matter how careful you are with prepping.

When kept at room temperature, uncooked yams will keep fresh for 2 weeks or so. Cooked yams kept in the fridge will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. Freezing boiled yams will extend their shelf life to 10 to 12 months at 0° Fahrenheit. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze yams:

How to Freeze Yams?

Because raw yams aren’t recommended for freezing, you should boil or bake the yams first prior to freezing. Heat a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil, place the yams in the pot and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until the yams are tender but not 100% cooked through.

Image used under Creative Commons from Matt Brubeck

After boiling the yams, turn off the stove and leave them to stand at room temperature until completely cooled. Once the yams have cooled completely, dice or slice them with a sharp knife. Get several storage bags, the resealable kind, of course, and place a proper portion of the cut yams inside. Squeeze as much air as you can then seal. With a marker, write the storage date and stick in the freezer.

If you’d like to bake or mash the yams first prior to freezing, refer to the boiling instruction above. After the yams are cooled completely, cut, season, and process the yams accordingly. Then, prepare several resealable plastic bags, place ample portions of the yams inside and squeeze as much air as you can before sealing. If you have a vacuum sealer, use it to suck the air out of each bag before sealing. Finally, write the storage date before sticking in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Yams?

Peeled yams are prone to oxidation so they should never be exposed to air after freezing. This means boiled cut yams should be used as soon as they are taken from the freezer. If you’re not cooking the thawed yams immediately, try immersing the yams in salted water until you’re ready to cook. For mashed or baked yams, they won’t discolor when exposed to air but we suggest reheating the dish as soon as they are thawed for optimal flavor.

Image used under Creative Commons from Alan Levine

To reheat baked yams, just place the yams in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Reheat in the oven for 350° Fahrenheit for about 25 to 35 minutes. As for mashed yams, you can reheat in a skillet over medium heat. Add a little milk to the mixture as you stir to loosen the consistency then serve once piping hot.

Summary

Yams may be delicate root crops but as long as you take extra steps to maintain their freshness, they can be stored in the freezer for a year or more. Now that you know how can you freeze yams, there’s no fear of ruining a batch or dealing with spoilage when you buy yams in bulk!

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Yellow Squash?

Summer is in full swing and that means enjoying the bounty of the season, including yellow squash! Yellow squash is a type of gourd that’s often used in cooking. It’s best used in stews and soups because the vegetable adds richness to the broth. From the rind to the flesh, every part of the yellow squash can be eaten. Although yellow squash can be enjoyed all year long, how do you keep the vegetable for long-term storage? Can you freeze yellow squash?

As long as the gourd is prepped and packed properly, you can freeze yellow squash. That goes for fresh, blanched or cooked yellow squash! Yellow squash has an extremely short shelf life. It only keeps for a week in the fridge. That’s because yellow squash contains enzymes that break down quickly at room temperature.

Image used under Creative Commons from Dominique Pelletier

By freezing the vegetable, yellow squash could keep up to 3 months. However, we recommend consuming yellow squash as soon as possible for optimal flavor. Even when you freeze yellow squash, there’s no guarantee that the enzymes won’t break down and cause flavor or texture changes. Storing the gourd could also reduce its nutritional content.

There are two ways to prep yellow squash for freezing. You could either freeze the yellow squash uncooked or blanched. While it’s much easier to freeze yellow squash without cooking, blanching the vegetable will extend its shelf life. Here is a step-by-step guide on how can you freeze yellow squash:

How to Freeze Yellow squash?

If you’re freezing whole and uncooked yellow squash, we don’t recommend cutting the gourd into pieces prior to freezing. The rind will protect the yellow squash from freezer burn and preserve its natural texture and/or flavor.

To start, wash the yellow squash in running water. Remove any sticky part or residues then pat dry with paper towels. Get a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and place the yellow squash inside. Squeeze as much air as you can before sealing and then write the storage date on the label. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

If you’d like to blanch the yellow squash first prior to freezing, wash the gourd and pat dry with paper towels. On a cutting board, slice the ends of the yellow squash, about ¼ inch on both ends. Heat a pot of water on the stove over high then place the yellow squash inside and blanch for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes of blanching, scoop the yellow squash out of the boiling water and into a bowl of ice water. This will stop the heat from cooking the yellow squash through. Leave the yellow squash completely submerged in ice water for 5 minutes or so. Drain the water using a colander and pat the yellow squash dry with paper towels. Finally, pack the yellow squash in a plastic resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing and sticking in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Quinn Dombrowski

How to Defrost Frozen Yellow Squash?

To thaw frozen yellow squash, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the yellow squash to thaw for several hours to overnight. Do not defrost the gourd at room temperature. The drastic change in temperature will alter the texture of the yellow squash!

Slow defrosting is key to maintaining the yellow squash’s original flavor and texture. Once the yellow squash is soft enough to be cut, just slice it according to the desired cut and it’s ready for cooking. Reheating the yellow squash is not necessary unless the gourd has been cooked in stews or soups. Just add the thawed yellow squash in the middle of cooking.

Summary

Yellow squash may be a delicate vegetable to freeze but as long as you prep and pack the gourd right, it will last for months in the freezer! Now that you know how can you freeze yellow squash, why not keep a stock of this healthy vegetable for future meals?

Nuts & Oil

Can You Freeze Walnuts?

Nutritious and delicious, walnuts can be enjoyed on their own or added to desserts and savory dishes for a delectable crunch! This popular nut harvested late August through November so it’s not available all year round. For true blue walnut fans out there, we’re happy to report that this nut variety keeps well in storage! But what about freezing? Can you freeze walnuts? The short answer is yes, you can also freeze walnuts for long-term storage.

Image used under Creative Commons from Pauline Mak

You see, walnuts could go rancid when exposed to warm temperature. Walnuts are best kept in chilly temps to extend their shelf life. That’s because walnuts are high in oil, which could go bad really quickly when left at room temperature for a certain period.

When kept in the pantry, an unopened bag of shelled or in-shell walnuts will only keep for about 2 to 3 weeks. When kept in the fridge, the nuts will stay fresh for 4 to 6 months. But when kept in the freezer, walnuts will stay fresh for a year or more. For freezing, the storage conditions must be at a stable 0°F to maintain the freshness of the nuts.

If you’re storing walnuts, it’s best to leave the bag unopened until you’re ready to use/consume the nuts. For leftovers, always use an airtight container because the humid temp is the enemy here. Below is a step-by-step guide on how can you freeze walnuts:

Image used under Creative Commons from U.S. Department of Agriculture

How to Freeze Walnuts?

Shelled and in-shell walnuts could be packed the same way. If you’re freezing an unopened bag of walnuts, just stick the whole pack in the freezer. There’s no need to prep the nuts as long as they are kept in their original packaging.

As for leftover walnuts, it’s best to transfer the nuts to an airtight container or resealable plastic bags prior to storage. Just pour nuts into the resealable plastic bag or airtight container and seal. Then, write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

If say, you need to ground the walnut before you use them, do not ground the nuts before storage. Do this after storage, when you’re ready to use the nuts. Walnuts tend to absorb the odors of food with a strong aroma and this ruins the flavor of the nuts. Apart from keeping the nuts in an airtight container, do not process (chop, ground, etc.) unless you’re ready to add the nuts to your recipe. This ensures optimal flavors once the nuts are thawed.

How to Defrost and Reheat Walnuts?

To defrost frozen walnuts, just transfer the pack of nuts from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the nuts to thaw for a few hours to overnight. As for reheating the walnuts, it’s not necessary to reheat if the nuts will go straight into cooking. Just chuck the defrosted nuts into the dish as it cooks. But for walnuts that require toasting, you can reheat them in the oven or stove.

Image used under Creative Commons from Chris Brown

If you’re using an oven, preheat the oven to 375°Farenheit. Then, line the baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the shelled walnuts. Stick the walnuts in the oven and toast for 5 to 10 minutes or until the nuts turn a golden brown.

If you’re toasting the walnuts on the stove, heat a skillet over medium high and place the walnuts carefully. Do not overfill the skillet, just fit enough so the nuts cook evenly. Stir the walnuts occasionally until they start to brown, about 5 minutes or so. Transfer the nuts to a plate and leave them to cool for a few minutes.

Summary

Walnuts add a delicious crunch to everyday desserts and dishes! It’s nice to know that you can buy walnuts in bulk and store the rest for later. Now that you know how can you freeze walnuts, you can enjoy these delectable (and healthy!) nuts all year round.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Vinegar?

Vinegar is an all-around condiment used for a variety of purposes. You can cook with it, use it as a flavoring for dips or even clean/deodorize the home. Suffice it to say, you can’t have too much vinegar at home. But if say, you bought bottles of the stuff, can you freeze vinegar?

As with all types of liquid products, you can freeze vinegar. The freezing point of vinegar is about 28 degrees so it’ll keep in any freezer. Vinegar will keep fresh for a long, long time regardless if it’s kept in the freezer or not. Some researchers even claim that vinegar’s shelf life is indefinite.

Image used under Creative Commons from Darren Riley

Freezing it may decrease the acidity of the vinegar. That being said, leaving a bottle of vinegar that’s about to hit its expiry date sitting in the pantry will also decrease its acidity. That’s because as the acetic acid decomposes, the acidity decreases too.

The main issue with freezing vinegar is the dilution of its acidity and flavor. The acidity of vinegar will change over time. You can store vinegar in the freezer but most chefs do not recommend it. My suggestion is to use frozen vinegar in cooking but not when you’re pickling. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze vinegar:

How to Freeze Vinegar?

One thing is for certain, you cannot freeze bottled vinegar. Glass has the tendency to shatter at freezing temperature. If you’re freezing bottled vinegar, it’s best to transfer the product into a rigid plastic container, one that comes with an airtight lid. Just pour the vinegar into the container, leaving about an inch or two of space. The extra space gives the liquid enough room to expand as it freezes.

After pouring the product into the container, wrap with cling wrap to prevent leaks and then cover with the airtight lid. As an added step, seal the lid with tape. To ensure that the acidity of the vinegar remains the same, keep the temperature at a steady 28 degree Fahrenheit.

Image used under Creative Commons from stvcr

If say, you are only freezing leftover vinegar, you can use an ice cube tray to freeze the product. Just pour the vinegar into the ice cube tray then stick in the freezer. Leave the vinegar to freeze for 6 to 12 hours. Then, cover the ice tray in cling wrap and stick in the freezer. You could also pop the frozen vinegar cubes, place them in a resealable plastic container, seal, and then place them back in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Vinegar?

Unless you’re using the frozen vinegar as a dip or as part of a marinade, there’s no need to defrost frozen vinegar when used in cooking. Simply add a proper portion of frozen vinegar directly into the dish you’re cooking. But for dips or seasonings, simply transfer a container of frozen vinegar from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the vinegar to thaw overnight. For faster thawing, try submerging the (airtight) container in a bowl of tap water. It should be ready within a couple of hours.

Summary

Vinegar is tricky to freeze, not all experts recommend it, but still, there is a way to store this product in the freezer. Freezing will extend the shelf life of vinegar that’s about to expire! Now that you know how can you freeze vinegar, you can preserve your stash whenever needed.