Category: Grains

Grains

Can You Freeze Uncooked Rice?

For most people, rice is life and a meal isn’t complete without it. In the US, long grain white rice and brown rice are the two most popular types of rice consumed by millions of Americans. Rice is abundant in most regions and thankfully, this grain is so easy to store cooked or uncooked! You can freeze uncooked rice in its own packaging or packed in a freezer-safe container.

Image used under Creative Commons from Ruocaled

Because uncooked rice is freezer-friendly, the texture won’t be altered once the thawed rice has been cooked. When kept in the freezer, uncooked rice will keep for up to 18 months. However, the USA Rice Federation recommends consuming frozen rice within six months for best results.

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Uncooked Rice?

The best way to freeze uncooked rice is to pack each serving in a box or a rigid plastic container. You want to make sure the uncooked rice is free from moisture before packing. To begin, pour the rice into a freezer-safe container and seal tightly. If the fresh rice is still in its original box, you can chuck the rice straight into the freezer in its original packaging.

After packing the rice, get a marker and label the packaging with the date. Place the container flatly in the freezer so it’ll thaw much quickly.

Image used under Creative Commons from stu_spivack

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Uncooked Rice?

The best way to defrost frozen uncooked rice is to transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and letting the grain thaw for several hours. You can also put the container under running water to defrost but make sure the lid is airtight and secure. Finally, you can also leave the rice to thaw at room temperature, just place the container on the table and leave it to defrost for a few hours.

Summary

Rice is easy to store and even easier to cook. Now that you know how to store fresh rice properly, you can keep a large batch of this grain and enjoy it for future dishes!

Grains

Can You Freeze Oatmeal?

Healthy, delicious and wholesome, oatmeal makes the perfect breakfast meal and it’s easy to whip up too! Oatmeal can keep for a long, long time, especially if it’s uncooked. However, it is not impervious to spoilage. When it’s not stored properly, uncooked oatmeal can turn moldy. Cooked oatmeal is very prone to spoilage especially if thickened with milk. That’s why it’s a good idea to freeze oatmeal whenever you can.

Image used under Creative Commons from Annie

Oatmeal is the perfect grain for freezing and when stored properly, it can stay fresh for up to six months. Wondering how to freeze cooked and uncooked oatmeal? Continue reading below to find out:

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Oatmeal

The proper way to freeze cooked oatmeal is to let it cool down to room temperature prior to freezing. Once the cooked oatmeal has cooled down, get a freezer-safe, rigid container and start spooning the oatmeal into the container, making sure to leave an inch of space to let the grain expand as it freezes. Cover the container with an airtight lid and stick it in the freezer.

For freezing smaller portions of oatmeal, use a cling wrap covered muffin tin instead of a large container. Again, just spoon enough of the grain to fill each container before covering with cling wrap  and sticking it in the freezer.

If you’re freezing uncooked oatmeal, you can either stick the grain in the freezer while it’s in its original packaging or use a glass or plastic sealed container.

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Oatmeal

The best way to defrost frozen oatmeal will vary because cooked or uncooked oatmeal should be thawed differently. For cooked oatmeal, transfer the container in the microwave and heat for 2 to 3 minutes on high. For uncooked oatmeal, you’ll have to let it thaw for several hours in the fridge before using it.

Image used under Creative Commons from The JH Photography

Summary

From desserts to drinks, breakfast to baking, there are so many ways to incorporate oatmeal into your everyday meals. Now that you know how to freeze oatmeal properly, you can fix yourself a quick snack using this fiber-rich grain anytime!

 

Grains

Can You Freeze Cooked Quinoa

If you’re thinking about cooking quinoa in bulk and freezing so you can have it easily available later, this article is for you. Read on.

Quinoa has been enjoyed for centuries in the Andes Mountains of Peru. This grain-like product is high in protein and contains a number of vitamins and nutrients. Although quinoa is gaining popularity in the United States, it may not as readily available as more common American foods.

Those who enjoy this food often seek ways to compensate for lack of general availability by exploring methods to freeze cooked quinoa. Practicing good methods of freezing prepared product also gives consumers the option of taking advantage of local specials on quinoa. Quinoa is often sold in bulk quantities and freezing cooked product can help prevent the quinoa from spoiling.

Start on the Stove

Freezing cooked quinoa allows you to keep servings of this versatile food on hand for salads, side dishes or as an ingredient in a main dish. You can enjoy quinoa almost anytime by following these simple steps to safety and effectively freeze this increasingly popular food. if the freezing process is done correctly, previously frozen quinoa can taste just as good as freshly cooked product.

Plate of cooked quinoa

Image used under Creative Commons from Amy Stephenson

Begin the process by cooking the quinoa. Use a large saucepan and add one part quinoa with two parts water. Bring the water to a boil and lower the heat and cover the pan. allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. The quinoa is done when all water is absorbed. Use a fork to fluff the cooked quinoa.

Cool it Down for The Deep Freeze

Once your have finished cooking the quinoa, you have to let it cool at room temperature. It is a best to spread the product on a baking sheet as this will facilitate even cooling and allow the product to cool faster. When the quinoa is sufficiently cooled, you can divided the batch into your desired portions.

Many people use sandwich size zip-lock bags as they can hold up to 2 cups of cook quinoa. Push as much air out of the small bags are possible. This will help avoid freezer burn and allow the quinoa to freeze more fully. Firmly seal the small bags and place them into a larger zip-lock freezer-quality bags.

Write the date on the large bag to help you keep track of product life. Frozen, cooked quinoa has a freezer life of up to 2 months.

From Freezer to Table

When you are ready to enjoy some quinoa, remove as many bags as needed and allow them to defrost at room temperature. This process will generally take about 1 to 2 hours. Once the quinoa is completely thawed, prepare as desired and enjoy.

An alternative method of defrosting quinoa is to remove the product from the bag and empty into a bowl. Microwave the quinoa for about 1 minute and it will be ready to eat.

Not a fan of Freezing Food?

Although quinoa can be just as delicious after being thawed, you may not be inclined to freeze foods. This does not present a problem as all three types of quinoa have a rather long shelf life. The white, red and black quinoa can be kept in the pantry or refrigerator for a period of 2 to 3 years. An airtight container should be used for both storage locations to preserve freshness and protect against insects.

Cooking quinoa

Image used under Creative Commons from Meal Makeover Moms

Just Enjoy

Quinoa can be used in a variety of recipes and has a tremendous nutritional values and is also gluten free. It does not matter if you prefer to cook and freeze or prepare your quinoa fresh, it is a great tasting food that is easily prepared. So enjoy some quinoa whenever you desire.

Grains

Can You Freeze Flour

For many people, storing flour in the freezer is an effective means of preserving the quality and extending the shelf life of flour. If you want to become one of them, read on!

Flour is a pantry staple in many homes. All-purpose flour is still the go-to for many home cooks, but specialty flours such as gluten-free, whole-wheat, bread, and cake flours are gaining in popularity. Some of these flours have a shorter shelf life than all-purpose flour, and will go rancid within months. Another concern for many households, especially in warmer climates, is the possibility for the flour to become infested with bugs.

Freezing Flour

All types of flour can be stored in the freezer. Typically, all-purpose flour will remain good on the shelf for up to 2 years after milling if unopened. The package should be stamped with a best-by date. Once opened, all-purpose flour should be used within approximately one year. Whole wheat and specialty flours typically have shorter shelf lives, up to a few months when stored properly. The less-processed flours, such as whole wheat, contain more unsaturated oils which can turn rancid quickly. All varieties of flour should be stored in clean, air-tight containers in a cool, dry location. Storing flour in the refrigerator or freezer can extend the shelf life of the product, up to about one year. Especially for specialty flours, which are more expensive and sometimes less frequently used, freezer storage is a good option.

Flour

Image used under Creative Commons from Rebecca Siegel

Freezing flour will kill any organisms or eggs that may be present in the product. Freezing times ranging from two weeks to six months are often recommended in warmer climates, where the bugs are most likely to hatch and infest the flour. Freezing flour will also keep it safe from bugs that could invade it if stored in a cabinet. If pests are a problem in your area, storing flour and other dry goods in the freezer may help prevent an infestation.

Before freezing flour, it should be tightly wrapped in moisture-proof product, such as plastic freezer bags. Flour should never be frozen in its original paper packaging unless special care is taken to ensure the paper cannot get wet. Moisture will cause flour to spoil. An air-tight container should be used, for optimal storage. Flour can be frozen in large or small batches, depending on need. Because flour contains little to no moisture, it will not harden in the freezer, so you will be able to remove small quantities from a larger bag easily. Freezing will not affect the taste or texture of the flour.

Thawing Flour

Generally speaking, once removed from the freezer, flour should be allowed to come to room temperature before using. Failure to allow it to come to room temperature could affect the texture of your food. For example, using flour that is too cool may result in sticky bread dough, not appropriate for kneading. This in turn would require more flour, which affects the ultimate flavor and texture of the resulting bread. However, some cooks like to use chilled flour for pasty products such as pie crust, saying it results in a flakier texture. Flour can still spoil in the freezer, and before using you should check your flour for freshness. A sour or rancid odor is a sign your flour is not still good to use. If the texture, odor, or flavor does not seem right, the flour should be discarded.

Grains

Can you freeze corn on the cob?

Ever wondered about freezing corn on the cob? If you did and you don’t know whether you can freeze corn or not, probably you will find this article helpful. Why would one consider freezing corn? Well, there are at least two choices. First is when you’ve got too many fresh corn cobs from your garden. Second on is when there’s this big sale at a super market where you usually buy corn and you would like to buy way more ears of corn than you’d be able to use in reasonable time (without that corn going bad). Either way, you can freeze corn. There are at least a couple of ways to freeze corn, so I suggest you test each one of them on your own, examine the results you’ll get and choose your favorite one.

Corn on the cob
(credit: Phil Roeder)

Freezing corn on the cob – plain and simple method without blanching

This method requires almost no work. To start, you take each ear of corn you would like to freeze and you cut off its sharp end, below the cob (leave the husks and silks in place). Now you just need to wrap each ear separately using a plastic wrap or freezer wrap and put them into the freezer. If you plan to keep them there for a longer period of time, make sure you wrap each one a couple of times, or put all of them into a freezer bag. When they are needed, you can thaw them in the microwave. Once thawed, you can remove husks and silks and it’s ready to be consumed.

Here’s where I found this method.

Freezing corn on the cob with blanching

This method is definitely more time-consuming than the one mentioned earlier, but you may find it more successful in certain cases (e.g. if you would like to freeze corn for quite a long time, like a couple of months). First off, start by removing all the silks and husks. Now take a pot, pour in water (to about half the pot), add two tablespoons of sugar and bring the pot to a full boil. Then add the cobs to the solution, bring it back to a boil and cook it for a few minutes, until the cobs will turn darker yellow. You might need to turn each cob over in the pot so they will heat evenly. Once done, transfer the cobs into very cold water (possibly with ice cubes), so they will cool thoroughly. Then dry each cob and foil-wrap individually. Put wrapped cobs into a freezer bag and then into the freezer. This way you can easily take as many cobs from the freezer as you need at a time. Thaw them on the counter or using a microwave.

Here’s where I found this method.

Freezing corn kernels

This method is very similar to the last one, so make sure to read the description above before reading this. First off, remove husks and as much silk as you can. Then you need to bring a half-full pot of water to a boil, add the prepared cobs, bring it back to a boil and keep them in boiling water for a couple of minutes (usually 4-6 minutes). After that transfer those cobs into ice-cold water for few (6-8) minutes and then drain them. Now it’s time to cut the kernels off each cob. You can use this using a sharp knife. You can also remove them in any other way, depending on your preferences. If needed, separate the kernels into individual kernels. Then it’s time to transfer those kernels into a freezer ziplock bag (or a bag that you’re using for vacuum sealing), remove as much air as you can (a straw might be helpful) from the bag and seal it tightly. Now you just need to label the bag and you can put it into the freezer. Thaw on the counter or using a microwave.

Here’s where I found this method.

Summary
As I’ve mentioned, there are at least a couple different ways to freeze corn. Try all of them out and pick on that yields the best results. As you can see, the answer to the question “can you freezer corn on the cob?” is affirmative.

Grains

Can you Freeze Cooked Rice?

Can you freeze cooked rice? Rice is a very important staple food for very many people. We all know that cooking it takes time. That’s especially true when it comes to brown rice. Cooking it might take even an hour. Is there a possibility to cook rice in larger quantities and then freeze it for later use? Fortunately for busy (or lazy) people, there is. You can freeze cooked rice and I’ll discuss how you can do it to get the best possible results.

Freezing cooked rice

The procedure of freezing cooked rice is pretty simple. First, you need to cook the rice and cool it a little (so it’s not super hot). Now it’s time to wrap the cooked rice. Please remember to do this while rice is still warm. That ensures that all necessary moisture stays inside the bag. So divide all your cooked rice into several portions. The portion size doesn’t matter if you follow these guidelines, because you’ll be able to get as much rice as you need at a time. Now transfer the rice into a freezer bag and form a flat layer with it. Release as much air as you can while flattening rice in the bag. Now you can leave your cooked rice to cool down entirely. If you’re not sure whether rice is perfectly safe in its freezer bag, you can double-bag it.

Cooked rice

Image used under Creative Commons from Alpha

You might wonder: why you needed to form a flat layer with rice? I think it’s pretty difficult to predict how much rice you’ll need while preparing your meal. If you’ve frozen rice accordingly to the guidelines, you can smack it on the counter and some of it will break off. This way you can get as much rice as you need at a time.

Thawing frozen cooked rice

You’ve frozen cooked rice because you wanted to save some time and to be able to have if ready within a few minutes. So you likely want to defrost quickly. The easiest way to thaw rice is to use a microwave. If you’ve wrapped the rice while it was still warm, it has enough moisture to thaw it without any extra water. If not, place a cup of water in the microwave while thawing.

Extra information about cooking and thawing rice

First, after cooking rice and wrapping it into a freezer bag (whichever works best for you) you should cool the rice down quickly. Then you should put it for some time into the fridge and to the freezer then. When it comes to reheating rice, you should do this only once. If you’ve reheated some rice and you haven’t eaten all, discard the rest of it. If you’ll decide to reheat it once again, you might suffer from food poisoning after eating it. One more thing about reheating rice – do it thoroughly.

Summary
As you can see, you can freeze cooked rice and many people do it with satisfactory results. There are, however, some important issues that you should consider when freezing and defrosting rice.