Month: October 2016

Fruit

Can You Freeze Kiwi?

Kiwi has a sweet, tangy flavor that complements a variety of dishes, they make the perfect add-on to your favorite smoothies, desserts, and even salads! Even better, you can freeze kiwi for later use. This fruit is very delicate and prone to bruising that’s why you need to store it properly. A fully ripened kiwi can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days only. If properly stored, fresh kiwi fruit will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Image used under Creative Commons from Moyan Brenn

How to Freeze Kiwi?

The best way to freeze kiwi is by slicing them up, instead of freezing them whole. While you can always store whole, unsliced kiwi fruit, slicing kiwi minimizes any flavor or texture change once they are frozen. Also, because the fruit is broken down into smaller pieces, it’ll take up less room in the freezer.

Prep the Kiwi for Freezing

To freeze kiwi, start by washing the fruit thoroughly with water. Then, peel off the fuzzy rind and cut according to your preferred size. Make sure the knife is very sharp to avoid bruising the fruit’s delicate flesh.

Packing the Kiwi for Freezing

Put all the sliced kiwi in a freezer-safe rigid container or a glass container with airtight lids. At this point, you can either stick the container in the freezer or you can pour in cooled sugar syrup before closing the lid, making sure to leave an inch of space for the liquid to expand.

How to Defrost Frozen Kiwi?

While you can always use frozen kiwi on its own, the fruit doesn’t really need thawing (especially for smoothies and frozen desserts!). However, you can also thaw it for other uses.

To defrost frozen kiwi fruit, we recommend transferring the product to the refrigerator and allow to thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can add kiwi fruit to your desserts or salads!

Image used under Creative Commons from Michael Fötsch

Summary

Freezing your own kiwis is a great way to whip up all sorts of frozen treats in a jiffy. Although you can always buy pre-frozen fruits, there’s no guarantee that the product is truly fresh and chemical-free!

Also, freezing your own fruit lets you control every aspect of the fruit, including the cut, size, and prep. Now that you know how to freeze kiwi properly, you can keep your favorite fruit in the freezer for later use!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Olives?

Olives add a distinct tangy flavor and delicious texture to any savory dishes. You can also use fresh olives to jazz up your salads and pizza pies! Because it’s one versatile fruit, you can buy a large batch of olives, keep them frozen in the fridge, and simply defrost them whenever you’re whipping up your favorite Mediterranean dish!

Image used under Creative Commons from Rene Schwietzke

If you’re thinking about freezing olives, it’s worth noting that these fruits are prone to flavor loss when they are not stored properly. And there’s nothing worst tasting than watered down olives on your fresh salad!  When properly stored, frozen olives will keep for up to six months and up to three weeks when thawed in the fridge.

How to Freeze Olives?

To freeze fresh or brined olives, start by placing the fruit in a colander and let cool water run to remove any impurity. Let the fruit drip dry for 10 to 15 minutes. You don’t want excess water getting in there because moisture will lead to flavor loss and sliminess. To speed things up, you can always use napkins to dry the fruits off.

Then, get a clean, rigid freezer-safe container and put the cleaned olives. You want to leave at least ¼ inch of space between the olives and the lid as the fruit freezes. Finally, close the lid, make sure it’s airtight and then stick it in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from CeresB

How to Defrost Frozen Olives?

The best way to defrost olives is to transfer the frozen container in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Once completely frozen, you want to check for signs of spoilage, including strong odors, sliminess, color change and so on.

Discard olives that show these signs of spoilage. If some of the olives are freezer burnt, you can still use them for purees, sauces, and marinades. We recommend consuming thawed olives within 3 weeks, any longer and the fruit will lose flavors.

Summary

Freezing olives is a very straightforward process, one that does not require special tools or know-how. Now that you know how to freeze olives, you can go right ahead and keep larger batches in the freezer and use them for soups, stews, barbecues, and sauces whenever!

Dish

Can You Freeze Risotto?

Can you freeze risotto? Making a perfect pot of risotto takes time and effort. If you made too much, you have to store it in the fridge, where it’s good for only 2 or 3 days. What if you won’t be able to eat it within this time period? Or what if you wanted your perfect risotto for lunch on Friday, but can make it only on Saturday or Sunday? That’s when freezing risotto is an idea that comes to one’s mind.

Can You Freeze Risotto?

Hearty, creamy, and oh so decadent, Risotto is a northern Italian dish enjoyed all over the world. Risotto is made with a type of short-grain rice in a creamy sauce. That’s why it goes bad easily even when refrigerated.

Obviously, you can freeze risotto. But pretty much everyone agrees that a risotto that’s frozen and thawed is nowhere near as good as a fresh one. They might be right. Or are they?

Truth is, freezing and defrosting risotto will change its texture. Everyone will agree with that. The dish will lose some of its creaminess everyone is loving it for. Though thinner and definitely not as good as a fresh one, it’s safe to eat. And you can play with it by changing the recipe and the way you reheat it to try to get back some of the creaminess. In other words, to make it work. So, if you’re willing to exchange some of the taste for the ability to freeze this dish, read along!

Risotto

Image used under Creative Commons from Consell Comarca Baix Empordà

How to Freeze Risotto?

The sooner you freeze risotto after cooking it, the better. If you freeze it the same day it’s cooked, you can eat it within 2 to 3 days after thawing. If you’re a little late to the party and freeze it 2 days after cooking, you should consume it the same day you thawed it for best results.

After cooking, let it cool down. You can leave it on the counter or maybe store in the pantry for an hour or two. Once it’s no longer hot, pour it into a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag.

Now it’s time to cool it down entirely before you chuck it into the freezer. Toss it into the fridge or give it an ice bath. Keep it there until its cool.

Tossing the risotto into the freezer is our next step. Before doing that, make sure you leave some head space in the container or freezer bag and close it tightly. If you’re afraid the freezer bag will get damaged in the freezer and leak its contents, put it into a container and leave in in there until it has frozen. You can then remove the bag from the container without the risk of spillage.

You can keep the risotto in the freezer for up to six months for best quality. You can pretty much keep it there indefinitely, but I cannot guarantee it will taste anywhere near it used to.

Risotto dish

Image used under Creative Commons from Vegan Feast Catering

How to Defrost and Reheat Risotto?

The best way to thaw risotto is by doing that overnight in the fridge. If you’ve frozen it in a container, toss it directltly into the fridge. If you’re used a freezer bag, put it into a large bowl and then into the fridge. This way, if the bag god damaged in the freezer, you won’t have risotto all over your fridge.

Another way to thaw it is to toss the container or bag into cold water. If you’ve forgot to chuck it into the fridge yesterday, put it into cold water in the morning and you still should have it ready for dinner.

Thawing in a nonstick pan on the stovetop is a last resort option. Doable, but you should add water or stock right away and pay close attention to it and use very low heat.

Once thawed, give it a good whisk to mix the ingredients. Now it’s time to reheat it. You can do that in a number of ways.

The best option is to go with a nonstick pan on the stovetop. Set it over medium head, stirr often and add butter, stock, or water to achieve the texture you’re looking for. There are no magic tricks here – you might need a few runs to figure out what to add and in what proportions to make it work. So don’t dispair if it’s not that good after your first try. Reheating this way is best because you have the most control over the dish and you can adjust things as you go.

Another option, although not the healthiest one, is to microwave the risotto. It should be hot in 3 to 6 minutes on lowest setting. Microwave it in short, 30 to 45-second increments. Stirr and add stock, butter, or water between increments. Putting it into the microwave for the whole 3 minutes without stirring and extra liquids will result in an extremely dry risotto. You don’t want that to happen.

The third option is to rehead it in the over. Use a greased oven-safe dish and cover it. If it doesn’t have a cover, use tinfoil. Preheat the oven to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit, stick the dish in and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. If it turns out to dry, next time add stock or butter and see how it goes.

Summary
Apart from serving it the traditional way, you can make risotto cakes and balls from your leftovers. Now that you know how to freeze risotto, you can store larger batches of the dish in the freezer and play up your everyday meals.

Dish

Can You Freeze Pizza?

Perfect as a quick snack or a meal, pizza is one of the most popular of all Italian takeaways. You can either make one from scratch using fresh ingredients or order one from your favorite pizza joint. The beauty of pizza is that you can eat it warm or cold, no reheating necessary! However, if you really want to lengthen its shelf life, it’s best to freeze pizza.

Freezing pizza is a straightforward process. The fact is, while pizzas can be left at room temperature in their original boxes, they will turn rancid within a few short days. That’s because the mixture of cheese and pizza sauce, as well as the moisture that the pie generates, will quickly turn your favorite snack into a cesspool of bacteria!

Image used under Creative Commons from russellstreet

How to Freeze Pizza?

To prep the pizza for freezing, slice the pie into smaller pieces so it doesn’t take much space in the freezer. If you have several pizza flavors to freeze, do not mix them together! You don’t want the flavors to bleed into the entire batch.

We recommend wrapping each pizza slice in wax paper to prevent frost formation then, simply stick the wrapped pizza slices in the freezer. While pizza can last in the freezer for an indefinite period, you should consume your stash within 2 to 3 months. Storing pizza for longer than 3 months will lead to flavor loss and weird dough texture.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Pizza?

There are two ways to defrost frozen pizza, you can thaw the product slowly or use a microwave. Let’s take a look at these methods below:

Slow Thawing

The best way to defrost frozen pizza is by transferring the cold slices to the fridge and leaving to thaw overnight. This process is slow but it ensures that the pizza will remain nice and chewy when reheated.

Microwave Thawing

The other way to thaw frozen pizza is through a microwave. Just stick a slice in the microwave and using the defrost or lowest setting, reheat it. We don’t recommend this method just because microwaving too long will cause the dough to toughen.

Image used under Creative Commons from hirotomo t

Reheating

As for reheating, we recommend using an oven or an oven toaster to achieve a nice browned, crunchy slice! Just preheat the pie at 425 to 450 Fahrenheit, stick the pizza in and cook for 10 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly!

Summary

Stored pizza makes a great snack especially if you have kids at home. Now that you know how to properly store and reheat this beloved pie, you can store larger batches in the freezer and come out with great tasting result!

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

It’s hard to resist a good bargain and if you live for tacos and carnitas, then having tortilla shells in stock is a must! But if you ended up with more tortilla shells than you can handle, why not freeze them for later use? Yes, you can freeze tortillas, corn or flour-based alike!

Tortillas can be kept at room temperature for several days without going bad. However, extended exposure to oxygen will speed up the breakdown in the oils, causing molds to grow on tortillas.

Image used under Creative Commons from Maria Morri

Freezing tortillas help extend their shelf life and reduce wastage. When frozen and defrosted properly, tortillas’ texture will remain the same as its original state. Of course, there are certain things you have to consider before freezing a bag of tortilla shells, which we will highlight in today’s article.

How to Freeze Tortillas?

To freeze tortillas, you can either keep it in their original packaging or place them in a large, rigid container. We recommend wrapping each tortilla shell with wax paper so they do not stick with each other once frozen.

Also, the wax paper will keep frost at bay, so by the time they are ready to use, the tortillas will retain their original texture. Frost will toughen the ingredients, causing the shells to become chewy when warmed.

Just stick the product in the freezer, no additional prep needed. Make sure that the packaging is tightly sealed for best result. When frozen, tortillas will keep for up to 5 months.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Tortillas?

Thawing and reheating tortillas is so easy and fast! To thaw the tortillas, take as many frozen products as you need from the freezer and transfer to the refrigerator. Leave to thaw overnight or two.

Once thawed, put the still-frozen tortilla shells in the microwave in 30-second bursts until warmed. Repeat in batches until all tortillas are nice and warm.

Image used under Creative Commons from Stacy Spensley

To reheat the thawed tortillas, you can use the oven. Start by preheating your oven to 350°. Then, stack several tortilla shells in a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and stick it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Summary

Freezing tortillas is a perfect method to preserving big batches of the product at a time. And as long as they are frozen properly, the tortilla shells will remain nice and crisp for longer. Now that you know how to freeze tortillas properly, you can start stocking up on more shells for future dishes!

Condiments

Can You Freeze Mayonnaise?

Can you freeze mayonnaise? Mayonnaise is perhaps one of the most popular egg-based dressings and it’s typically used as condiment, dressing, thickener, and binder in cooking. Because it’s made with eggs, this dressing spoils easily even when it’s kept in the fridge. While it’s an unusual practice, you can always freeze mayonnaise to prolong its shelf life.

However, since mayo is an emulsion, there’s a good chance that freezing it will cause the ingredients to break down. The ingredients may also separate, and appear less than appetizing. But we’ve found a trick that will help maintain its texture even after it’s been frozen solid.

Image used under Creative Commons from jules

How to Freeze Mayonnaise?

The eggs, oil, and vinegar/lemon juice in plain mayonnaise are likely to speed up spoilage, more so if you’ve been double dipping in a jar of mayo. If you have to freeze mayonnaise, you have to act fast! The proper way to freeze mayonnaise is using freezer-safe sterilized glass bottles. To sterilize the glass jar, just submerge it in a pot of water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Then, get a clean spoon, scoop enough of the dressing to fill the glass jar, giving an inch of space for the mayonnaise to expand when it’s frozen. Remove as much air as you could from the jar, seal it and then stick it in the fridge.

Frozen mayonnaise should keep for about 5 to 6 days. Store-bought mayonnaise keeps longer than its homemade counterpart because the ingredients are stabilized to extend its shelf life.

How to Defrost Frozen Mayonnaise?

The best way to thaw frozen mayonnaise is removing it from the freezer and letting it sit at the lowest portion of the fridge until the mayo has softened.

Although plain mayonnaise will hold its original form when it is frozen, it will break down once it is thawed. The oil is likely to separate from the emulsion so the liquid will sit on top of the dressing, giving an unappetizing appearance. If you used store-bought mayo, the separation won’t be as severe. If separation occurs, you can either get rid of the excess liquid or re-emulsify the mayo.

Image used under Creative Commons from cyclonebill

To re-emulsify the mayonnaise, pour the contents of the jar in a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, whip the dressing to a high speed for several seconds. If the dressing did not emulsify well, try gradually adding the mayo into the bowl one tablespoon at a time.

Freezing Mayonnaise FAQs

Can you freeze mayonnaise sandwich?

While you can freeze different types of sandwiches, we do not recommend freezing those made with mayonnaise unless left with no choice. Apart from being temperature sensitive, the bread could turn soggy when drenched with any kind of creamy condiment. Also, mayonnaise has the tendency to separate once thawed, which will affect the texture of the sandwich too.

Our advice is to skip the creamy dressings and condiments until you are ready to serve the sandwiches. But if say, you have leftover sandwiches and freezing is the only way to extend their shelf life, do it but don’t expect the taste or appearance of the sandwich to remain the same after thawing.

You need to use a resealable sandwich bag to store the sandwiches in the freezer. Just pop the sandwich in the bag, squeezing out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then get a larger storage bag. Place all the packed sandwiches inside the large freezer bag then seal. Store flat in the freezer. Eat the sandwich in 3 months or less for optimal flavor and quality.

Can you freeze egg mayonnaise?

Egg mayonnaise is not meant to be frozen at all. Eggs are quite temperature sensitive, the risk of cross-contamination and bacterial growth is high when the mayonnaise is left to thaw for long periods of time. The taste of the mayo could also change after it’s been frozen and defrosted. It’s worth noting that mayonnaise is made with oil too. As the frozen mayonnaise thaws, the liquids and solids could split, causing the condiment to curdle.

Can you freeze mayonnaise in a casserole?

Yes, you can freeze casseroles with mayonnaise although the appearance of the dish and its consistency may change after defrosting. Since mayonnaise is prone to splitting, the casserole could take on a clumpy appearance and develop a grainy texture. If you don’t mind these changes at all then freeze the casserole. We recommend using an airtight container when freezing the dish. The airtight container will prevent moisture from seeping into the dish, causing freezer burns or frost.

To freeze the casserole, just spoon the dish carefully into the airtight container. Do not fill the container to the brim, leave about an inch of space. Cover the container with cling wrap then seal with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Can you freeze chicken salad made with mayonnaise?

Freezing chicken salad is possible but there are certain factors you need to consider, which we’ve outlined in this guide.

Summary

Don’t expect mayonnaise to retain its original texture after freezing or re-emulsifying it. Once defrosted, mayonnaise will have a thinner texture but it is still safe to eat. Now that you know how to freeze mayonnaise, you can go ahead and freeze a jar or two for salads, sandwiches, and soups!

 

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Leeks?

Can you freeze leeks? Leeks are available all year round but if you bought this vegetable in bulk, you have to store the rest for later recipes. We do not recommend freezing leeks because this vegetable has a high water content but it can be done to avoid waste. This method can be used to store an excess supply of leeks although the greens could turn soggy once they’ve been defrosted.

Should You Freeze Leeks?

The freezing temperature could affect the texture of the leeks. This vegetable tends to secrete a clear, goopy liquid when cut, which is something to keep in mind if you are preparing this vegetable for freezing. If say, the texture is important to the dish, there is no way to restore leeks’ crunchy texture once they’ve been frozen. On the other hand, if you are freezing leeks for cooking, then the texture of the vegetable is not that important. When cooked, the consistency of frozen and fresh leeks is similar.

How to Freeze Leeks?

Choosing and Prepping the Leeks

Freezing will affect the overall quality of the vegetable so it makes sense to choose the best leeks you can get your hands on. Choose leeks with a vibrant color, firm stalks, and crisp, bruise-free leaves. The stalks of the leeks must be pliant yet firm, the bulb should be white. Avoid leeks that have browning ends or those that are wilting or yellowing.

Washing and drying leeks

After choosing the highest quality leeks you can find at your local supermarket, rinse the greens well with running water. Clean the stalks thoroughly and remove dirt and debris that are stuck in between the leaves.

Cutting leeks

After rinsing and cleaning the leeks, pat the vegetable dry with paper towel and cut the leeks to size. You can either slice the leeks into equal sizes or roughly chop them before freezing. Since the leeks will turn soggy once frozen and defrosted, cutting the greens when they’re still fresh is best.  After cutting the leeks to size, you are ready to pack the vegetable for freezing.

Flash Freezing the Leeks for Freezing

Flash freezing helps retain the nutrient value and aroma of the leeks. To prep the leeks for flash freezing, line a baking sheet with wax paper or aluminum foil.

Flash freezing leeks

Lay the leeks in a single layer, making sure none of the vegetable bits are touching each other. Stick the baking pan in the freezer and leave the leeks to freeze for about an hour or two.

Leeks transferred to freezer bag

While waiting for the leeks to freeze, prepare a freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag.

Leeks in sealed freezer bag

After an hour or two, take the leeks out of the freezer and place the frozen leeks into the resealable plastic bag.

Leeks go into freezer

Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then store flat in the freezer.

Direct Freezing

If you want a fuss-free way to freeze leeks, you can simply freeze this vegetable directly. Just cut the leeks into the desired size then prepare a freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag.

Leeks in freezer bag

Place the cut leeks into the plastic bag then squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then store flat in the freezer. This method is best for short-term storage only.

Leeks in freezer

Blanching the Leeks for Freezing

Blanching the leaves is a great way to preserve the color of the leeks. This step is optional, though recommended.

Blanching leeks

Prepare a pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Using a colander, submerge the cut leeks into the boiling water and blanch the greens for 1 to 2 minutes.

Drying leeks on paper towel

Once the leeks turn a bright green, take them out of the water and submerge them in ice water. Once chilled, lay the blanched leeks on a paper towel then pat dry. Prepare a resealable plastic bag for freezing.

Place the cut leeks into the plastic bag then squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then store flat in the freezer.

Shelf Life, Thawing, and Reheating Suggestions

When kept in the freezer, leeks will stay fresh for at least 3 months. However, since the veggie tends to break down fast after thawing, consume your supply as soon as possible.

Thawed leeks

To thaw the frozen leeks, just add the vegetable directly into the dish you are cooking. The heat will defrost the frozen vegetable almost instantly. However, if you are using the leeks for garnishing, you can thaw it by leaving a pack of frozen leeks on the kitchen counter. It should be ready to use after an hour.

Summary

Can you freeze leeks? While leeks are available all year round, you might want to stock up and freeze them from time to time. The freezing process is quite simple: wash, cut, blanch if needed, and freeze the leeks. Remember that freezing the leeks is only best if you are using it for cooked dishes. Just keep these storage tips in mind to retain the natural flavor and color of the leeks!

Poultry

Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken?

Made too much cooked chicken? That’s not a problem if you have some space in the freezer. While cooked chicken will last for up to a week in the fridge, freezing is the better option if you want to preserve the bird for a longer period. Since the chicken is already cooked, you can prepare it for freezing in no time. So the answer to the question “can you freeze cooked chicken?” is “definitely!”. In this article we will go through prepping cooked chicken for freezing, defrosting it. We will also outline ways of using defrosted chicken leftovers.

Meal prep containers with cooked shredded chicken

How to Freeze Cooked Chicken

The whole process of freezing cooked chicken is very simple. It consists of five steps: prepping, cooling down, portioning, packaging, and throwing into the freezer. Here is a step-by-step guide to freezing cooked chicken:

  1. Prepping. Boneless chicken freezes best and is the most versatile to prepare after defrosting. Because of that, start off by removing any bones. Leave the skin on or remove it depending on your preference. Shredding the chicken meat is also a good idea because it will allow you to easily portion the chicken. Plus shredded chicken thaws much faster.
    Slow cooking chicken with hawaiian bbq sauce

    Cooking chicken in a slow cooker is a great option for meal prep

    Shredding cooked chicken breast with fork

    Shred the chicken after cooking

  2. Cooling down. The faster you can cool down the chicken, the better. While some guides recommend throwing the cooked chicken right into the fridge for cooling, I wouldn’t do that. That would significantly increase the temperature in the fridge and likely affect other food stored in the freezer. Instead, start off by spreading the chicken in an even layer and leave the chicken at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This speeds up the cooling process significantly. Plus, as long as you put the chicken into the fridge within 2 hours of cooking, you should be fine. Once the initial cooling down is done, transfer the cooked chicken into the fridge for at least an hour to lower its temperature further. I usually leave it in the fridge overnight.
    Cooling down shredded chicken
  3. Portioning. When portioning, consider how you will be using the chicken in the future. Meal-size portions are best, but it’s not always easy to figure out how much is a meal-size portion. Many small portions is usually a better option than few big ones. This way, you can easily defrost one more portion if needed.
    Shredded chicken cooling down
  4. Packaging. If you’re freezing only the chicken, use freezer bags. Freezer bags take less freezer space. Make sure to label each bag with a name and a date. If you’re freezing chicken as a part of a meal, use food containers. Food containers allow you to layer and separate the food better. Here’s how shredded Hawaiian BBQ chicken with rice (under the chicken) and roasted veggies looks like in a food container:
    Hawaiian bbq chicken with vegetables
  5. Throw the packaged chicken into the freezer.

While frozen cooked chicken will last indefinitely, its quality slowly drops over time. Because of that, it’s recommended to consume the chicken within 3 months.

How to Defrost Frozen Cooked Chicken

There are a few ways of defrosting the cooked chicken, depending on your needs and time constraints:

  • Overnight in the fridge. This is the recommended method. Just transfer the chicken from the freezer to the refrigerator and leave it to thaw overnight. In the morning it’s ready to go.
  • Room temperature. Many sources say you should avoid defrosting chicken at room temperature. The possibility of bacterial growth is high when the chicken is left sitting at room temperature for too long. If you need to thaw the chicken within a few hours and don’t want to bother with other methods, room temperature is an option. Use it at your own risk though. I often forget to defrost the chicken overnight and just leave it on the counter for 2 hours before cooking and never had any issues with it. But maybe I’m just lucky.
  • Ice bath. An ice bath is a good option if you want to defrost the chicken rapidly. Just put the chicken in a container filled with cold water and leave the chicken submerged for half an hour. Make sure the package is sealed before submerging the chicken into water or keep the seal above water. Obviously, this method works much better for chicken stored in freezer bags than in containers.
  • Microwave. If you’re in a real hurry, using the microwave to defrost the cooked chicken is always an option.
  • Throw it in frozen. If you’re making a soup or a stew, you can just add the frozen chicken as the dish cooks. Make sure to cook the meal for longer to account for chicken defrosting. And remember to give it a stir every now and then so the clumped chicken pieces separate. If the chicken will be used as a part of a stir-fry, throwing it in frozen is an option too. Make sure you start off on fairly low heat to give the chicken some time to defrost.

How to Use Defrosted Cooked Chicken

Defrosted chicken can be used in pretty much in every meal you would use the cooked chicken in. The taste of a defrosted cooked chicken might not be as good as the taste of freshly cooked chicken. You might need to experiment a bit to find meals that work best for you. Here are some ideas that you can try for your chicken leftovers:

  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Pasta sauce/Sauce for rice
  • Stir-fry
  • As is, reheated on a pan
  • Meal prep (preparing and freezing the whole meal, not just the chicken)
Dips & Sauces

Can You Freeze Apple Sauce?

Can you freeze apple sauce? Nothing warms the heart quite like homemade applesauce! And if you’re a hardcore applesauce lover, you know there are so many ways to use this condiment/snack/dessert/sauce.

While applesauce isn’t that complicated to make, it pays to whip up a large batch, take only what you need, and leave the rest to freeze in the fridge. Yes, you can freeze applesauce and use a portion only when you need it. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a nice batch of delicious applesauce just waiting for you to add to your favorite snacks? Sounds good to us!

Image used under Creative Commons from Stacy Spensley

Assuming that you made your own applesauce from scratch, stop short at adding the spices. The fact is, spices will lose their flavors when kept in the fridge for too long. Just to make sure your sauce stays true to its taste, we’d recommend adding the spices only after defrosting a portion of the sauce you need to use.

Some recipes also require butter as applesauce ingredients and this can speed up spoilage if you did not store the sauce properly! Again, you can always drop the butter and still come out with a delicious batch of applesauce or just use this freezing guide:

How to Freeze Applesauce?

When stored well in the freezer, homemade applesauce can last up to 12 months! On the other hand, store-bought applesauce can last up to 2 months in the freezer. The ideal temperature for freezing applesauce is 0 F.

Once you’re done making the applesauce, leave it to cool at room temperature. It’s not advisable to freeze a still-warm sauce of any kind because this may affect its taste. To store the sauce, you can use mason jars, re-sealable, freezer-safe plastic bags or even ice cube trays.

Just ladle the right amount of applesauce per container, leaving an inch of space to allow the sauce to expand and close the opening tightly. To keep track of its expiration date, get a marker and label each packet/jar for good measure.

Image used under Creative Commons from Migle

How to Defrost Frozen Apple Sauce?

The best way to defrost applesauce is to leave it to thaw at room temperature. When you are ready to use the sauce, just grab a packet or jar of frozen applesauce and leave it sitting at room temps for 30 minutes. Once it is completely thawed, you can go ahead and add your favorite spices – such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, etc. – to the mix, stir well and it is ready to use!

Summary

Freezing applesauce is an easy, straightforward process that does not require special tools of any kind. Now that you know how to freeze applesauce properly, you can always have this yummy treat in stock for baking, as a dessert topping, or as baby food!

 

 

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Apple Pie?

No special occasion is complete without a helping of apple pie! As a quintessentially American dessert, apple pie is universally loved for its delicious mix of cinnamon and juicy apples. There’s just something magical about this delectable combination! But can you freeze apple pie for later?

Even better, you don’t have to make an apple pie from scratch. You can buy pre-made mixes and enjoy apple pie right at home. Of course, if you’re a purist, you can bake homemade apple pie using fresh ingredients. The recipe is pretty basic so you can have a pie ready within a couple of hours! You can also tweak the recipe to play up the flavors and come up with your distinct version of this well-loved dessert.

Image used under Creative Commons from Kanko*

Whichever way you choose to bake this dessert, storing them is just as important to avoid spoilage; this goes especially if your apple pie filling is on the watery side. Yes, you can freeze apple pie, regardless if it’s baked or unbaked! And whether or not you are freezing baked or unbaked pie, you want to use a container with a tight seal to prevent bacteria growth! Below is our simple guide on how can you freeze apple pie:

How to Freeze Apple Pie?

Freezing Unbaked Apple Pie

Keeping unbaked apple pie is a great idea because you want to store a nice treat for the kids or unexpected guests. Unbaked apple pie is best kept in the freezer, where it can last for up to 4 months! Before you freeze the apple pie, cover the entire container with either plastic wrap or aluminum foil, making sure that the pie is covered entirely and tightly. Now, chuck the pie in the freezer and you’re done.

Freezing Baked Apple Pie

Got apple pie leftovers? You can freeze apple pie and enjoy your favorite dessert without affecting its taste at all. For leftovers, just wrap the pie with tinfoil or plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer. When stored properly, leftover apple pie will keep up to 3 to 4 months.

How to Defrost Frozen Apple Pie?

The great thing about keeping frozen apple pie is that you can thaw and bake it straight into the oven. That goes for both baked and unbaked apple pie! You don’t want to leave the frozen pie sitting at room temperature for long to thaw because the moisture can cause the crust to go soggy. Worse, letting the pie sit in room temps may lead to spoilage so don’t waste time.

If you’re ready to thaw and bake your frozen, unbaked apple pie, just piece two to three holes in the upper crust and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes max at 450˚ F. Finally, reduce the heat to 375˚F until the crust is nice and brown.

On the other hand, if you’re defrosting a baked pie, just chuck it in the oven and re-heat to 350˚ F until warm.

Image used under Creative Commons from Brad Greenlee

Summary

The freshness of the ingredients matters the most because bruised apples tend to speed up bacteria growth, which may lead to a rancid pie in a matter of hours. If you’re baking from scratch, always choose crisp, un-bruised and fully ripe apples.

While you can always leave baked apple pie at room temperature, do not exceed beyond three days or the pie will turn moldy. Apple pie left in the refrigerator won’t keep as long as when it is stored in the freezer. When you store your apple pie in the refrigerator, it will only add 2 to 3 days to the dessert’s shelf life.

Now that you know how to properly freeze your apple pie, you can store as many pies as you like in the fridge and whip one up for dessert!