Month: November 2016

Beverages

Can You Freeze Wine?

Can you freeze wine? If you’ve opened a fresh bottle of wine but you are not able to finish the entire bottle, you can always freeze it for later use. Yes, you can freeze wine! The concept isn’t new but most people are not onboard with the idea of freezing wine because of fear that it will become stale or tasteless.

The fact is, thawed frozen wine is safe to drink but don’t expect the taste to remain the same. When kept in the freezer for a long time, thawed wine’s taste will change ever so slightly. Not too much that it’s no longer palatable but enough for even non-connoisseur to tell. Wine that’s been frozen is best used in cooking and baking. When kept in the freezer, wine should last for 3 to 6 months.

Pouring wine into a glass

Image used under Creative Commons from Wojtek Szkutnik

How to Freeze a Bottle of Wine?

The best way to freeze a bottle of wine is to transfer the drink into a rigid container. Using its original packaging is not a good idea. Never freeze a corked bottle of wine because the liquid will expand and the pressure may break the bottle.

To freeze a bottle of wine, get several ice cube trays. Pour the drink carefully on each tray and stick it in the freezer. Once the wine has been frozen solid, get several freezer-safe resealable bags and transfer the cubed wine in the bag. Seal the bag and label each one with the freezing date before sticking it right back in the freezer. Remember, one cube is about two tablespoons of wine. If you’d like to freeze larger cubes of wine, use a muffin tray instead of an ice tray.

Two glasses of wine

Image used under Creative Commons from Ralf Smallkaa

How to Defrost Frozen Wine?

The best way to defrost frozen wine is to transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and letting it thaw for several hours. Wine will melt quickly so it won’t take long before the whole tray of frozen wine thaws! Once it’s thawed, consume the drink and never re-freeze.

Summary
There are hundreds of ways to use thawed wine; you can use it to make cocktails, add flavor to stews and in baking too! Now that you know how to freeze wine properly, you can keep excess bottles of your favorite wine in the freezer and enjoy it later!

Sauces

Can You Freeze Alfredo Sauce?

Can you freeze Alfredo sauce? Alfredo sauce is a popular pasta sauce made with cream and Mozzarella cheese. Because it’s high in dairy fat, this sauce has a short shelf life. Of course, you can always freeze Alfredo sauce if you made more than what you need.

Freezing any type of cream-based sauce is tricky because of the tendency to separate while stored. Alfredo sauce, in particular, has a high water and fat content so once it is frozen and thawed, it can take on a yellowish hue and the ingredients will split. But there is a way to maintain its original texture and color after freezing and that’s what we’ll teach you today.

Freezing Alfredo sauce is not just a great way to save money, it will also reduce your household waste. When kept in the freezer, Alfredo sauce will stay fresh for up to 3 months. You can consume the sauce beyond that timeframe but there could be changes in the taste and texture if you keep the sauce too long.

Image used under Creative Commons from Lauren Bosak

How to Freeze Alfredo Sauce?

The best way to freeze Alfredo sauce is immediately as soon as the sauce has been cooked. You want to keep the sauce as fresh as possible so it’ll taste great even after it’s thawed. Also, freezing it immediately after the sauce cools down minimizes the chances of splitting.

To freeze Alfredo sauce, get several freezer-safe plastic bags. Place the re-sealable bag in a bowl by folding the edges of the bag over the rim of the bowl. Pour enough of the sauce to fill the bag but leave at least an inch of space to allow the sauce to expand during freezing. Seal the bag and get a marker. Label the bag with the name and freezing date.

We recommend packing the sauce in individual servings so you’ll only take what you need once you’re ready to defrost.

How to Defrost Frozen Alfredo Sauce?

The best way to defrost frozen Alfredo sauce is to leave the container in the fridge to thaw overnight. Once the sauce has been defrosted completely, it’s likely to separate. To merge the ingredients together after thawing, get a whisk or a wooden spoon and give the sauce a good mix.

Image used under Creative Commons from Meal Makeover Moms

If the sauce has become thinner after thawing, there’s a way to fix that. Dilute about half a teaspoon of cornstarch in a small amount of water and pour the solution into the sauce. Then, simmer the thawed Alfredo sauce in a saucepan until it thickens.

Summary
Pasta dishes are surprisingly easy to make as long as you have delicious sauces in stock. Now that you know how to freeze and defrost Alfredo sauce properly, you can store a large batch of sauce and keep in the freezer for later use.

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!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Kefir?

Kefir is a popular health drink made from kefir grains. This fermented drink is similar in taste to yogurt and it contains millions of bacterial culture that aid in digestion and promotes immunity. If you love stocking up on this yummy drink, we’re happy to report that you can freeze kefir and enjoy it anytime!

Image used under Creative Commons from Bad Reichenhaller

The good bacteria in kefir will stay dormant when frozen so freezing it will not affect the quality of the drink at all. Once thawed, the bacterial culture will come to life! As with any type of dairy product, the fats in kefir may cause splitting after thawing but there is a way to achieve its original consistency after defrosting. When frozen, kefir will keep up to 3 months.

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Kefir?

The proper way to freeze kefir is to transfer the drink to an airtight container. Pour the product into a freezer bag or a rigid plastic container, leaving about 1 ½ inch of space to allow the liquid to expand as it freezes. You want to remove as much air as you could to maintain freshness. After packing the drink, get a marker and label each one with the expiration date.

Lay the container on the coldest spot in the freezer, which is near the wall. Putting the product in the coldest spot in the freezer hastens the freezing process, preventing vapor or moisture damage.

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Kefir?

The best way to defrost frozen kefir is to transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leaving it to defrost on its own for 24 hours. Of course, the thawing time will depend on the container you used. Solid blocks of frozen kefir will take more time to defrost!

Image used under Creative Commons from miss_yasmina

If the drink started splitting after defrosting, get a spoon and give the drink a good stir. If you transferred the drink in a covered tumbler, give the tumbler a good shake!

Summary

If you have a large jug of kefir and you plan to consume one serving at a time, we recommend transferring the drink in smaller packaging before freezing. This way, you don’t have to thaw the entire container for a single serving of kefir. As with any dairy product, thawed kefir should not be defrosted a second time. It’s best consumed after it’s been thawed.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Jam?

Jams make whipping up a quick snack oh so easy, which is great if you’ve got hungry kids who have a massive sweet tooth! On their own, fruit jams can keep for a long, long time because the sugars prevent bacterial growth that causes spoilage. However, you can freeze jam to extend its shelf life too!

Image used under Creative Commons from Migle

Freezing jams allows you to enjoy your favorite sandwich spreads all year long, particularly those that are made from seasonal fruits. When frozen properly, jams will keep fresh for up to 12 months but we recommend consuming your batch within six months or less for best results. Jams that are kept in the freezer for too long will start losing character and intensity. In addition, the consistency will turn watery, which could be off-putting for some people.

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Jams?

The best way to freeze jams is to keep them in thick, sturdy glass jars or rigid, freezer-safe plastic containers. For homemade jams, you want to cool the fruit spread at room temperature prior to transferring to a glass jar.

When filling the jar, leave about half an inch of space from the top to allow the jam to expand as it freezes. Never overfill the container because the frozen jam could spill out of the container as it expands. Finally, close the container with an airtight lid and stick in the freezer.

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Jam?

The best way to defrost frozen ham is to transfer the container from the freezer to the refrigerator and leave it to thaw overnight. If you’re in a rush, try submerging the frozen solid jar of jam in a basin of warm water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It’s important to note that once the jam has been defrosted, you should consume it and never refreeze.

Image used under Creative Commons from Jim Champion

Summary

Freezing jams and jellies mean you can whip up quick snacks and add a dash of sweetness to your favorite pies and desserts. You can also store more jams to give away to friends and loved ones. Now that you know how to freeze jams properly, you can extend the life of your favorite sweet spread!

Dish

Can You Freeze Vegetable Soup?

Can you freeze vegetable soup? The winter season is just around the corner and a hearty bowl of vegetable soup is in order! But if you made a large batch of soup, you can always freeze it for later use. Yes, you can freeze vegetable soup but you have to do it right to prevent the ingredients from turning into mush.

Any type of soup can be frozen and reheated but those with chunky textures are prone to overcooking. That’s why proper freezing and reheating are important to maintain their original consistencies.

Vegetables are very delicate and once frozen, they may lose their crunch. So, how do you freeze vegetable soup and come out with great results even if the dish is reheated? First, you have to make several tweaks in the recipe.

Vegetable soup

Image used under Creative Commons from Shimelle Laine

For instance, if you’re expecting a lot of leftovers, we recommend undercooking the veggies slightly. This way by the time the frozen soup is reheated, the veggies aren’t too mushy.

If you’re adding herbs, set aside the batch that has to be frozen, hold the herbs and add them only during reheating. Herbs and spices tend to lose their flavors after they’re frozen. Because of that adding them during the reheating will liven up the flavors of your soup!

When frozen properly, vegetable soup can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months if it’s cream-based. If it doesn’t contain dairy, it should last for up to 6 months.

How to Freeze Vegetable Soup?

The best way to freeze vegetable soup is to leave it to cool at room temperature before freezing. To begin, transfer the soup to a rigid, freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. You can also use Ziploc or re-sealable plastic bags. Especially, if you’d like to pack them in single servings but do this only once the soup has cooled down. Leave about an inch of space within the container to give the soup more room to expand as it freezes.

After packing, get a marker and write the name of the soup and the freezing date before sticking the containers one by one in the deep freeze.

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Vegetable Soup?

The best way to defrost vegetable soup is to leave it to thaw overnight in the fridge. Just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leave it to thaw on its own. If the soup does not contain dairy, you can defrost it by sticking it in the microwave even if it’s frozen solid! Heat the soup on medium and pulse the microwave every 10 seconds.

Dinner

Image used under Creative Commons from jeffreyw

If the ingredients have clumped together or if the soup started splitting, you can fix it. Get a whisk and half a cup of fresh stock and whisk the ingredients while gradually adding the broth. If the vegetable is cream-based, use milk or cream instead of stock.

Summary
The delicate nature of vegetable soup means you have to be careful not to overcook the ingredients. This way the end result is just as yummy the second (reheating) time around! If your soup is extra chunky, we recommend freezing the solids separately from the liquids. Add the ingredients together only after the solids and liquid have thawed. Now that you know how to freeze vegetable soup properly, you can go ahead and stock up on your favorite soup!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Raisins

Raisins are one versatile food item every kitchen should never be without! It can be enjoyed on its own as a low-calorie snack and as ingredient for your favorite desserts, salads, stews, and frozen treats. As with all dried fruits, you can freeze raisins if the batch is nearing its expiration date. Although dried, raisins can still go bad.

Image used under Creative Commons from Migle

On its own, a box of unopened raisins can keep for 12 months but the quality will diminish over time. And once opened, raisins’ shelf life will be cut to just 6 months. The lack of moisture makes raisins a great candidate for freezing and once thawed, there’s little to no change in the texture. So if you have room in your freezer, we highly recommend freezing raisins!

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Raisins?

The proper way to freeze raisins is to store them in a plastic, freezer-safe container. Ideally, break down the raisins in individual servings so by the time you need a small amount, you can just defrost a serving, not the whole container.

To store the raisins, get a baking sheet and spread the raisins, making sure to break all the large clumps apart as you go. Then, lay the baking sheet flat on the freezer and leave it for an hour or so. You want to make sure the raisins are frozen solid by the time you remove the tray from the freezer.

Once the raisins are frozen, get several re-sealable plastic bags or rigid containers and start packing the frozen raisins in smaller servings. Because they are frozen, the raisins won’t stick together for the final freeze.

After packing the raisins in small servings, stick them all in the freezer and you’re done. When in deep freeze, raisins will keep for up to 1 and a half years.

Image used under Creative Commons from Otto Phokus

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Raisins

The best way to defrost raisins is to transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leaving it to thaw overnight. You can also get a container and leave it to defrost on your counter top at room temperature. Do note that you don’t have to defrost the raisins if you’re using them for cooking or baking. You can simply chuck the frozen raisins straight to the dish or baked treats and be done with it!

Summary

Because they are a healthy alternative to candies and other sweets, it’s always a good idea to have raisins in stock for later use. Now that you know how to freeze raisins properly, you can store a box or two in the freezer to lengthen their shelf life.

Dough & Batter

Can You Freeze Batter?

You might think there’s no way you can store batter for later use but yes, you can! You can freeze batter and keep it fresher for longer. When done properly, you can keep extra batches of batter in the freezer and whip up a cake or two whenever.

Image used under Creative Commons from EvelynGiggles

Of course, there are many different types of batters and not all of them can be frozen. For instance, batters leavened with whipped eggs shouldn’t be frozen because freezing will affect the texture of the finished product. Bread batters, Devil’s food cake, pancake, cupcakes, and velvet cake batters, on the other hand, can be frozen. When properly stored in the freezer, frozen batters can keep fresh for up to 3 months.

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Batter?

The proper way to freeze batter is to break it down into smaller portions. Once thawed, batter has to be used right away so to avoid thawing excess batter, it’s best to keep them in single servings especially for cupcakes.

To begin, get several single-serve reusable freezer containers/small plastic bags and an ice cream scoop. Scoop the batter and drop it into each container, leaving about half an inch of space each to allow the batter to expand in the freezer. Cover the container with the airtight lid. If you’re using re-sealable plastic bags, squeeze as much air as you could. Finally, store the containers in the freezer and you’re done!

Image used under Creative Commons from Jamie

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Batter?

The best way to defrost frozen batter is to transfer the product from the freezer to the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight. Once the batter has softened the next day, get a whisk or a spoon and give the batter a good stir to incorporate all the ingredients together. Use the batter according to the recipe.

Summary

Freezing batter is a straightforward affair, one that requires no fuss at all. However, do note that using thawed batter may alter the texture of the baked goods. For instance, defrosted cake batter will yield denser cakes with tighter crumbs compared to batter that hasn’t been thawed.

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Muffins?

We could all use a dose of sweetness in life and nothing satisfies the sweet tooth than a warm batch of muffins. Muffins come in an array of flavors too, some savory others are sweet. Whichever type of muffin flavor you like, did you know that you can always freeze muffins and fresh batter for later use?

Image used under Creative Commons from Susanne Nilsson

That’s right, baked muffin and batter keep well in the freezer. By storing your extra muffins and batter in the freezer, you’ll never run out of delicious snacks to whip up! Frozen baked muffins and batter will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Muffins?

The best way to freeze muffins is to do so once the baked goods have cooled down to room temperature. To prep the muffins, get a re-sealable plastic bag and start wrapping the muffins one at a time. You want to make sure all muffins are wrapped individually so they don’t get stuck together in the freezer as well as to keep freezer burn at bay!

Once all the muffins are packed in a container, get a marker and label each one by flavor and the freezing date. To enjoy optimum flavors and texture, use up your stock within the recommended storage time. Also, make sure the freezer is set at a steady 0°F or lower for best results.

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Muffins

The best way to defrost muffins is by transferring them from the freezer to a plate and letting the muffins thaw at room temperature. Once the muffins have been thawed completely, stick them in the pre-heated toaster oven or conventional oven.

Image used under Creative Commons from Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin

Get a small plate, unwrap the muffin and wrap it in tinfoil before putting it on the plate and sticking it in the oven or toaster oven.  Heat for about 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F. If you’re using a microwave, heat it on high for no more than 30 seconds.

Summary

Microwaving muffins may affect the texture of the finished products so always keep an eye on the setting and heating time. Keeping a batch of baked muffins in the freezer means you’ll always have snacks ready for you and your family. Now that you know how to freeze muffins properly, you can store a large batch for future use.