Category: Condiments

Condiments

Can You Freeze Honey?

Freezing honey is one of the main methods through which you can store it in an effective manner. If you are buying on sales, it’s vital to make sure that the honey is fresh by keeping it in a freezer for most of the time. Again, if you are buying the honey in summer and you want to keep it until winter sets in, the option of freezing might be ideal in your case. Moreover, if the store where you buy the honey is located far away and you do not want to be visiting often, you can consider buying a lot of it and then freezing it for longevity purposes.

So, Can You Freeze Honey?

The answer is yes! It’s possible to freeze honey and in fact freezing is one of the many methods used in storing honey. It’s important to store honey in the right manner so as to maintain its quality. Experts advise that you should store honey in a closed container, at room temperature and in a dry location. Honey can absorb moisture which can affect its quality. Generally, the higher the temperatures at which honey is stored, the higher the chance that it will be damaged. Freezing is thus ideal for purposes of long term storage. Freezing helps to stop any variations completely and also preserves the natural goodness in it.

Jars of honey

Image used under Creative Commons from Vicky Brock

You can use a refrigerator to freeze your honey or your own traditional methods. Just make sure that the temperatures are low enough to guarantee top notch quality at the end of the storage period. The use of a freezer is most recommended since it can retain a constant temperature over a long period of time. What you ought to do is to buy enough of it and keep it for as long as you would want.

Does it make sense to freeze honey?

The answer here can either be a yes or a no. There are times when it makes sense to freeze something and that most definitely applies to honey in this case. For instance, if you would like to use the honey for texturing other food products, it might be good to freeze it. If you want to apply it on your bread in the morning, freezing will also be a viable option. If you don’t want to be using it often but you want to keep it in a good condition over a long period of time, freezing would be required.

On the other hand, it also does not make sense to freeze honey at times. You need to remember that honey has considerably long shelf life. Therefore, freezing might not make much sense if you intend to use the honey after a few weeks. Moreover, freezing might totally destroy the texture of the honey at the end of the process. You might store it under the wrong conditions and thus renter it useless afterwards. You therefore need to be extremely careful when you are freezing honey. You might think that it will get better but the prevailing conditions only make it worse. That is why you ought to seek guidance from the experts so that you can make the right choices.

How should you freeze honey?

There are different ways through which you can freeze honey. For instance, you can freeze full and sliced or mashed honey. Some people might decide to prepare meals with the honey and then freeze the meal instead. Whichever option you choose to settle for, you’ll still be freezing the honey.

Image used under Creative Commons from Siona Karen

Concerns about thawing

There are many ways through which you can thaw solid honey. You can heat it using traditional means or through the use of a microwave oven. Heat the honey in a microwave oven for 30 seconds, stir well, allow it to cool for about 20 seconds and then heat it for another 30 seconds just in case there are some granules that ought to be dissolved. From there, you will attain liquid honey. However, you will notice some changes in texture, taste and some degree of discoloration. The quality of the honey is not adversely affected by freezing. In fact, freezing makes it better if done in the right manner.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Guacamole?

Can you freeze guacamole? That’s a question many fans of this avocado-based sauce might need the answer to. Is there a possibility to make a larger amount of guacamole and freeze it for later? Or, when you have too many ripe avocados and you would like to use some of them in guacamole and put the sauce into the freezer?

Good news is, you can freeze guacamole (you can buy frozen guacamole, so why wouldn’t you be able to freeze it yourself?). If you want to freeze it only because you have too many ripe avocados, I suggest you freeze those avocados instead. If you really need to freeze guacamole (e.g. you’ve already made it and there’s quite a lot of it left), you can do it. Read on to get to know the most important things about freezing guacamole.

Freezing Guacamole – Most Important Facts

As I have mentioned above, you can freeze guacamole. The question that’s more important is: “would it be tasty after thawing?“.

Unfortunately, if you’d spend some time and read some food forums and websites, you’d find out that each person has their own thoughts on this topic. Some people don’t mind frozen and thawed guacamole (in fact, they like it). Others say freezing guacamole is not worth the hassle because it won’t be good after thawing. That’s why freezing avocados instead of guacamole sauce itself is a good idea.

Guacamole

(credit: stu_spivack)

There are, however, some facts about freezing guacamole, that are worth knowing. First thing is, the quality of the guacamole sauce after thawing depends heavily on its ingredients. Some of the recipes call for tomatoes, garlic, or even yogurt. That’s likely why some people are satisfied with frozen and thawed guacamole, while others aren’t. What’s sure is that ingredients such as tomatoes or chopped pepper make the sauce more watery after thawing.

Because of the reasons I outlined above, you won’t know if freezing guacamole works for you until you give it a try. Prepare it using your favorite recipe, freeze it, thaw it and taste it. Then you’ll be certain if freezing this avocado-based sauce works for you.

You don’t have to make a big deal out of it. Next time when preparing this sauce, prepare a little more than you need and freeze the rest for a couple of weeks. That’s the best way to find out if you’re satisfied with frozen and thawed guacamole. If you won’t be happy with the outcome, you can always try changing the recipe. Next time around try removing an ingredient or reducing its amount and see what you get.

How to Freeze Guacamole

This part is pretty easy. Transfer the sauce into a freezer bag, squeeze all air from it and seal the bag tightly. You can add some lime or lemon juice on the top of the sauce right before freezing it to aid with the process.

When choosing the amount of guacamole in a single freezer bag, consider freezing a portion needed for one dish per bag. This way you’ll always be able to thaw only as much sauce as you need at a time. Don’t forget to put the date and other pieces of information you might need in the future on the label. Once done, put the bag (or bags) into the freezer. You can store it there for quite a long time, but it’s not recommended to freeze guacamole for more than 4-6 months. After that time its quality will deteriorate a bit fater and that’s bad news.

Summary
As you know by now, you can freeze guacamole sauce, but not everyone will find the outcome tasty. Or even acceptable. Unfortunately, the only way to know is to experiment on your own. Do a couple of test freezingz and you will know if it is for you in no time.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Salsa?

Can you freeze salsa? Many people who make their own salsa would love to make a big batch of it, but most of them don’t really know whether salsa can be frozen. Sometimes there’s this sale where you can buy good salsa for cheap and you’re not sure if buying a couple jars really makes sense. Fortunately for you, you can freeze salsa, both fresh homemade salsa and a store-bought one. There are, however, a few things you need to know about freezing salsa, so you’ll know whether freezing it makes sense in your case.

When Freezing Salsa Makes Sense?

Salsa is made mainly from vegetables (unless it’s a fruit salsa of course) and as you probably know, many vegetables don’t freeze that well. When it comes to salsa, tomatoes are probably the most important veggies (meaning they’re the main ingredient) and they really don’t freeze very well. That means that when you’ll thaw the salsa, the tomatoes will have a little changed texture, so the salsa will become a little watery (you can pour off the excess liquid after thawing).

Salsa’s taste after thawing will be (in most cases) fine, but the consistency won’t be that good. Please note, however, that few people find thawed salsa’s taste not that good, mainly because the flavors of various ingredients tend to meld together. Because of the changed texture, it’s suggested to use it as an ingredient, e.g. in cooked dishes (soups, chili), rather than straight, as a condiment (e.g. with chips). If you’d like to add frozen salsa into a soup, you don’t really have to thaw it, just transfer it into the pot.

Salsa and chips
Image used under Creative Commons from thisisbossi

Freezing Salsa

There are a few ways you can freeze salsa, depending on your needs. Pick one that’s the best for your needs.

Freezing salsa in the original jar
If it’s a store-bought salsa, there’s always have a little head space in the jar, so you can simply put it into the freezer. If you’ve already opened the jar, make sure to close it tightly before putting it into the freezer. One thing to note – if you’ve already used some of the sauce, in many cases, it’s a good idea to transfer it into a smaller jar or container, so there will be less head space, especially if you plan to keep it in the freezer for more than a month. The less air in the jar/container, the less the freezer burn.

Freezing salsa in an airtight container or a jar
If you have your own salsa, or you have some leftovers from a big store-bought jar, you can freeze it in a container or a jar. Just transfer the salsa into the container, close it tightly, label it and put it into the freezer. Make sure to leave some head space, but not too much. As I’ve mentioned in the previous paragraph, the more air in the jar, the worse the freeze burn.

Freezing salsa in small portions
For most people, the most convenient way to freeze salsa is to do it in small portions. This way one can easily thaw only as much salsa as he or she needs at a time. You can do that using small jars or containers following the advice is given in the previous paragraph. Another way to do that is by using an ice-cube tray. Pour the sauce into an ice cube tray and put it into the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and put them into the freezer. This way you’ll be always able to easily thaw only an individual portion of salsa.

Freezing Salsa FAQs

Can you freeze homemade salsa?

Although homemade salsa is made without using any sort of preservatives, it is perfectly safe for freezing. Since the ingredients are already crushed, the texture of the salsa does not really matter once it’s been frozen and defrosted. However, the color or appearance of the side dish may change slightly. The salsa could turn soggier or a little watery after defrosting. These changes, however, will not affect the taste and flavor of the salsa.

Just prepare the salsa as you normally would. Leave the salsa to cool completely before packing it for freezing. Once the salsa has cooled completely, divide it into serving portions for easy thawing later. Pour the salsa in a resealable freezer bag (or an airtight container). Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing the bag. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

Can you freeze tomatoes to make salsa later?

It might seem strange, freezing fresh tomatoes to make salsa for later but this is a surprisingly common (and economical!) practice. Although fresh tomatoes are not the most freezer-friendly vegetables there are, they can be frozen for a short period of time.

You can freeze the tomatoes whole, diced, sliced, or pureed. You can also freeze the fresh tomatoes as they are, blanched, skin on, or skin off. If you are using the tomatoes for salsa, we highly recommend cutting the tomatoes to size prior to freezing. This will cut the cooking time in half.

Just pick the freshest, plumpest tomatoes you can find in your local supermarket or garden. Give the tomatoes a thorough rinsing and remove the stems if there are any. After cutting the stems off, cut the tomatoes in half and de-seed.

If you won’t blanch the tomatoes, you can go ahead and pack the cut tomatoes in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag after cutting the veggies to your desired size. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing the bag. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

If you are blanching the tomatoes first, prepare a pot of boiling water and an ice bath. Using a colander, submerge the halved and de-seeded tomatoes in boiling water then blanch for 2 minutes or so. After blanching the tomatoes, take them out of the pot and into the ice bath. The ice bath will stop the cooking process. The skins of the tomatoes may come off at this point, just remove them. After blanching the tomatoes, they are ready for packing.

Pack the cut tomatoes in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag after cutting the veggies to your desired size. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing the bag. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

Can you freeze Salsa Verde?

Yes, Salsa Verde can be frozen and this tomatillo-based sauce freezes beautifully. Just prepare the Salsa Verde as you normally would. If you cooked the sauce, you have to leave it to cool completely prior to freezing. Once the salsa Verde has cooled completely, divide the sauce into manageable portions.

Pour the sauce in an airtight container with a sealed lid. This container will protect the sauce from freezer burns and frost. Do not fill the container to the brim, leave about an inch of space to give the sauce room to expand. Seal the container with the airtight lid and write the storage date. Store in the coldest spot in your freezer.

Can you freeze store bought salsa?

Of course! Store-bought salsa will keep well in the freezer. However, commercially made salsa is often packed in glass jars so you have to transfer the product in a freezer-safe container. Glass jars will burst in the freezer due to the freezing temps. You can use either an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag for packing salsa prior to freezing.

Additional Information

Freezing salsa for an extended amount of time isn’t recommended. It’s said that salsa’s taste starts to slowly deteriorate pretty soon, after a month, maybe two. It won’t go bad after a few months, but its taste might not be that great as after a month after freezing it. If you’ve prepared a fruit salsa, make sure you’ll spray it or add some lemon or lime juice. It’ll prevent the fruits from turning brown due to freezing. Also, many people suggest that one can salsa instead of freezing it. If you’re not satisfied with frozen and then thawed salsa, it’s a good idea to try canning it.

Summary
As you should know by now, salsa can be frozen. What’s important to remember is that freezing and thawing change its texture and it might not work as good when used as a straight ingredient (e.g. with chips), but should be fine when used in cooked dishes and other meals where it’s used as an ingredient.

Condiments

Can You Freeze Hummus?

Can you freeze hummus? Many people who make their own homemade hummus tend to prepare more hummus than they’d be able to consume within a week or so. Or they would like to make a huge batch of it instead of making a small one every week. Others who buy hummus sometimes notice a great deal on it, but often they don’t really know whether stocking up on hummus makes sense. If you’re one of those people, or for any reason you’d like to know whether you can freeze hummus, the answer is affirmative. Hummus can be frozen and I’ll describe here how to do it.

Freezing Hummus

There are few ways of freezing hummus, choose one that seems to be the best for you, depending on your needs. What’s common for all these methods is that hummus shouldn’t be frozen for more than a couple of months (half a year max) for quality reasons. Of course hummus won’t go bad in the freezer after this period of time, but its taste will deteriorate and you probably won’t be satisfied with it. Most people thaw hummus in the freezer. Put it there in the day before you want to use it and it’ll be thawed when you need it.

Bowl of hummus
Image used under Creative Commons from philosophygeek

Freezing in the Original Container

This way, obviously, works only for store-bought hummus. You can simply take the original container while it’s still unopened and put it into the freezer and you’re done. As long as the container is unopened, it should be fine in the fridge because it’s sealed well. After you’ve opened it for the first time, it’s a good idea to wrap it with foil or put it into a freezer bag before putting into the freezer, especially if you’d like to store it there for an extended period of time.

Freezing in Small Portions

If you use only a small amount of hummus at a time, it’s better to freeze it in smaller portions. This way you’ll be able to thaw only as much of it as you need at a certain time. You can do that in at least two ways. First of them is by using a baking sheet – put a number of scoops of hummus on it, each one large enough for one serving, and put the baking sheet into the freezer to freeze the scoops. Once frozen, transfer them into an airtight container or a freezer bag, label it and put back into the freezer. The second way to do that is by freezing hummus in a series of small containers. Either way, you end up with small portions of hummus and you can easily thaw one, two, or all of them at a time.

Freezing in an Airtight Container

This one is quite easy. Transfer all your hummus into a lidded plastic container (make sure it’s an airtight one). Make sure you leave some headspace in the container because hummus expands a little when frozen. One more thing – many people suggest that adding a tablespoon of olive oil at the top of the dip will help with maintaining texture while freezing and thawing, so it’s worth doing as well. If you plan to freeze it for a very long time, it’s a good idea to put the container into a freezer bag to reduce freezer burn.

After Thawing the Hummus

Sometimes hummus separates, gets watery or loses its creamy texture after thawing, that’s perfectly normal. Just give it a good stir and it’ll (in most cases) be back to normal. If that doesn’t help, you can add a little olive oil and stir the dip once again. That should help.

The thing you need to know is that the consistency of the dip will probably be a little altered, even after stirring and adding some olive oil. That’s normal. These changes in consistency also vary depending on the manufacturer of it or proportions of ingredients used to make the hummus. So, if you’re not satisfied with the texture of hummus after thawing, consider trying another manufacturer or changing the recipe a little.

Once hummus is defrosted, you should consume it within 5 to 7 days. Make sure you won’t freeze the same hummus more than once. If you’ve found yourself with a too big portion thawed, consider freezing in small portions next time.

FAQs: Freezing Hummus

Can you freeze Sabra hummus?

Sabra is a New York-based is a food products company that specializes in hummus, bean dips, and guacamole. Sabra prides itself on its certified kosher and vegetarian products. If you love Sabra’s many hummus varieties and you’d like to stock up on your favorites, we’ve got some bad news. The company does not recommend freezing their hummus. Since Sabra’s hummus is made with all natural ingredients, the shelf life of this product is quite short. Hummus is quite temperature sensitive and freezing it will alter its consistency and flavor. That being said, several patrons have tried freezing Sabra hummus and got great results. If you must freeze the hummus, do so with reasonable expectations.

Can you freeze homemade hummus?

Yes, you can certainly freeze homemade hummus for future uses. You have to freeze the hummus as soon as possible because the fresher the hummus is, the better the results after thawing. We recommend using a freezer-safe container for the homemade hummus. Just spoon the homemade hummus into the container. Leave about an inch of space then cover the container with cling wrap before sealing with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you want to divide a batch into serving portions, you can use a muffin tray. This method is perfect if you want to divide the hummus into equal portions. Just brush insides of the muffin molds with olive oil. Spoon the hummus into each section to fill it but do not overfill or you will make a mess.

Pop the muffin tray in the freezer then let sit until frozen solid for 4 hours or so. Prepare a large, freezer safe plastic bag before taking the muffin tray out of the freezer. Carefully lift each hummus portion then place them all in the freezer bag. Seal the bag, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Does hummus freeze well?

While hummus can be frozen, the consistency of the dip will be altered so the answer depends on several factors. If you are freezing homemade hummus, we’d say that the consistency will be altered after thawing so the dip doesn’t freeze better than commercially made hummus.

Store-bought hummus contains preservatives that may either slow down or completely suppress the breakdown of the ingredients so the hummus freezes better.

Generally, as long as you are okay with the consistency changes, you can freeze the hummus. The changes aren’t all that drastic and usually, the taste remains the same. Of course, we recommend consuming the frozen hummus as soon as possible for optimal flavor.

Can chickpea hummus be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze chickpea hummus regardless if it’s homemade or if it is store-bought. As long as the hummus has been packed well for freezing, freezing is a great way to preserve an otherwise delicate dip. Still, don’t expect the chickpea hummus to have the same consistency as before.

Once the hummus is thawed, there is a good chance that the dip will become watery or there will be the separation between the liquids and the solids. This is normal. Just give the chickpea hummus a good stir.

Chickpea hummus is quite prone to drying out and grittiness so you want to top the dip with olive oil. The oil works as a protective barrier that prevents moisture loss. But don’t use too much, just use enough to cover the top of the dip. Once you are ready to thaw, you can always lift the hardened olive oil off so the dip won’t be too oily.

Can you freeze store-bought hummus?

Yes, store-bought hummus will freeze well, if not better, than homemade hummus because some products are enriched with preservatives to extend their shelf life. If the hummus is packed in a tin can or a bottle container, you have to transfer the hummus in a freezer-safe container.

An airtight plastic container is a great choice for packing leftover hummus or store-bought hummus. We also recommend freezing the store-bought hummus in smaller batches, perhaps no more than 12 ounces per container. This way, you can thaw the hummus much more quickly.

Summary
As you can see, hummus can be frozen in a few different ways. Pick one depending on your needs and test it out. If you won’t be satisfied with the results, check again what you can do after thawing hummus to make it a little better.