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!
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.
How 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.
How to Defrost Frozen Jam?
There are two ways to defrost frozen jam, you can do it slowly or you can thaw quickly if you are pressed for time:
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.
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!
Nutella is a classic hazelnut and chocolate spread with a lot of uses, especially in baking. Unsurprisingly, this American favorite is a hit among kids that’s why it’s always a good idea to keep a bottle or two in handy. While Nutella can keep for several months at room temperature, it can go rancid because it’s made from nut fat and dairy. You can freeze Nutella to avoid spoilage.
According to Nutella’s website, this product should not be kept in the fridge much more frozen to extend its shelf life. However, any food can be frozen and Nutella is no exemption. So yes, you can freeze Nutella to help boost its longevity but after defrosting, the consistency won’t be the same. Still, there’s a trick to keep its smooth consistency after freezing.
How to Freeze Nutella?
There are two ways to freeze Nutella, one is to stick the product directly into the freezer or transferring it to a different container prior to freezing.
Freezing Unopened Nutella
You can stick the spread in the freezer while kept in its original packaging. Since Nutella is packed in a plastic container, it won’t break as the material freezes.
Freezing Opened Nutella
If you’re planning to store a large amount of Nutella, we recommend opting for a large plastic container. On the other hand, use small plastic bags if you’re only using a dollop of Nutella or two at a time.
To transfer Nutella to another container, simply spoon the nut spread in a freezer safe plastic bag with an airtight lid and seal it very well. Once it’s ready, just stick the spread in the freezer until it’s ready to use. When you need Nutella, just get a bag or two and defrost away.
How to Defrost Nutella?
Because it’s largely made of nut butters and chocolate, Nutella will harden when frozen just like a stick of butter or a chocolate bar. And once you thaw it, Nutella becomes very soft. The proper way to defrost Nutella is to leave it to thaw at room temperature for several hours.
When it’s thawed completely, Nutella’s consistency might be on the watery side. In some cases, the nut oils will separate from the chocolate solids. To restore its smoothness, get a whisk and start whipping the spread vigorously. The introduction of air into the spread should give Nutella body, restoring its texture once more.
Nutella is a fabulous treat, especially if you have chocoholic kids. Now that you know how to properly freeze and thaw Nutella, you can keep more of this beloved chocolate spread in the fridge and turn it into a delicious treat any time!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Can you freeze sauerkraut? People often ask if sauerkraut is freezable to help retain its freshness longer. The simple answer to this question is yes. But back in the old days, it was kept in jars on the countertop and scooped out when necessary as a condiment topping.
Today, many people worry about food poisoning occurring from leaving sauerkraut out. This is where the question of, “sauerkraut freeze safely,” came about.
Sauerkraut occurs by fermenting cabbage with lactic acid bacteria. The lactic acid reacting with the sugars in the shredded cabbage is what causes the distinct sour flavor you enjoy. Sauerkraut is useful as a condiment upon all kinds of foods such as hot dogs, burgers, Reuben sandwiches, and even soups.
Many people eat this satisfyingly tasty food not only because of its unique flavor, but because it helps add beneficial bacteria to their digestion system that helps keep it healthy and functioning properly.
Sauerkraut does retain flavor and a longer shelf life when frozen, but again it must be frozen when fresh. Overall, it is not recommended to freeze sauerkraut because most open jars of the fermented food can last safely in the refrigerator for a couple months at a time before spoiling.
You really only need to freeze sauerkraut when you have an overwhelming amount you know you cannot possibly eat up by the use by date or in a reasonable amount of time. Below is our guide on how can you freeze sauerkraut.
How to Freeze Sauerkraut?
If you have a heaping amount of homemade or store-bought sauerkraut you want to freeze it is best you do it the day you make it, or the day you open the store bought the container it came in. However, since sauerkraut has a quite long shelf life in the fridge, there shouldn’t be any issues if you decide to freeze it a few days or even weeks after opening the container or jar. Just make sure the sauerkraut is fine to eat when you decide to freeze it and things should go just fine.
The way you freeze extra sauerkraut is by scooping it into freezer safe containers and sealing the containers shut tightly. After, place a label with the date you are freezing the sauerkraut onto the container. Then, place the sauerkraut in the freezer to help preserve its shelf life.
Sauerkraut is capable of staying well preserved this way for up to 6-months, but for quality reasons it is recommended to use it up within the first month or two.
Freezing Cooked Sauerkraut
Love making sauerkraut at home? You can freeze this dish with relative ease. Homemade sauerkraut made with little liquids is best suited for freezing. The reduced liquids mean the quality of the vegetable won’t be altered once the side dish has been thawed.
To freeze cooked sauerkraut, just spoon the dish into a resealable plastic bag. If you want to make thawing easier, we highly suggest dividing a large batch of cooked sauerkraut into single serving portions. After spooning the sauerkraut in the plastic bag, squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.
How to Defrost Frozen Sauerkraut?
There are a few ways one can go about defrosting sauerkraut:
Overnight in the fridge. If sauerkraut is defrosted in the fridge, it can be stored there for additional 3-5 days before using.
Microwave. Make sure you use the defrost feature and run the microwave in small (10-30 seconds) increments until it’s fully defrosted. Use right away.
On the countertop. It takes a few hours to defrost sauerkraut on the countertop, depending on the size of the container or bag. To speed up the process you can transfer the bag into cold water. Use immediately.
Throw directly into a cooked dish. If you’re using the sauerkraut in a cooked dish, there’s usually no need to defrost it first. Just throw it in frozen and add a few minutes to the cooking time to account for defrosting.
Freezing Sauerkraut FAQ
Can You Freeze Sauerkraut and Pork?
Although raw or freshly made sauerkraut is best suited for freezing, there is no need to throw out cooked sauerkraut with pork because it is safe to freeze this dish. But since this side dish is cooked, you should freeze it as soon as it has cooled down. To freeze pork and sauerkraut, just spoon the dish into a resealable freezer bag or airtight container. If you’re using a bag, squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer. If you want to make thawing easier, we highly suggest dividing a large batch of cooked sauerkraut into single serving portions. Also, try to strain some of the liquids to preserve the crunch of the vegetables. When it comes to reheating, baking in the oven or using a non-stick frying pan would be the best options.
Can You Freeze Sauerkraut and Kielbasa (Sausage)?
Similarly to sauerkraut and pork, there’s no reason not to freezer sauerkraut and sausage. Once the dish has cooled, divide the leftovers into as many portions as you need and transfer them into freezer bags. Label the bags with name and date if needed, then put them into the freezer. Reheat on a non-stick frying pan. Before reheating I’d suggest thawing it on the countertop for an hour or so. This way it’s partly defrosted and it’s much easier not to burn this dish on the frying pan.
Does Freezing Sauerkraut Kill Good Bacteria (Probiotics)?
Fermented foods like sauerkraut are teeming with beneficial bacteria called probiotics. These microbes aid in digestion and promote better health. A 4 to 6 ounce serving of sauerkraut contains trillions of probiotics. But if you made a large batch of sauerkraut, does freezing affect the live culture in the side dish?
There is conflicting information about this issue. Although probiotics are temperature sensitive and the possibility that these beneficial bacteria could die once frozen is high, they won’t be wiped out completely once the sauerkraut is frozen and thawed. Freezing the sauerkraut will only enhance the killing of the probiotics but some of them could survive the cold temps by lying dormant. It is worth noting, however, that the lactic acid in sauerkraut could kill probiotics in storage.
Although freezing sauerkraut is a little tricky, it can be done. After all, any type of food can be frozen. Now that you know how can you freeze sauerkraut, you can preserve your favorite side dish and extend its shelf life. Just make sure to keep the extra steps outlined in this post in mind for better results.