What foods can be frozen – and how to store them

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The desire to keep fresh produce and dairy products longer helps if you know what you can freeze

Buying in bulk and freezing items can be an easier way to save money on groceries, but it’s important to know which foods can and can’t be frozen.

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Many foods will last longer simply by storing them in an airtight container and popping them in the freezer.

But which foods can be frozen? Here’s what you need to know.

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What foods can be frozen?

Cheese can be frozen, but it’s best to grate it first and place in an airtight container, or you can freeze small cubes of cheese if tightly wrapped in cling film.

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Milk can be frozen and kept in the freezer for months, but be sure to store it in an airtight container with some space, as milk expands as it freezes. Oat milk can also be frozen the same way, but may become a bit grainy once thawed.

Eggs should not be frozen in the shell, and they should be broken and beaten in a bowl to fuse the yolk and white.

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Bread can be placed in the freezer immediately after purchase or preparation. It would be easier to defrost if the bread is sliced.

It’s better to freeze cooked rice shortly after cooking so it retains some of its fresh flavor. When defrosting, make sure the rice is consistently hot.

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Cooked mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes can be stored in the freezer. Again, it’s important to ensure the produce is in an airtight container before placing it in the freezer.

If you slightly undercook your pasta, it’s best for freezing because it won’t become starchy when reheated.

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These items can be frozen for up to three months.

According to BBC Good Food, yoghurt and cream can be frozen but must be stirred after thawing and stored in small portions in airtight containers.

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Broth can be frozen in batches, flat or cubed.

Cake is freezable and can last for months. However, make sure you cool and wrap tightly in cling film or store in an airtight container before freezing.

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Which fruits and vegetables can be frozen?

A selection of fruits and vegetables can be frozen to keep them from going moldy in the fridge. These include:

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  • Mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Peas
  • sweetcorn
  • carrots
  • avocados
  • spinach
  • rhubarb
  • beans
  • onions
  • zucchini

Garlic and ginger can also be frozen or bought frozen.

These fruits can be frozen:

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  • Summer berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
  • Bananas (without peel)
  • tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • apples

What can’t be frozen?

There are some foods that just aren’t suitable for freezing:

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  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Vegetables with high water content, such as lettuce, cucumber sprouts, and radishes, become limp and mushy
  • Soft herbs like parsley, basil, and chives work well in dishes, but not as garnishes
  • Egg-based sauces like mayonnaise will separate and curdle

Freezing Tips

When freezing food, it’s important to cool the items and store them in an airtight container to avoid freezer burn. Freezer burn can cause food to dry out and lose moisture, which can give food a terrible taste after thawing.

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As a good dietary practice, you should only refreeze food if you have cooked it in between. For example, if you are defrosting ground beef, the ground beef cannot go back in the freezer, but if it has been cooked into a cottage pie, the pie can go in the freezer.

Thawing the food is important and make sure it is completely thawed before eating. If you are unsure after defrosting the food, better throw it away.

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