While I typically freeze meat and poultry I rarely freeze other mainstay ingredients like milk or eggs. I’m concerned that these types of ingredients won’t taste the same after refreezing. So when my friend, R, mentioned freezing orange, lemon and lime juice in ice cube trays I was intrigued. She said it’s the perfect way to keep juice on hand for every day recipes as well as specialty drinks like iced tea.
It turns out that you can freeze all sorts of foods I never would have dreamed of, including nuts, cheese, ginger and herbs. While my friend says the flavors change subtly after defrosting she swears the flavor differences aren’t noticeable as long as you use the defrosted ingredients primarily in cooking.
She provided me with a detailed article she came across in All You Magazine. I’ve copied the information from that article into the list below. It includes instructions for freezing milk, citrus, eggs, ginger, nuts and herbs.
- Milk: Freeze milk in one-cup or one-point portions. Provide extra space in freezer-safe containers, because milk expands when it freezes. Use the frozen milk within 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator, and shake well before using it. Plan to use the milk for cooking or baking, because it typically becomes too grainy to drink after defrosting.
- Citrus: Freeze the juice in ice-cube trays until solid then transfer to a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge. You can also freeze the zest by zesting the fruit onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrapping tightly and placing in a freezer bag.
- Eggs: Whisk together whites and yolks until just combined. Measure into an ice-cube tray, using 3 Tbsp. of the mixture per segment (3 Tbsp. is equivalent to 1 large egg). Freeze until solid, then transfer cubes to a freezer bag for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge.
- Ginger: Peel and slice ginger into 1-inch pieces, wrap in plastic and place in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
- Nuts: Place nuts in an airtight container, or wrap them tightly in plastic and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator – or, if using them for baking, toss them into a recipe frozen (though you may need to add a few minutes to your baking time).
- Herbs: For whole sprigs, wash, pat dry with paper towels, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. Alternatively, chop herbs and place in an ice cube tray. Pour a tablespoon or two of water on top of the herbs and freeze. Transfer cubes to freezer bags; freeze for up to 6 months. To use, simply toss a cube into a skillet when the recipe calls for herbs and let the water cook off.
So what about you? Do you typically freeze surplus food? Do you notice the flavor changes?