The freezer is a modern parent’s best friend: soup, vegetables, leftovers and more can all be stored away for easy meal-making success. While most of us already rely on our freezers each day, what you might not know is that your freezer can store much more than we give it credit for. If you’re tired of fresh food going sour in your fridge or still trying to figure out what your family can truly eat in a week to minimize food waste, consider keeping these five common foods in your freezer.
A dinner table staple and the companion to kids’ meals nationwide, milk is notorious for going sour before it gets used. That, or you never have enough of it. Fortunately, freezing milk solves both problems at once. By storing a spare gallon in the freezer, you’ll keep milk fresh while ensuring there’s always more on hand when you need it. Just remember to drink a little before you freeze it, so you don’t experience an untimely milk explosion when the liquid expands.
You can’t keep them in the fridge, but did you know bananas store surprisingly well when frozen? Frozen bananas become slightly mushy when thawed, so they’re not meant for eating whole, but they make excellent ingredients for banana bread, pancakes, smoothies and more. Freeze them without skin for easy slicing and baking.
Much like bananas, avocados tend to grow mushy when frozen, but they’ll last much longer that way than on your kitchen table. Better yet, they’ll be perfectly tender for use in guacamole and other dips. For best results, peel and halve your avocados before freezing.
If you’ve bought a loaf of bread but won’t be eating it in the next few days, place it in the freezer, bag and all. The bread will keep for up to three weeks! If you need to keep bread fresh even longer, remove it from the bag and wrap it in plastic wrap and then tin foil. Bread frozen this way can last up to six months before freezer burn sets in.
Tired of running out of cheese for use in casseroles, tacos, pizza toppings, lasagna and more? Grate hard cheeses, such as Parmesan and cheddar, in bulk and store them in your freezer for easy use later. If you’d like to prevent the cheese from clumping up while frozen, try adding a spoonful of cornstarch to the bag and shake well before freezing.
With practice, these five freezer-friendly foods will help you look at long-term food storage in a new light. Keep in mind that this list is just a start — there are loads of other freezable foods and recipes out there. Do your research and reap the rewards of a freezer that meets your needs, meal after meal.