Reduce food waste while raising your kitchen game. Freeze these commonly wasted food items to whip up recipes on the fly.
Freezing food is a great way to preserve its quality and extend its shelf life. Not only can it save you money by reducing food waste, but it can also make meal planning and grocery shopping easier.
Did you know: Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh, especially because they are often frozen at their peak of ripeness? This means that they can retain their nutrients better than if they were left to sit on the shelf or in the refrigerator.
Here are 10 commonly wasted freezer-friendly foods that will raise your cooking game!
- Coconut milk: It freezes beautifully in cubes for smoothies, soups and stews, like my Golden Chickpea Coconut Stew.
- Celery: When you buy a bunch of celery for a recipe that calls for just one stalk, freeze the rest! It will be ready to go for the next time you make that same recipe or any other.
- Carrots: Add carrots to your frozen celery for an easy mirepoix, the base of countless soups.
- Apple Sauce: Frozen apple sauce (or any fruit puree) is great for vegan baking. I like to freeze them in 1/4 cup portions using a muffin tray. Try these Pumpkin apple muffins made with frozen pumpkin puree.
- Aquafaba: Drain and freeze the liquid from your cans of chickpeas and white beans to freeze aqua faba, an excellent vegan egg replacer.
- Pesto and curry pastes: Freeze extra store bought pesto or curry paste which would only lasts a few days in the fridge. This method also works well for homemade products too, saving you time when you make them in bulk.
- Tomato paste: Frozen tomato paste cubes are excellent for easily added umami in stews and curries. Freezing tomato paste is especially convenient since most recipes only need a tablespoon or two.
- Bananas: Freeze whole bananas for baking banana bread. Or chop them up so they are ready to pop in a smoothie.
- Hot peppers: Have a little heat on hand at all times by freezing hot peppers. Since they are in abundance at the end of summer, this also allows you to keep using them all winter.
- Veggie scraps: Collect your scraps for a couple weeks or months for a delicious homemade veggie broth.
Overall, freezing food can be a convenient and cost-effective way to preserve and enjoy a variety of ingredients. Just be sure to properly label and date your frozen items to ensure maximum quality. Frozen food stored continuously at 0 °F or below can be kept indefinitely. As a general rule, it’s best to use them within four to six months for taste.