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Freezing keeps food fresh for a long time

The freezing of foods is not a privilege of the food industry – this simple method of food preservation can be done at home. Whether it is large quantities of fruit and vegetables (grown in the garden for example) or leftovers from cooked meals, freezing can preserve food for a long time and for use as needed. In order for freezing to work properly, a few rules must be observed.

What can you freeze?

Basically almost anything can be frozen, although foods with a high water content such as tomatoes, lettuce and raw apples are not suitable for freezing. The water makes the food lose its consistency and become mushy during thawing. Dairy products are also only suitable for storing in the fridge, as they quickly become lumpy.

Blanch fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables should be blanched before freezing. That means cutting the vegetables into small pieces, dropping them into boiling unsalted water for two to four minutes and then cooling them quickly in cold water or ice-cubes. Then it’s into the freezer.

Mix berries with sugar before freezing

Berries quickly become mushy when frozen. If they are mixed with a little sugar and sprayed lightly with a sugar solution, this doesn’t happen. Place berries individually on a tray to be frozen so they don’t clump together and still look good as a decoration.

How to store

For freezing, special freezer bags can be used, but many plastic containers are also suitable. Aluminium foil is also fine for storing food, but should be used sparingly for environmental reasons.

With bag or foil packaging it is very important for the air to be removed, this prevents freezer burn. The correct labelling of frozen food prevents food getting forgotten in the freezer. It is very important to write the date so that it's easy to keep track. Smaller portions are better than large so don’t freeze packs of more than one kilogram of fruit or vegetables, three kilograms of meat or 0.5 to one kilogram of ready cooked food. Furthermore, smaller portions are easier to use than big portions, as they can be used again later. This is especially true for ready cooked food.

Keeping time

Raw vegetables are what can be frozen for longest, they will stay fresh for up to a year. Baked goods should not be kept in the deep freeze for longer than two to four months and home cooked food is best consumed within one to three months. If in doubt, you can rely on your senses; if it looks good, smells good and tastes good then it is fine. Only easily perishable foods, such as meat and fish, should not be eaten after a long time in the freezer.

Source: Zu gut für die Tonne!