Why not put your freezer to work and keep these 5 foods on hand that make meal prep easier!
If you are looking for ways to save time and money, buying certain things in bulk when on sale is a great way to do that.
But what do you do with the extras? Learn what freezes well and how you can make meal prep easier!
You may notice that a lot of the recipes I share also come with instructions on how to freeze them. I love being able to have quick and easy meals ready for those busy nights. Over the years I found a few things that have helped me save time and money in the kitchen.
Below are 5 of my favorite foods to freeze and keep on hand for when I need them.
5 Foods You Can Freeze For Easy Meal Prep
Cream Cheese. We typically buy cream cheese in bulk when it’s on sale which means we need to freeze some of it. Surprisingly, cream cheese holds the same flavor when you freeze it unlike sour cream that does change in texture/flavor. Next time you are in the store, stock up when you see a killer deal.
To Freeze: Simply toss the entire block into a zip lock freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Place in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To Thaw: Take it out of the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw.
Peppers & Onions: If you can snag a great deal on peppers at a local farmers market or at your grocery store, chopping and freezing for later use will come in handy. Many meals I make use peppers and onions as a veggie mix. This hack saved my produce from going bad too quickly if I didn’t use all of it.
To Freeze: Simply chop up your peppers and onions and place into a freezer bag removing as much air as you can. Place in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months.
To Use: These pepper and onions you want to treat like the ones you buy in the store. They are better used in stir fry’s or inside crock pot meals when cooking.
Cooked Rice. Making rice and freezing it was a game changer when in a time crunch. Rice freezes very well and you can make a lot in bulk using the Instant Pot. We use this often in our homes for quick lunches I can toss together or for busy nights where everyone wants a different meal.
To Freeze: Cook the rice any way you normally cook it. The Instant Pot has been our method since it takes less than 6 minutes to make. The key to freezing rice is a bit of olive oil you mix in at the end so it doesn’t stick together. When the rice is cook, stick into a freezer bag and remove as much air as you can making the bag flat and easy to stack. Rice can stay frozen until you need it.
To Thaw: In a saucepan on the stove, add enough water to the bottom to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the rice in the pan and warm it up on low, stirring often.
Avocado. Who doesn’t love a good avocado? But dang to they go bad fast! You blink and they are ripe, sometimes too quick to use. But the solution is to freeze them so you can use them in recipes later. They are best used in smoothies, making homemeade guacamole, or for avocado toast.
To Freeze: Dice the avocado and add some lime juice. Put the pieces into a freezer bag removing as much air as you can. Freeze for up to 2-4 months.
To Thaw: Take the avocado out of the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw or for immediate use, place in warm water to defrost.
Fruit. You can freeze just about any fruit. However, most fruit gets a little soggy after being in the freezer. Plan on using any frozen fruit for smoothies or baking. If you didn’t see my smoothie bags, this is a great way to use in season fruit and save for later.
To Freeze: Dice your fruit into chunks and place into freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 6 months.
To Thaw: Fruit is much better when used immediately in a smoothie recipe or as an addition to baking. Or a personal favorite is adding fresh berries to oatmeal meals!