This article was originally published by Lisa Egan at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com
Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: How To Survive ANY Disaster
You likely already keep a supply of basics like vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry, and grains in your freezer.
Some items keep better in the freezer than others, as you’ve probably noticed by now.
However, there are some items that can be frozen that might surprise you.
Here’s a list of 20 perishable foods you can freeze.
- Nuts (and flours made from nuts): Nuts can go rancid very quickly because of their high oil content. To freeze peanuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds (shelled or unshelled) and place in reusable freezer bags. Nuts can also be frozen in glass containers. You can freeze nut butters, too!
- Seedless grapes: Wash and dry small clusters and freeze them in bags. Or, remove the grapes from the stems and place them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) in a single layer, and then freeze until firm. Then, transfer the grapes into airtight containers and put them back in the freezer.
- Bananas: When they reach your desired level of ripeness, peel bananas and freeze them in bags or freezer-safe containers.
- Fresh berries: Place clean berries on a lined cookie sheet first – this way, they are less likely to stick together. Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to freezer bags.
- Fresh vegetables: Chop up onions, peppers, and spinach and freeze them flat in bags. Note: Vegetables with high water content (like lettuce, celery, and cucumbers) do not freeze well.
- Fresh herbs: Wash and pat your herbs dry, then chop them into desired portions. Spread the chopped herbs on a cookie sheet. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in your freezer. Once the herbs are frozen, remove them from the sheet and put them in freezer bags. Or, finely chop fresh herbs and place them in an ice cube tray with a lid. Freeze, and use the cubes as needed in soups and other recipes.
- Tomato paste, pumpkin puree, and sauces: Freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and put them in freezer bags.
- Soups and chili: Cool completely, and transfer to freezer-safe containers. Be sure to leave about a cup’s worth of empty space at the top to allow for expansion.
- Avocado: These buttery green fruits CAN be frozen, but the texture will change. You probably won’t want to eat an avocado that has been frozen by itself, but it can be used to make guacamole, dressings, or dips. To freeze avocados, wash them, cut them in half, and peel them. You can freeze them as halves or puree them and freeze in airtight containers.
- Corn on the cob: Farm-fresh corn on the cob can be frozen as is (husk and all!) in an airtight package. For corn that is less fresh, husk the ears and blanch them in boiling water from 7 to 11 minutes. Cool quickly, dry, and seal in an airtight packaging before freezing.
- Mushrooms: You can freeze raw or cooked mushrooms, but cooked mushrooms bring better results. Freeze them on a baking sheet first to keep them separate, then transfer to a freezer bag or container.
- Mashed potatoes: Place scoops of mashed potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until hard, and then transfer the scoops into a freezer bag. These will keep in the freezer for at about 2 months.
- Rice and other grains: Raw and cooked rice can both be frozen. Place the rice in airtight containers. Cooked rice must be put into the freezer the same day. Cool the rice before freezing. Thaw cooked rice in the refrigerator, and heat it in the microwave or on the stove, adding water as needed. Don’t reheat more than once, and do not freeze leftover carryout rice, as it may have already been frozen before it got to you.
- Pasta: Place cooked pasta in a freezer bag, lay flat, and squeeze out all the air. Reheat the pasta by running hot water over the bag for a few minutes.
- Milk and buttermilk: Fresh milk can be frozen, believe it or not. Remove a little from the top of the container before freezing to allow room for expansion. To use frozen milk, let it thaw, and then shake well before opening to make sure any solids are remixed. Use within a couple of days. If the texture of the milk you have frozen is not ideal for drinking (sometimes it can be grainy), use it in recipes instead.
- Yogurt: Freeze individual serving cups. You can eat these right from the freezer for a frosty treat, or let them defrost in the refrigerator before consuming.
- Butter: Can be frozen in its original packaging or placed in a freezer bag or other freezer-safe container.
- Eggs: Crack eggs into a freezer bag and freeze flat, or crack them into ice cube trays (you can freeze yolks and whites separately with this method if desired). Thaw them in the refrigerator before use.
- Cheese: This generally works best with hard cheeses. You can freeze cheese in blocks, but shredding it first will provide the best results. Freeze in airtight bags or containers. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Bacon (uncooked): Remove from original packaging, wrap individual portions (3-4 slices) in parchment paper, and place in freezer bags. Bacon defrosts quickly at room temperature.
No matter what you decide to freeze, be sure to label the packaging with the name of the item and the date it was frozen.
While foods that are properly frozen can usually be stored indefinitely, the quality can diminish over time. For a freezer storage chart (and additional freezing tips), please see Using Your Freezer as a Long Term Food Storage Solution.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her website at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.
I HOPE THAT ‘CANE LEAVES A MILLION SHEEPLE MORON BOOMERS ON THE STREET TO DIE FROM STARVATION
BRING ON THE VIDEOS OF EMPTY STORE SHELVES
BETTER THAN PORN!!!
I have discovered the secret of movie theater popcorn.
This is a critical long term survival item.
It is “Flavacol” salt. Add a teaspoon to the oil in a batch of popcorn and it tastes wonderful. You can buy it on Amazon.
I’m doubling up on popcorn along with Flavocol.
Imagine a hundred zombie liberals on your front steps and you kick off a huge batch of movie theater popcorn, and you own them all.
Most of this is just day to day use of a freezer, not long term use.
Butter for long term should be turned into ghee. Cook butter at a temperature below boiling. As it simmers, skim off the milk solids leaving only the clear yellow gold. It is shelf stable but I guess you could freeze ghee, too.
If you have frozen fruit and fresh milk, add a little sugar, maple sugar, or honey a few drops of real vanilla extract, perhaps chopped walnuts; stir together using a large mortar and pistol to smash the fruit, or use a blender if you have electricity. (Add Nuts after blended). This is a good smoothy if you use a lot of milk, or ice cream when you use milk sparingly.
Blocks of cheese are less expensive. Cut them into blocks about 1&1/2” thick and vacuum seal. Keep one in the refridgerator and store the remainder in the freezer. Big savings over time.
Pistols shouldn’t be used to prepare food, especially fruit.
The acids in in the fruit can cause rusting and potentially ruin it.
We freeze bacon in its store package. Later we thaw it out and cook in the oven. Its called BAC-on (bake – on). Bake it on parchment paper at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or so. Put parchment paper over it too to stop splatter. It cooks even and requires no turning.
I cook 4 packages of bacon in the garage using a camper hot plate with two eyes.
I use my grease for cornbread.
Freeze the bacon/thaw when needed for breakfast or sandwich.
I love this system–no mess in my kitchen…or heat in summer.
I use my freezer a lot.
I use my De-hyrator a lot.
Since I grow stuff year round
I don’t can much,
but I really would appreciate
a post on salt beef or salt pork.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu24Zyq6hJ8 – how to salt beef
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ozG06MFsGb4 – salting pork
Immigration has no down side, right? 20 people dead after limo crashes in NY state. The Pakistani owner operated the vehicles as if he was still in Pakistan. The vehicle that crashed had failed the last 4 state inspections. It wasn’r supposed to be on the road. Standards. Western standards, are going down the drain with rest of the country.
BECAUSE AMERICA HAS MAGIC DIRT
AND WHEN 80 IQ MORONS COME HERE FROM THEIR THIRD WORLD SHITHOLES THEY WILL MAGICALLY START ACTING LIKE FUCKING WHITE PEOPLE
YOU BABY BOOMER MORONS WOULDNT HAVE THE SENSE TO POUND SAND DOWN A RATHOLE
Eis, you’re talking to the wrong boomer. I fought the wogs in the streets when I was young. Then I went to Rhodesia at my own expense and fought the commies there. What did you do? You ran away. Wussy.
What do you do when the power goes out ?
You lose all the 20 perishable foods listed..Duh!!
I dehydrate if I have enough to bother with.
Nuts –seal in a mason jar/open, use, reseal.
4.Fresh berries– dehydrate.
7.Tomato paste, pumpkin puree, and sauces–bought in commercial cans?? will last for years
8.Soups and chili–I do freeze these when leftovers.
10.Corn on the–I do freeze and my fried corn off cob too
11.Mushrooms–I only buy canneds so??
12.Mashed potatoes–gross, use for potato cakes when left over
13.Rice and other grains–anyone freezing these cooked for short term is desperate–cost is minimal so why?? Geeze!!
Seal dry in mason jars..or buckets.
14.Pasta: gross–same as above
15.Milk and buttermilk–This I do –thaw in frig and it’s same as fresh
17.Butter–I buy in bulk always and freeze–my canned butter stays in freezer too
20.Bacon –why not fry first and freeze–be smart!!
Raisins often have a year and a half shelf life, longer if frozen.
They are also great for treating constipation, but can’t be overdone, even if you are regular.
What is long term?
I buy nuts in bulk, they come with about a one year shelf life as does olive oil and many things. I freeze them meaning I stop their expiration clock.
Just pulled a bottle of olive oil out of the freezer that expired a year ago. Not really, the clock just started running again on it, it had 10 months on its expiration. And by federal regs that’s assuming worst possible conditions.
If the power fails forever? I still have about a two year supply of olive oil. Powdered gravy, flower, rice, powdered mashed potatos…. All those items still have over a year shelf life. Then I have the freeze dried stuff with a twenty year shelf life, like powdered eggs etc.
I have dried canned wheat, suggested to have a 25 year life. Enough for years of bread. It was five years old and I opened a can and made flour then bread. It was delicious, I took the remainder and grew some sprouts for a salad, delicious, and just planted some. It had like a 95% germination rate. The wheat I planted attracted deer like no tomorrow.. Got a cross bow?
Personally, I like dumplings. I consider them the wonder-fruit of starches. They go great with beef, pork or chicken especially with gravy of any kind. Also, they are perfect to throw into soups or to slice and gently fry to go along with eggs and spam for breakfast. I like to cook a large recipe with the intent on freezing some. Generally, I roll the dough between my palms into 1″ bite-size balls because they are more versatile to me that way but you can size and shape them to your heart’s desire before you plop them in the pot to boil. Once they are done cooking and cooled, ordinary freezer bags work fine for the short term. Dumplings seem to tolerate freezing well and still stick to your ribs later. A rule of mine is that I vacuum seal any meat that I freeze.
I’ve been freezing butter for years with great results. I buy the 4# packs from Costco and just put them in the freezer and thaw as needed. I freeze a lot at a time thinking I’m really going to miss butter when the time comes. I rotate it and you really can’t tell it from unfrozen butter. Figure if the power goes our for the long term I can can the butter. We do have a whole house generator so we’ll be good until the propane runs out.
There is canned butter and cheese, that has like a twenty five year life span.
I have some, it’s not wonderful tasting, but if you haven’t been eating well for weeks, I’ll bet your pallet changes.
In my long term freeze dried supplies I have the makings of pizza. Oh yeah baby.
Damn, this reminds me, I ate through most of my pop corn during the Kavanaugh hearings…… I need more!
I have been freezing some of the above items successfully for years. Butter, nuts, processed cheese, soup, casseroles, peas, beans, berries, and bacon freeze well.
Frozen bacon is great for dicing for scrambled eggs. casseroles, etc. if you live alone and just need a little. Just slice as much from the ends as you need and put the rest back in the freezer. Lots easier than chopping individual slices. One or two cuts does it.
Natural cheese turns crumbly after freezing and is not good for putting on crackers, etc. but can be used in cooked foods, such as casseroles. The texture of nuts will change slightly, but can still be used just as you use fresh nuts. (Heat in a pan for a minute or two before using.)
Peas and beans need to be blanched for about 3 minutes first, then spread on a cookie sheet to freeze. Then they can be transferred to plastic bags. Tomatoes can be blanched for one minute and cooled quickly. Then you can remove the stem end and skin and put in plastic bags.