Cooking in any sort of way has been my passion since the age of 9. My mother used to cook dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Most of the time she complained how stressful it was for her to cook day-after-day after a hard day at work.
A very-good neighbor shared to her the idea of cooking a month of meals in one day. She gave it a thought and had consider the idea. Since often there’s always “what’s for dinner and who’s making it” debate at home, mom had it as her weekly strategy.
The idea of cooking a month of freezer meals all in one day makes it stress-free, saves money and time and make great deal for busy families just like us.
Since I am amazed and overwhelmed with the benefits I got from this easy and delectable freezer meal strategy, I am going to share few tips accumulated from my meal plans that might be a big help if you are a beginner.
First, Choose the type of food for freezer meal that will best benefit you.
It’s a matter of personal taste in your family and it all depends what your children love to eat. They like meals that are homemade and nutritious; eating healthy meals is unlikely for busy families like us but we want to get rid with meals typically with high calories.
Here’s a glimpse of what I did:
Breakfast – My kids are usually hungry when they wake up so I usually prepare what is practical and ready-to-go meals like muffins or pancakes, baked oatmeal or waffles and cheese biscuits
Lunch – They love my Homemade Granola Bars and Hot Pockets, you might want to try Chicken Taquitos, your way.
Dinner – Homemade Lasagna (my kids’ favorite), Hamburger Patties with whole wheat bread, Tuna Casserole, and, Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup, you choose.
Second, Stock up with the right supplies for freezer meal cooking.
You have to consider first right supplies or ingredients for freezer meal cooking. You have to know the kinds of vegetables or ingredient does not freeze well.
Example, bean sprout, lettuce, cucumbers and raw potatoes will turn soppy when thawed. Also, hard boiled eggs will go elastic so refrain freezing those as well. There are a lor more products, such as sour cream, yogurt, cheese sour cream and will sometimes go watery when melted.
The same thing with the containers and storage of your meal like foil baking pans, plastic containers, gallon sized freezer safe bags, casserole dishes and many more.
You may utilize a gallon or quart sized plastic or reusable freezer safe bags in storing your freezer meal. You just have to make sure to get out as much air as possible by crushing the food around and flattening the bag.
Next, you seal it as tight as possible to avoid from any spills or freezer burn as well. You can actually save much cost if you will use a reusable gallon-sized bag.
You can use aluminum foil pan when you do baking dishes and look for store that has cheaper cost where you can much save money. In the case of my family, since we are 8 in all, larger size is preferable. Well, it all depends on your preference.
Another one good for storing freezer meals are plastic Tupperware or commonly called as plastic containers. These are commonly used for meals with soup., however, this kind of container would take up bigger space in your fridge, but it can store large amount of food.
Third, Clean out the freezer before storing your freezer meals.
It is important to keep your fridge clean and organized before storing anything inside it. You have to make sure that the room in the freezer is spacious as well to be able to maximize its area. Regardless of its size or space what matter is its sanitation and capacity to store in.
The freezer at home is cleaned in regular basis whether it is full. We maintain its cleanliness since we are taking here the food that we eat.
Fourth, Begin making your freezer meal in a slow pace, no rush.
Since you are a beginner in making your own freezer meals, you must be that exhilarating. To prevent being completely overwhelmed, start slow.
In choosing the freezer meal you will prepare, make sure your kids, your whole family will like and anticipate to try the freezer meals as soon as it is done. A nice way to do this is when you are cooking for dinner. You just have to cook twice as much and one for freeze meal.
Make sure that only those meals recommended for freezing are ones that you will prepare. Keep in mind to avoid ingredients which are not good for freezing. If you are not certain about the ingredient you have whether good for freezing or not, you search it in Google and see whether others have had success with freezing that type of recipe.
Fifth, Prepare all the ingredients to avoid hassle.
Chopping, peeling, trimming, shredding and whatever else you need to prepare to the ingredients must be done beforehand cooking. This is to be more convenient and avoid hassle. Ingredients like vegetables that needed to be peeled and sliced can be done while boiling or simmering. Maximize the time you allotted to cook your recipe.
If you are establishing a kind of routine, then you will move swiftly every time you prepare a freezer meal. Set the time the moment you start prepare the dish to see variation next time you cook. have 2-3 different meals cooking at the same time.
Sixth, Freeze the ingredients individually.
Freezing is a quick and convenient way to preserve fruits and vegetables at home. It is a popular method of home food preservation throughout ages.
Whenever you have extra recipe or ingredient that you won’t be using yet before it expires, the good thing is, you can freeze it! Yes, that’s right. That’s how convenient it is, easy and quickly. Goodbye using of unused food and excess solution, just a pull away, there your freezer with lots of extra products. Then you won’t have to purchase another set of ingredient the next time you prepare a freezer meal.
For instance, if you were to brown ground beef and freeze, it can then be quickly and easily added to many recipes including tacos, pizza, soups/stews, spaghetti sauce and more. Another is, by browning a few pounds of ground beef all at once, you can freeze the meat in individual portions and then quickly add it to recipes to save a step.
Freezing ingredients also saves you money. To avoid your bananas getting brown, slice it flash size and it can be stored until you use it from smoothies to banana bread.
Below is one of my favorite beginner freezer cooking recipes
Here is the best method to freezing blueberries.
Many ways in freezing blueberries, some would say to no wash it. Others would say just lay out on cookies sheets, freeze it, then later add to bags.
They said the best way is to gently wash the berries, pat dry, add some sugar or syrup, then freeze. So that method was tested and it worked! It worked well. The sugar helps to keep them all from sticking together. If you don’t like the idea of adding sugar, don’t worry.
Before using, give a quick rinse off with water then you will have some perfect preserved blueberries.
Step 1: Gently wash the blueberries, getting any stems or leaves out.
Step 2: Gently pat dry the blueberries.
Step 3: Add some sugar to the blueberries for every 2 cups of blueberries use 1/3 cup of sugar.
Step 4: Mix them all up gently.
Step 5: Add your blueberries to quart sized freezer bags and freeze them.
These blueberries should last up to 6 months in your freezer, and even longer. Freezing blueberries every gives me feeling of a little bit of my sweet summer love even in the cold wet season.
Jennifer Moran is the author and the social media manager at TheBerkey.com and PreparedBee.com. She has been working and passionate with writing for over four years. When she isn’t glued to a laptop screen, she spends time playing tennis, practicing yoga, and trying very hard not to sleep in the meditation. You can reach her at jennifer (at) preparedbee (dot) com. PreparedBee.