15 Surprising Foods You Can Freeze

15 Surprizing Foods You Can Freeze - My Whole Food Life

I like to cook in big batches. Another thing we do to keep costs down is to buy in-season foods and freeze them.  Surprisingly, a lot of foods are freezer-friendly and keep well when stored in zip lock bags.  I also always re-use the same bags.  I haven’t bought new ones in a long time as a result.  So without further ado, here’s a quick list of freezer-friendly foods:

  1. Fresh Herbs – Believe it or not, fresh herbs freeze very well.  Just spread all your herbs onto a lined baking sheet side by side.  After they are all frozen, pull them off the sheet and store in a zip lock bag.
  2. Baked Goods –   This is one I do all the time.  I make a double batch and freeze one.  I store my muffins, donuts, waffles and pancakes in freezer-safe containers or zip lock bags.  I just make sure to separate them with a sheet of parchment. It’s also a good idea to let them completely cool out of the oven before putting them in the freezer. This way they don’t steam in their container as they cool.
  3. Fresh Fruits –   These work just like the herbs.  Wash, cut, and line them up side by side on a lined baking sheet.  Once they are frozen, place them in a bag or freezer safe container.
  4. Vegetable Scraps -   Save those odds and end from cutting veggies!  You can use them to easily make a homemade broth. There is never a reason to buy broth when you can make it cheaper.
  5. Citrus Rinds –  Yes you can freeze your rinds.  Don’t discard them.  If you have a recipe that calls for zest, they can be used without having to buy more fruit.  Just store them in a freezer-safe container or zip lock bag.
  6. Rice - Cook a batch of rice and spread it out on a baking sheet to freeze, once frozen, you can transfer it to a container to store.  I love doing this with wild rice since it takes so long to cook.  I love to use mine in stir fries.
  7. Pesto or Tomato Sauce - I usually make these and freeze in serving size containers.  That way, you don’t need to thaw a huge amount at once.  You can also freeze individual serving size portions in a ice tray.
  8. Cookie Dough -   Make a batch of your favorite cookie dough and spoon it out onto a baking sheet.  Freeze and then throw into a zip lock bag.  So when you have a cookie craving, you can just bake a few.  I let mine thaw out slightly on the counter before baking.
  9. Ketchup –  If you are like me and only use ketchup on occasion, you can freeze most of it.  Spoon the ketchup into ice trays and freeze so you can easily pop some out when needed. When it is time to warm it back up, just put the container under some hot water. You run the risk of burning it if you try to thaw it out in the microwave, plus it will lose its freshness.
  10. Ginger -  Trim and peel ginger into 1 inch pieces.  Wrap them in plastic and store them in a bag in the freezer.  They should be used within 3 months or thrown away.  Thaw them out on the counter before using. We do this with the ginger we use for homemade juices.
  11. Nuts - Store nuts in an air tight container and freeze.  Pull them out to thaw before using.  They should be used within 6 months for best quality.
  12. Tomato Paste –  Spoon the paste into ice trays and freeze.  Just pop one out when you need it.  When we make spaghetti sauce, we pull our frozen tomato paste out, add some water to a sauce pan, and let the nice warm bath do its trick. The paste should last about 6 months.
  13. Bread –  We are not big bread eaters in our house, so when we buy a loaf, we usually store it in the freezer.  Just pop a slice out when you need it and stick it in the toaster.  Bread should last about 6 months in the freezer.  In addition to bread, save bread scraps and heels in a bag in the freezer.  They can easily be made into healthy breadcrumbs.
  14. Wine –  Ever open a bottle of wine and not finish it?  Instead of pouring it out, freeze it in ice cube trays.  It will not be fit for drinking, but you can use it in cooking, and we all know wine is a great way to take your creative kitchen experiments from ordinary to gourmet.
  15. Fresh Squeezed Juice -  If you don’t drink juice often, juice an orange or an apple and freeze the juice in ice trays. Stick a popsicle stick in it and give it to your kids too. They will love that they are getting a tasty treat.

This is my list of foods that freeze, but I’m sure there are other things that freeze that I didn’t mention. What do you like to freeze? Feel free to add them in the comments!

73 thoughts on “15 Surprising Foods You Can Freeze

  1. I have purchased shredded cheese on sale and frozen it for later use too! It was perfectly fine!

    You can also freeze butter, but not for too long.

    1. I wouldn’t buy shredded cheese…there is an ingredient in there that is not good (I don’t have a bag in front of me to tell you what it is). I just buy big blocks of cheese and shred it myself. Cheaper in the long run and tastes so much better!

  2. Didn’t know you could freeze rice! How would you defrost it though? Also would the grains just get stuck together in one big clump?

        1. Look quite clean to me, it’s just: Mycoprotein (88%), rehydrated free range egg white, roasted barley malt extract. But not sure about mycoprotein and rehydrated egg whites?

    1. They shouldn’t if you freeze them individually and then toss them in a container afterward. I don’t think they are great in cold dishes, but I use them to make fried rice. I just let mine thaw on the counter.

    2. I put mine in a bowl, add a little water and cover it with a damp paper towel and then heat it in the microwave for a few minutes.

      1. Google: “The Proven Dangers of Microwaves” by Dr. Mercola.

        We have lived without microwave for 1 year. Food taste so much better when you heat it up on the stove. Sure it takes a bit longer, but, you know that your family is healthier without the microwave radiation.

    3. I freeze rice in plastic containers, then when I’m ready to use it, I pop it out into a Corning Ware dish and microwave it for about 3 or 4 minutes. It comes out like freshly cooked. I make 3 cups of dry rice at a time, so I end up with several containers. It saves a lot of time when preparing meals.

  3. I freeze butter and buy large blocks of cheese, shred them and freeze them in half cup portions using disposable Dixie cups. I use those for freezing par-cooked rice, cheese or buttermilk, (I get 1,000 Dixie cups for $12 at Sam’s). That way, I can throw the frozen cups in storage bags and they’re all in half cup portions. When I need them for a recipe, I pull out however many I need, tear off the cups and throw the frozen blocks into my pot.
    If I have extra onion, carrots, celery, etc. I will also freeze them. Sometimes, a recipe only calls for half of an onion so I chop up the whole thing, throw it in a Dixie cup and add it to what I’ve already frozen. I used to use my muffin pan instead, but getting frozen shredded cheese or rice out of it was messy.

    1. What a great idea. I do the same freezing of small portions so I can just pull them out, but I wrap them in saran to keep the air out, then in small freezer ziplocks. They are so slippery and hard to stack. The dixie cup idea is wonderful! Thank you. I still would put saran in the dixie cup, seal it tightly with a twistie and then stack the dixie cups. If any air is in the food it really dries out quickly in the freezer.

    2. I use a muffin pan with silicone cup liners. That way I can easily remove the liner before tossing the frozen goods into a freezer bag.

  4. I freeze whole blocs of cheese. I let them thaw completely at room temperature. You can then cut slices or shred. (I’ve tried letting the cheese thaw in the fridge before, but it does not work. The cheese breaks apart in huge chunks.)

  5. I always freeze fresh parsley and basil. so much better. Also I cut up onions in one plastic container, green peppers in another and ham or sausage in a third. Then when I want an omelet, I have all the ingredients for a really tasty one.I do but baked goods and bread in the freezer but double bag it and make sure I take all the air out of each bag. Especially hot dog or hamburger rolls as I am alone and could only eat 1 at a meal so it would be a lot of waste.( I take the air out with a straw )

  6. For the tomato paste, don’t even bother with the ice cube trays. It is so stiff, I just dollop it onto a plate or cookie sheet lined with waxed paper into ~1T portions. Once frozen, I toss them into a ziplock (labeled). I do the same with chipotle peppers in adobo – whir them up in my food processor, dollop and freeze. Same with basil pesto or with cilantro pesto (although my pesto is just the herb and a little bit of oil – I keep it plain so it stays versatile). I find all of this much easier than messing with ice cube trays. I know I’ve had shredded cheese in the freezer for longer than 3 months. How much longer is anyone’s guess. ;-)

  7. I was wondering what you stored your items in ? Plastic contains BPA and other chemicals … Wondering I your are storing and reheating in something besides plastic ?

    1. I have been storing in zip lock bags mostly. I have it on my list to get some freezer friendly glass jars. We are slowly revamping out entire house and going to better options. My pantry is already converted to glass jars. I am not reheating in plastic either. I usually pull items from the freezer and let them thaw out on the counter.

  8. You can grate frozen ginger with a microplane grater without thawing – picked up the tip from Cooking Light. Works great! I’m glad to FINALLY find someone else who freezes their extra herbs. I started years ago and you never see it as a tip anywhere when recipes recommend fresh herbs.

    1. Thanks for the tip on the ginger. It’s silly not to freeze your herbs. We grow our own and they produce tons all summer long! It saves so much money. :)

  9. I freeze everything! (Until my freezer gets too full and then I have to can food….)

    If you freeze cabbage, you don’t have to cook it if you want to make stuffed cabbage. I don’t find fruit to freeze that well unless I want to make a smoothie with it.

    I have even put milk in the freezer!

  10. Do you ever freeze extra veggies, specifically zucchini? I have a bunch from my farm share and just can’t eat them all. I am curious as to the best methods found for freezing zucchini for later.

    1. You can make awesome bread and butter pickles with zucchini. I never use cucumbers for pickles. Zucchini holds up to processing very well.

  11. I grate zucchini and store in one cup portions in freezer. I add it to pasta sauce, muffins, etc throughout the winter.

  12. I freeze a lot too. I freeze peppers for stuffed peppers, I just make a slit to empty out the seeds and pop them in a freezer bag in family portions. I roast eggplant, salt it a bit to remove the extra liquid and freeze the pulp in baggies. I use that to make eggplant spread- my favorite. I grate fresh tomatoes into glass containers and have fresh tomato ” sauce” all winter long. I also blanch green beans, the thick ones, and freeze those too. Mostly for green bean stew. I make roasted peppers and freeze those but in jars already seasoned with garlic, oil, and vinegar. It just tastes so good, like its been marinating all winter! I also freeze hummus, it just takes to long with the dries beans, I just make a big batch and that way I don’t have to go thru the whole soaking deal.

  13. Hi! Just stumbled on your site and love it! Had a question regarding freezing fruits. If I buy fresh blueberries, wash, then freeze, are they suitable to eat or really just for baking?

    Thanks!

      1. Frozen blueberries are great as frozen snacks. Since they are very acidic, they do not freeze solid. I freeze them in quart sized bags, and snack on them kids love them because they are sweeter when frozen. If you let them thaw for about 30-60 minutes, they get to room temperature and are almost like fresh blueberries again! They can be thrown into smoothies are used for baking while frozen too. When you add frozen blueberries to muffins or pancakes, they maintain their shape and flavor!

  14. Question about freezing apples? – I saw on QVC – the seller was selling apple peeler, corer and slicer and after using a peeler she talked about how you can freeze apples – I had never heard this before and missed what she did after slicing them – do you know if you have to first “soak” them in lemon, or something else – I never thought to freeze apples. Also, as for cherries – not sure – put I pit mine cut them in half (I use them in smoothies) freeze them and throw them into my vitamix to use with other fruits – but……you can also eat them – they are fine – not like some fruits when you take out of the freezer. anyway, hopefully you or another reader will know what to do with the apples.

    1. I have never frozen apples, but I imagine it’s possible. You will probably need to squeeze something acidic on them to keep them from browning. I would try pineapple juice. Lemon juice can be bitter and may effect the taste of the apples.

  15. Thanks for sharing the great tips! I look forward to trying some I hadn’t seen before. I put some bananas in the freezer this weekend….just peeled, sliced, placed flat in a ziploc bag, and I have about 9 frozen bananas ready to use later in smoothies, oatmeal, etc. I’m also freezing lots of homemade apple butter to enjoy later.

    1. Thanks! I LOVE frozen bananas. They make the best ice cream. I usually buy two bunches and one bunch goes right into the freezer. :)

  16. I freeze EVERYTHING! If I have a meal or ingredient that I can’t finish eating, I freeze it. Apple sauce, broth, cream, almond milk, soups, casseroles, the sky is the limit. Recently I cooked dry beans, spread them on a cookie sheet, and then froze them. That way I have an alternative to canned beans. I also make blended black beans (similar to refried in texture) and freeze for later use. I’ve also been known to freeze half an avocado. I squeeze some lemon juice on it and then use it in a smoothie. And, as I mentioned in a reply earlier, some things I put into muffin cups with a silicone liner. That way I can easily remove the liner and I have pre-measured portions to use later.

  17. Grapes!! Frozen grapes are awesome. My youngest sister LOVES them, as in I gave them to her for her birthday loves them! I just wash them, dry them off quickly with a paper towel & then spread them out on a cookie sheet to freeze. Once frozen I divide them into baggies.

  18. I’ve been freezing lots of things for my green juices and smoothies. Preserves the foods properly and helps chill the juices in my Vitamix. I freeze (or fridge) all my seeds and nuts so they don’t go rancid:
    FREEZE whole grapes, chunked ginger root or cantaloupe. bulk bags of chia & flax seed, walnuts, raw almonds, coconut & almond flour.
    FRIDGE flaxseed oil, corn oil, and olive oil (but in a container with a wide opening to spoon out what you want…it will solidify when cold). Then, I keep smaller containers of chia & flax seeds, almonds and walnuts in the fridge for convenience with my green juices (I use a tbsp of each at a time) and refill the containers as I empty them.
    BANANAS peel and chunk the bananas, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment (I use a Silpat), let freeze for an hour, then store in a ziplock. Great for quick, icy smoothies or frozen treats, instead of ice cubes. Freezing keeps them from turning brown…but don’t leave them sit out too long after freezing…instant brown moosh!
    COCONUT OIL stays in the pantry…doesn’t go rancid.

  19. Whole ripe avacados. I load up if organics go on sale, and just pop them in the chest freezer- no special packaging necessary! They are a little watery when thawed, but still great.

  20. I freeze raspberries now while they are in season. I put parchment paper on a cookie sheet and they will freeze individually instead of in a clump. Then just transfer to a freezer bag.

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