Preserving Foods by Freezing

Do you ever have a hard time finding something quick and easy to make for dinner?  Freezing foods can save you time and money.  Prepare dishes such as lasagna, soups or casseroles when you have time. Freeze the meal in small portions so you can reheat what you need - a real time-saver during those busy times.

Do you buy more food than you need and end up throwing food away? Freezing foods can also help you cut down on food waste. Use only what you need and freeze the rest! Chicken and other meats cost less per pound when purchased in bulk. Take advantage of sales at the grocery store on meats and other products and buy extra. Take them home and freeze in smaller portions for later.

 Some foods freeze better than others. Foods may turn mushy, watery, soggy or tough when frozen. For a full list of foods which do not freeze well visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Spices, onion and seasonings may change their flavor when frozen. Add seasonings after reheating foods. 

Foods which freeze well include meats, poultry and fish. You can also freeze breads, muffins and other grain products – so take advantage of those 2-for-1 sales! Most vegetables need to be blanched before freezing.  For more information on blanching vegetables, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.   

Important Tip: Always defrost foods in the refrigerator, never on the counter. For more information about freezing and food safety, please visit the Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

For more information about canning and other food preservation methods contact the University of Maryland Extension.

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall