As we wander further into winter, frosty weather is typically a seasonal theme. With most schools heading into the holiday break, the question of what to do with surplus food might be on your mind. The weather outside may be frightful, but freezing certain foods could be more so. Take a gander our unlucky 7 foods that should fight the frost.
Unless you’re looking to make mustard-flavored Jello, keep your condiments on the shelves. When freezing, ketchup, sauces and spices tend to separate – resulting a watery gelatinous goo. Plus, with strikingly long shelf-lives, there really isn’t a good reason you should ever need to freeze condiments.
There are a million ways to prepare a potato. Freezing potatoes greatly reduces this flexibility. When it comes time for defrosting, a previously perfect potato will most likely feel mushy. In the event you have a surplus of cooked potatoes, you may be able to get away with stowing them away in the walk in. However, you still run the risk serving soft and slushy potatoes when it comes time for reheating. Packaged frozen potatoes obviously get a pass, but you still might want to think twice before refreezing after cooking.
Do you dig slushy spaghetti noodles? If you’re like us, you probably don’t. To avoid soft and shapeless reheated noodles, go ahead and refrain from freezing surplus pasta. In some instances you may be able to get away with freezing pasta for precooking purposes by preparing al dente. Unless you possess precise pasta-cooking skills, it might be best to forego over-preparation in the first place. Plus, pasta can be stored dry for a long, long time.
There is a reason farmers fear the frost. The market doesn’t respond well to wilted and slimy greens. Many greens (we’re looking at you kale) are significantly degraded in color, flavor, texture and nutritional content once frozen. If increasing participation is on your mind, serving brown and bland lettuce probably won’t do you many favors. Don’t worry, some common vegetables can still be frozen. Green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, peas, carrots and brussels sprouts get the go ahead for freezer-safe veggies. An easy rule to follow is to only freeze produce that contains low moisture.
If you have ever set your home refrigerator just a little too cold you are probably familiar with the disastrous effects a little frost in your milk can have. Even if you do manage to successfully defrost your milk, you can look forward to lumpy and sour-smelling liquid lactose that your students are sure to despise. Don’t think you can get away with freezing other dairy items either. Custard, yogurt and cottage cheese will certainly separate once you slip them into the freezer.
Simply don’t do it. Close your eyes and image the last time you cracked open a frozen egg. It’s a difficult image to conjure up, correct? Aside from sounding disgusting, there are health and practical reasons to avoid freezing eggs. During freezing, the liquid egg will expand and crack the shells. Doing so also heightens the risk of introducing bacteria to enter the egg via your cracked, frozen shell. If you absolutely have your heart set on freezing raw eggs, make sure you remove the shell and beat the whites and/or yolk.
Many people begin to enjoy bitter flavors as they dive into adulthood and their palatal preferences evolve. However, kids typically don’t share these same tastes. Certain spices, such as garlic and glove, become much more concentrated when it comes time to defrost them. For you curry connoisseurs, expect a stale taste, moldy texture and damp smell after the frost sets in. Some spices are indeed safe to store in the freezer after you destalk and chop them. Cinnamon, ginger and basil should remain relatively unaffected once defrosted.