To freeze or not to freeze?
With the latest research showing we Brits estimate we throw away £15.1m worth of food every year, it’s time to do more to stop food waste.
Candis food editor, Catherine Hill explains that freezing leftovers saves not only pounds but time too.
Research from a survey by Samsung Digital Appliances, supported by Love Food Hate Waste found that most people didn’t realise they could freeze eggs, wine, nuts, biscuits or cheese.
Catherine explains how to freeze these goodies safely…
“You definitely can freeze eggs. Make sure they’re well within their use by date, then just beat them lightly and tip into freezer bags. Label with a date and how many eggs you’re freezing – that way when it comes to whipping up that cake, you’ll know exactly how many you’re dealing with. You can also freeze the whites and yolks separately if you find you have some over after a particular recipe. Whites freeze really well and whip up as easily as fresh once defrosted overnight. While you can freeze yolks successfully, they do tend to thicken up on freezing, which makes them a bit tricky to use. To get round this add either a good pinch of salt to every four yolks and freeze for use in savoury dishes later or add 1½ tsp sugar to every four yolks for sweet dishes.
“Anyone who has frozen a bottle of wine by mistake knows that it can often blow or even break the top of the bottle as the ice crystals expand inside the glass. So if you do have any leftover wine, pour it into freezer containers or ice cubes ready for use at a later date.
“Nuts also freeze very well and it’s probably a better bet than having them sitting at the back of the cupboard going stale.
“Biscuits and cookies are fine to freeze. Defrost and they should stay crisp and fresh. If you do find they go a little soft then perk them up in a hot oven for a couple of minutes…
“Cheese freezes really well, although I do think it changes the texture ever so slightly. After defrosting it wouldn’t be much use on a cheeseboard but it’ll be perfectly fine for using in cooking, melting and adding to sauces.
“With Stilton I tend to freeze the rind too as it has bags of flavour. Lots of classic slow-cook Italian dishes suggest dropping the rind of Parmesan into the dish to add real depth of flavour – so it is worth freezing that rind for the next time you fancy a home-made minestrone soup.”
Other things you can freeze include:
Any leftover fresh bread dough
Cartons of milk
Soft-leaved herbs such as parsley, basil and coriander – far too precious to throw away!
Any soft fruits that are lurking around – great for dropping into smoothies or crumbles