Monday, September 15, 2008

Freeze It and Save

Last week I made my favorite glazed salmon recipe, which calls for one teaspoon of adobo sauce. Back in the day, I would purchase a can of chipotle chiles, use one teaspoon of the adobo sauce, and then pitch the rest of the can. After all, it wasn't like I was going to make the same recipe the next day! And it only cost 99 cents...not a big deal, right?

Now that I'm a little more concerned about my consumption habits, I've learned to modify my behavior to send less waste to the landfills with the added benefit of spending less money at the grocery store. Here are some quick and easy tips to freezing:

Freezing Sauces
Save that leftover spaghetti sauce, pesto, gravy, or just about any other sauce (including adobo) for upcoming meals. Simply pour the remaining sauce into a muffin tin or ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen solid, pop the sauce cubes out, put into an airtight container, and return to the freezer. Your frozen sauce will be good for two months.

Freezing Fresh Fruit Juices
If you know you’re not going to be able to use those limes and lemons before they go bad, squeeze the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen solid, remove from tray, put into freezer bags, and return to the freezer. Your frozen fruit juice will be good for 8 to 12 months.

Freezing Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs are yummy but can be expensive. Don’t let those leftover herbs go to waste. Wash the healthiest looking leaves and pat dry with a dishtowel or (gasp) paper towel. Spread the individual leaves on a small tray or cookie sheet. Cover and place the tray of leaves into the freezer. It’s important to freeze the leaves flat so they don’t turn into a big ol’ solid brick. Once frozen solid, place in airtight containers and return to the freezer. Your frozen herbs will be good for about three months.

Share your tips! What do you like to freeze?


Alex said...

You can also freeze your fresh herbs by chopping them up, putting them into ice cube trays, and filling half full with water. Freeze and then top off the rest of the way with more water and freeze again. This double step helps make sure the herbs don't rise to the top. Great for using in stews, soups, and sauces.

Mama said...

I have been cooking once a month freezer meals for a few months, and LOVE it! It definately requires less dishwashing, and makes less waste, which is always eco friendly! Great blog, thanks for your visit to mine!

Tara said...

Great idea on freezing meals. That is something that I've been wanting to do but my freezer isn't big enough. :-(