According to sources at CBS News, there’s a right and a wrong way to freeze food at home. Improper home freezing can lead to freezer burn, loss of flavor, and even harmful contamination of the food. If you want to save your fruits, veggies, meat, or other type of food for a rainy day, you may be researching how to freeze food. Fortunately, freezing food at home isn’t difficult, if you take the right precautions and follow the proper protocol. Here are a few suggestions to help you freeze food at home while preserving flavor and nutritional value:
- Blanch vegetables before freezing them – Vegetables can lose flavor and color when frozen. To prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to partially cook vegetables before sticking them in the freezer.
- Keep canned food in the pantry – Canned food should not be frozen. Canning and pickling preserves foods, so if it’s canned properly, your canned food should have a pretty long shelf life. If you open up some canned food but don’t eat all of it, you can freeze the remaining food, as long as it’s not still in the can.
- Store frozen food at 0 degrees or below – Before you freeze any food at home, check the internal temperature of your freezer. It should be at least 0 degrees (Fahrenheit) or colder. Even if your freezer’s just a few degrees warmer than 0 degrees, you may not be able to prevent the harmful growth of bacteria on your food.
- Freeze foods early – The quality of your frozen foods will depend on their quality before you freeze them. So, freeze food when it’s fresh for the freshest taste after you thaw.
- Package appropriately – You can store meat and fish in the packaging you bought it in at the store. Fruits, veggies, and meat that’s not in packaging should be stored in freezer safe plastic bags or other types of wrapping or packaging that keep air away from the frozen food.
- Use your quick freeze shelf, if you have one – Some freezers come with a shelf that’s specifically used for freezing foods rapidly. If your freezer has such a shelf, it’s a good idea to use it for your home freezing needs. Foods that are frozen rapidly usually end up maintaining their taste and quality better than foods that are frozen at a slower pace.
Freezing food at home can be a great way to preserve food you aren’t ready to eat. So, consider the tips above, and enjoy your frozen food later!
- “How to Freeze Food Properly,” Tatiana Morales, CBS News
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