Keep it cool
If you're going to prep meals, you're cooking ahead. And of course, you want to keep that food fresh until the day you will eat it. The fridge is fine, but if you want to keep your meals a little longer, the freezer is ideal. For flawless freezing, pay attention to these things.
Let food or meals cool for about two hours before putting them in the freezer. This is to prevent your freezer from heating up too much. To organize your freezer, write the contents, the number of people and the date on the tray of food. If you do that with waterproof marker on a sticky tape, you can both read it well and remove it if you freeze something else in the container. We know of people who arrange their freezer drawers in such a way that the things that need to be eaten first are always in the front – respect!
Let frozen products thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours so that they defrost through and through, without the temperature getting too high. The higher the temperature, the more bacteria can grow. In addition, you help your refrigerator cooling, which saves energy – how cool is that?!
Freezing fruit is great for a quick breakfast. Some cool tips: freeze banana without skin and remove the core of apples and pears. Or peel fruit in advance and cut it into pieces. Freeze those and put them in your yogurt the night before. Put the bowl in the fridge, and it will all be ready to eat the next morning. Grapes and berries can be frozen whole.
Blanch vegetables before freezing them. Blanching means cooking for a short time in boiling water or steam (just a few minutes). Most vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, red cabbage, beetroot, zucchini, and eggplant, can be frozen. Vegetables that contain a lot of water such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber are not suitable for freezing. They get really soggy when you defrost them. You can freeze sauces with those veggies in though.
Best Food for Meal Prepping
If you’re going to prep meals, make dishes with ingredients that you can freeze well and that are still tasty after defrosting. Soups and stews, for example, are ideal. Beware dishes with uncooked watery veggies like lettuce or spinach – they get limp in the freezer! Just like bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms and cucumber. Wraps, boiled potatoes, dairy products, and noodles should also not be frozen. Most other things are good to go!
How long can I keep things in the freezer?
- Bread – 1 month
- Vegetables – 1 year
- Fruit – 8-12 months
- Fish – 3-6 months
- Chicken – 3 months
- Pork - 2 months
- Minced meat - 3 months
- Lamb - 3 months
- Beef - 9 months
- Rice and leftovers – 3 months