If there is one skill I wish I was better at, it’s freezer optimisation. Right now, my freezer is a mess of ice cubes and lollies and roughly a ton of loose peas, leaving me without enough room to freeze things that are actually useful. Getting your freezer organised is a great idea, so allow me to list all the things you can freeze, but probably don’t. Honestly, this list is as much for me as it is for you.
First, the bad news. Freezing a ripe avocado will mess up its texture something rotten, turning it into slimy mush. While that rules out eating a defrosted avocado as an avocado, there’s nothing to stop you chucking it into a smoothie or making guacamole. Scoop out the flesh, cut it into chunks, brush with a little lemon juice, pop it in a freezer bag and it’s good to go.
This one is tricky, but can still be done. The key to freezing chocolate is to do it very slowly, since any sudden change in temperature can wreck it, leaving you with a bitter lump of chalky rubbish. Wrap it as tightly as you can in freezer bags, then put it in the fridge for several hours before transferring to the freezer. Defrost it in the fridge, too.
Important: don’t just put an egg in the freezer in its shell, for that way madness lies. Instead, crack them, beat them, salt them, pour them into ice cube trays and, when frozen, transfer them to airtight freezer bags. Be warned, they will need 24 hours in the fridge to defrost before you can use them, after which they can be cooked as normal.
Why freeze flour? To stop bug infestations. This trick works for all types of flour, but is especially good for speciality kinds, such as almond or coconut flour, as these tend to go bad sooner. Empty the bag into a container, leaving as little room for air as possible, and freeze. When you need some, just scoop out the desired amount.
Not only can you freeze fresh ginger, but you should. After all, nothing is worse than dry, woody, month-old ginger that you find in the back of a cupboard. Get the freshest ginger you can find, break it into chunks, bag it and then defrost as necessary.
This is one of my favourites: use up fresh herbs by chopping them finely and putting them into an ice cube tray. Fill the tray with water, freeze, transfer to freezer bags and you end up with an instant way to lift soups or stews or marinades, no chopping required.
Frozen honey is apparently the big new thing on TikTok, because of course it is. Pour runny honey into a plastic bottle and freeze it. When you squeeze the bottle, a gurgle of frozen honey will creep out, allowing you to eat it like a lolly. Don’t eat it all at once, though, as dietitians warn, it might give you the squits.
Generally, freezing lettuce isn’t a great idea unless you really like slushy lettuce. However, some salad recipes call for iceberg wedges to be chilled in the freezer for anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours. At mealtime, take it out, add dressing and the results – I’m promised – are “so darn good”.
Marshmallows have low water content and won’t freeze solid but they do become chewier and fudgier – and taste pretty fantastic. Don’t let them defrost, just pop straight into your mouth.
Freezing milk isn’t unusual – you just put a plastic bottle in the freezer and it’s done – but it’s also worth pointing out that this is another great ice cube tray candidate, especially if you live alone and can’t get through a bottle before it goes off. Pour into a tray, transfer into a bag once frozen and use as required.
A high water content can mean that frozen mushrooms become unappealingly squishy when they defrost. You can mitigate this by slicing and steaming them for a couple of minutes, before patting dry and popping into a freezer bag. Once frozen, they are good for three months.
This one is easy. Put some nuts in a bag, freeze them. Take them out whenever you want. This will stop them going rancid, which happens due to their high oil content. Defrost before snacking.
When you are finished with a chunk of parmesan, put the rind in a freezer bag. Next time you make soup or tomato sauce, chuck it into the pot and you will have instant umami richness. Take it out before serving, though. You’re not an animal.
This might sound downright sacrilegious to some, but have you ever tried eating a frozen Pop-Tart? They are delicious. Take them out of the box, freeze overnight in their foil pouches, open and eat. You might want to experiment with flavours – some work better than others – but I expect to receive several messages of thanks for this advice in the coming days.
As long as the filling isn’t too wet and doesn’t contain too much mayonnaise, you can freeze sandwiches. Make your sandwiches and put them in individual freezer bags. They are fine to eat simply defrosted, but are especially good if you turn them into toasties.
Don’t freeze raw spinach. Cook it down to a mush, freeze it in an ice cube tray and you have little green vitamin pellets to throw into dishes as they cook.
Put it in an ice cube tray for near-instant stock that you can fling straight into dishes. Of course, by now your freezer is rammed with every food imaginable, so you can always save space by just drinking it instead.