This Morning: Suzane Mulholand on freezing foods
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An expert at money saving website NetVoucherCodes.co.uk have shared their top tips to help people get the most out of their food shopping during the Christmas holidays. According to Rebecca Bebbington, freezing foods is a good way to go as most products will last at least three to four months in the freezer, giving cooks a much wider timescale to add items to a meal.
Many families will have already bought their Christmas foods and eaten everything on Christmas day, but if there are any leftovers, or food that hasn’t yet been touched, it is worth putting it in the freezer.
Vegetables can easily be frozen. Rebecca said that Brussel sprouts can be “easily grown at home to save money”, or found in budget supermarkets.
“To really capture them in full flavour, blanche or roast them before freezing,” she advised.
Parsnips are a Christmas staple that “will stay good to eat for around nine months”.
Rebecca said: “You can freeze them in small cubes, or chunks. Blanching parsnips before freezing them will lock in their flavour and texture.
“They will be right at home in the same draw as frozen carrots, peas and all of the other festive vegetable staples.”
Cheese is another surprising food that can be stored in the freezer. Rebecca continued: “It can be frozen as a full block, or, if you mainly use it grated, you can grate the block and freeze it, meaning you can grab handfuls of cheese as and when you need it.
“Anything from mozzarella to parmesan can cope with being put in the freezer, but be warned, cottage cheese may react badly.”
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Another dairy product that can be frozen is milk. This is a useful trick as families always need milk, especially for unlimited cuppas during the festive period.
Rebecca warned: “Frozen milk must be fully thawed before use, and give the carton a big shake before pouring to ensure all the solids and liquids have been fully mixed.
“Milk expands when frozen, so don’t put it in a tight container.”
Bread is another staple that can be frozen, but only when it’s fresh, otherwise it will be slightly stale once defrosted, according to the expert.
Rebecca went on to say: “You can freeze bread as a full loaf, or in individual slices if this is easier. You can then leave your bread to thaw naturally or pop it straight into the toaster.”
As for chocolate, the sweet treat doesn’t contain much water, which means it won’t change as much as other items when frozen or defrosted.
Rebecca advised “putting the chocolate in the fridge for a few hours before placing it into the freezer, as this will help bring the temperature down slowly, reducing the risk of the flavour or appearance changing”.
Eggs can easily be frozen, but without the shells. The simplest way to do this is to crack the eggs into a muffin tray and then placing these into the freezer.
Once fully frozen they can be transferred into a plastic container, creating even more space.
If not frozen, where to keep eggs has long been a debated topic. According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), you should “store whole eggs in a cool dry place, ideally in the fridge, until you use them”.
The reason for this is: “Storing eggs at a constant cool temperature will help to keep them safe.”
However, speaking on ITV’s This Morning last month, chef James Martin explained one shouldn’t store eggs in the fridge as doing so “absorbs all the flavours from the fridge”.
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