This Morning: Suzane Mulholand on freezing foods
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With food prices on the rise, it’s important to adjust cooking habits to reduce the amount thrown away. Suzane Mulholand, also known as The Batch Lady joined This Morning to share her top tips for utilising the freezer – and the majority of foods can be frozen, it’s just how they are frozen.
Each year the average household wastes £700 worth of food, equating to eight meals a week.
Suzane said: “You can freeze nearly everything. There are very few things you can’t freeze, but it’s mainly about how you freeze them.
“The reason we are talking about freezing food is because of the price of food [currently]. If you can double the amount of time the food lasts, then you’re going to save more money.”
Presenter Philip Schofield asked: “What is the safest amount of time to have food in the freezer? I’ve got stuff down the bottom that is unlabelled and I don’t know what it is. I’ve not poisoned myself yet!”
“And you won’t ever,” Suzane said. “As long as you defrost it properly, but the main thing is fresh stuff, that’s about a month, bread products are about a month. Meals already made in advance are about three months, then six months for meat.
“[Now, with the cost of living and energy crisis] it’s a good time to think ‘what’s in my freezer? Should I have a clear-out? Should I empty it and defrost it?’” The Batch Lady commented.
“Your freezer costs the most amount of money to run in your home, in terms of a fridge freezer in the kitchen and if it’s all frosted up, it’s going to cost you more money.”
How to freeze fruit
“You can freeze any fruit,” Suzane explained. “And it’s great for smoothies.”
If you have “extra lemons and limes”, slice them up and they are great “for gin and tonics” or other soft drinks.
Phillip said he “peels bananas” and “freezes a peeled banana” whole which can then be added into a blender for a smoothie.
Suzane said: “Anything you’ve got that is going to go off, before it goes to that deterioration stage, start to put it in your freezer.”
“Frozen grapes are really nice – stick them in prosecco and then freeze them, delicious!” Use an icecube tray for prosecco grapes and then they can be used as ice cubes in a glass of prosecco.
“You can freeze avocados as well,” the expert continued. “The majority of avocados bought end up in the bin because they’re not ripe, we wait for them [to ripen] and we miss [the window].”
As for how to freeze an avocado, there are several ways: “Cut it up [into slices or chunks] or make guacamole. Or freeze it whole and let it defrost and you’re good to go.”
How to freeze dairy
“Cheese and butter freeze really well,” Suzane commented. “Buy them on a special offer or in bulk and it will save you money.”
Butter can be frozen in the packet, and “defrosts easily”.
Cheese, it’s “best to grate it into bags” these are “great for packed lunches, and pasta sauces”.
You can also slice cheese and freeze it, Suzane recommends “buying a cheese slice” as it “slices cheese thinly and you get more cheese for your money out of the block”.
How to freeze bread and sandwiches
Bread can be bought on yellow-sticker or when on offer and frozen, but make sure all the air is taken out. Bread will go soggy or create extra crumbs when there’s air left inside the bag and it defrosts causing moisture.
Suzane also said “sandwiches freeze great” and it’s brilliant for “busy working parents”.
She suggests making “sandwiches in advance and freeze them” in air-tight bags.
Pancakes and french toast, also known as eggy bread, can also be made in advance and frozen.
“They’re cheap and easy to do, filling and healthy,” the expert said.
Once cooked, put a square of “greaseproof paper” between each pancake or bread slice and freeze in bags or tubs.
“Kids can take them out, pop them in the toaster or microwave to heat them up,” and they’ve got a quick hot breakfast.
How to freeze cooked meals
“Pasta sauces [are] really good to make in bulk,” Suzane said. “Freeze them flat in reusable bags, they take up no room.
“When you get home at night, boil some pasta, pour over the sauce, an instant dinner.
“Pies, [you] don’t need to put it in a freezer in the pie dish ready-made, [you can] freeze them deconstructed.
“Here I have the chicken pie filling in a bag, and shop-bought pastry which is frozen in the packet and can be defrosted during the day.”
Suzane also spoke about making “grab and cook” meals which “take about three minutes to make”.
She had taken a salmon fillet and added seasonings and Thai sweet chilli sauce over the top and wrapped it in foil. Similarly, she had created a ‘hassle-back’ chicken fillet, which had been sliced and cheese and tomato had been stuffed in the slits. Again it was wrapped in foil and placed in the freezer raw.
They can then be removed and placed straight into the oven for dinner.
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