When it’s not possible to use leftover ingredients immediately, we turn to the freezer for longer-term storage. You’ll be surprised at some of the things you can keep frozen.
Prep for Freezer: Peel bananas and freeze in zipper-lock freezer bag.
Storage and Use: Defrost and use to make banana bread or muffins, or drop into blender while still frozen for fruit smoothies.
Prep for Freezer: Stored in the refrigerator, butter can pick up off-flavors. Instead, freeze butter in its wrapper.
Storage and Use: Transfer to refrigerator 1 stick at a time as needed. To quickly soften frozen butter, cut into small pieces or place in zipper-lock bag and pound to desired consistency with rolling pin.
Prep for Freezer: Place some small paper cups on tray and fill each with 1/2 cup buttermilk; place tray in freezer.
Storage and Use: Once buttermilk is frozen, wrap each cup in plastic wrap and store in large zipper-lock freezer bag. Defrost in refrigerator before use.
4. Canned Chipotle Chiles in Adobo
Prep for Freezer: Spoon out chiles, each with a couple teaspoons of adobo sauce, onto different areas of baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze.
Storage and Use: Transfer frozen chiles to zipper-lock freezer bag for long-term storage.
Prep for Freezer: Wrap hard and semifirm cheeses like Parmesan, cheddar, and Brie tightly in plastic wrap, seal in zipper-lock bag, and freeze.
Storage and Use: Store in freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost in refrigerator before using.
6. Citrus Zest
Prep for Freezer: Remove zest from entire fruit. Deposit grated zest in 1/2-teaspoon piles on plate and freeze.
Storage and Use: Once piles are frozen, place them in zipper-lock freezer bag and return them to freezer.
7. Egg Whites
Prep for Freezer: Pour leftover egg whites (never yolks) into each well of ice cube tray and freeze.
Storage and Use: Use paring knife or small spatula to remove each frozen egg white cube and defrost in small bowl in refrigerator as needed.
Prep for Freezer: Place 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, sage, parsley, or thyme and water to cover (about 1 tablespoon) in each well of ice cube tray and freeze.
Storage and Use: Once cubes are frozen, transfer to zipper-lock freezer bag and store. Add cubes directly to sauces, soups, or stews.
Prep for Freezer: Due to their high fat content, nuts go rancid quickly unless frozen. Freeze nuts in zipper-lock freezer bag.
Storage and Use: Frozen nuts stay fresh for months. No need to defrost before using; frozen nuts can be chopped just as easily as fresh.
Prep for Freezer: Measure 1 tablespoon wine into each well of ice cube tray and freeze.
Storage and Use: Use paring knife or small spatula to remove each frozen wine cube and add as desired to pan sauces.
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The The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen not only includes 650 kitchen-tested recipes but also a 25-page manual teaching the basics of cooking for two. You’ll have more than 20 years’ worth of test kitchen wisdom at your fingertips. Topics include:
- How to Shop Smarter
- How to Store Smarter
- Emergency Substitutions
- Putting Leftover Ingredients to Work
- Handy Equipment for Two
- Kitchen Essentials Everyone Needs
- Faster, Easier Ingredient Prep