by Sarah ▪ 12 Apr, 2021
As we wake more and more often to rays of cheering sunshine, it’s natural to have the urge to spring clean. Often, the freezer is forgotten, but investing some time and care in its upkeep can pay real dividends.
Now it’s time for an inventory! It may sound a bit over the top, but trust us – you won’t regret it. There are plenty of apps available, but we think the best way is good old-fashioned pen and paper (or a printed version).
Although it takes a little time and can seem a faff when you’re in a hurry or have been on your feet cooking and cleaning for hours, make sure you separate both raw foods (meat, veg etc) and leftovers into meal-sized portions before you freeze them. This avoids food wastage later on and is a lot simpler and less stressful than bashing a block of frozen chicken fillets with a rolling pin to try and separate the amount you need. Then add the number of servings to your labels!
Now we come to the real life hacks borne of freezer expertise. There are many reasons IKEA has done so well, but its flat-pack formula is definitely fundamental to its success. How does that apply to your freezer? One of the issues with stocking a freezer is that it can feel like a less fun game of Tetris.
Another novel technique is to stack those flat-packed freezer bags vertically, rather than horizontally. It’s counter-intuitive, but once you think about it, you wonder why anyone ever does it any other way.
First of all, make sure you choose ice cube trays with lids to prevent spillages. Then the fun can really begin, because ice cube trays are not just for ice! You can use them to store portions of pre-chopped herbs (don’t forget your trusty labels!), sauces, baby food, stock or even leftover wine (if there is any!) to add to a sauce. Other things to try include caramelised onions, egg whites (not the yolks!) and pancake batter. The choices are endless – as are the savings on food wastage and time!
Your freezer is your friend when it comes to managing the unexpected – from emergencies to special occasions (and just those evenings when you can’t be bothered). Make sure to dedicate a shelf or drawer to no-fuss frozen meals and desserts that you can serve if you have unforeseen guests, and side dishes that can add bulk or interest to any meal. Check out our blog for ideas on how Gourmade side dishes can add the wow factor to a family meal.