Batch cooking and freezer friendly food tips
Every cloud has a silver lining, they say. One of the upsides for many people of the stay-at-home lockdown because of coronavirus is a new-found love of the kitchen and the food we eat.
Making the most of the ingredients stocked at home, storing them, and cooking them simply and easily has led to a commendable reduction in food waste, reports the Guardian newspaper in a story on the 18th of April 2020.
Did you know you can freeze …?
By way of example and so that you are not tempted to throw food out unnecessarily, here are some of the items that freeze extraordinarily well. Of course, always make sure you follow any freezing instructions correctly on the product label or packaging. And, don’t forget to put the date you freeze the food on the container.
- milk will store in your freezer for up to a month – remember that its volume expands when frozen, so make allowances in the type of container you use – pour some of the milk out so there is room at the top of the container for expansion;
- non-dairy milk – such as rice, oat or nut milk – also freeze well, but they might seem a bit “grainy” when defrosted. So be prepared to pour them through a cheesecloth sieve before using;
- it might come as a big surprise that eggs can be perfectly well stored in your freezer;
- simply crack them open and blend the yolk and egg-white together a little before putting in a container marked with the date and the number of eggs used;
- you name it, any vegetable can be frozen – and those you’ve frozen from fresh may taste even better than the pre-frozen packets you buy from the supermarket;
- you will need to blanch them first – you can find out how to blanch and freeze vegetables here;
- surprisingly, bananas can also be stored in your freezer, although you need to skin them first;
- when you're ready, defrost and incorporate them into ice cream or coat them with hot chocolate.
Batch cooking recipes
Your well-stocked freezer is going to keep the hunger pangs at bay and batch cooking a few tried and tested favourites will shorten the waiting times between freezer, cooker and table.
The beauty with batch cooking, of course, is that you have only the one cooking session, eat what you want, freeze the remainder, and eat again whenever you are hungry. You might also be heartened by government advice that you won’t catch Covid-19 from cooked – and then frozen – food.
Batch cooking recipes recommended on the BBC’s Good Food website include:
- a spaghetti bolognese;
- slow cooked ratatouille;
- a warming broccoli and stilton soup;
- a robust sausage ragout;
- bean and sausage hotpot; and
- slow-cooked beef bourguignon.
These are all dishes that have stood the test of time – and hungry mouths. They are easy to prepare, ideally suited to cooking in bulk, dividing up into plate-sized portions, and storing for a month or so in the freezer.
This data is correct as at the time of writing.