We have to pinch pennies wherever we can, including the food bill. This can be difficult when you only have a $20.00 to $30.00 food budget per week, but we all do what we can. The room that I rent has a dorm refrigerator with a tiny freezer that does not work well, so freezing sale items is out of the question. Also, I’m trying to keep my diet a healthy one for health reasons. This means I am mainly eating vegetables, protein, a healthy fat and one piece of fruit a day when I can. This is not always the most affordable, so I cut corners in other areas.
I used to preserve more food by freezing, and plan to again in the future, as well as learn to dehydrate and freeze foods.
Here are some things I’ve learned.
I purchased these, after hand-picking them. I sent some home with my sister for my nephew, ate a bunch fresh, and froze the rest. Here is how:
I cut off the tops, rinsed them all well, then patted them dry. I then packed them into quart size freezer bags, about 2/3 full. I have three bags in the freezer, labeled, that can be used for smoothies, shortcakes, or to top ice cream with during the winter months.
Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce: (Learned from my mom)
1 can tomato sauce
tomatoes that are starting to go soft
First, I boil the tomatoes just until the skin splits a little. I then plunge them into cold water until I can handle them with my bare hands. I then take them and peel the skin off. I chop the tomatoes and put them into a pot with a can of tomato sauce. I can use more than one can if I need to.
I let this cool and pour the mixture into sandwich bags, putting a bunch into a gallon size freezer bag, filling them about 2/3 full. Sandwich bags are a lot cheaper than freezer bags.
These are also labeled, and I will add herbs/spices when we reheat the sauce for pasta or rice.
I only use it shredded in things like breads, muffins and cakes, so I do this quickly and easily.
I rinse the zucchini well and cut off the ends. I do not peal it, though. I grate the zucchini, then I put it into quart size freezer bags in one cup measures. This makes it easier to take out what I need.
Apples, Peaches, Plums:
I make sauce out of these, that can later be eaten like applesauce, used in baking, or warmed and served over ice cream.
I peal, core and chop these coarsely. I have never mixed them, but you can experiment if you like. I add them to a pot with a little water.
This is time consuming, as you continue to cook them down. Keep adding a little water when there is little left. Toward the end, you should be able to mash the fruit to help it along. I do this right in the pan while cooking it all down. Some people will like the chunks, others won’t. Do whatever you prefer. I add spices when thawed, rather than before freezing.
To freeze, pour into sandwich bags, then add the bags to a gallon size freezer bag and label.
These are easy. You have to break the yolk in each egg. I do this by cracking the egg into a bowl, piercing the yolk and giving a couple quick beats with a fork, then pouring the egg into a snack size baggie. If you knew that you would be using more than one egg at a time, you could freeze these in bigger batches. I can fit about 2 dozen of the snack size baggies into a gallon size freezer bag, which prevents freezer burn.