There’s a Superhero in my kitchen
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? no it’s a Fridge-Freezer….the ultimate food hero!
A hero in keeping our food fresher for longer and in freezing foods for later; the fridge-freezer is a valuable tool in preventing food waste that can be found in any UK kitchen.
However, research has shown that food and drink is thrown away because they were not used in time i.e. it has passed a date label (e.g. use by, or best before date), has gone mouldy or looked, smelt or tasted bad.
But never fear – as most of our perishable (and often expensive) foods are stored in the fridge-freezers, we have come to save the day and help you with some top fridge and freezer tips;
- Make sure the fridge thermostat is set at 5°c
- You can store most of your fruit & veg in fridge (with exception of: pineapples and bananas – just keep them cool place instead; potatoes and onions need to kept in a cool and dark place)
- Fresh fruit and vegetables need to breathe – don’t store them in sealed containers/bags
- Foods with a high fat content, such as meat and cheese, need to be wrapped well, otherwise they will dry out
- Leftovers can be kept up to two days in the fridge – cover with a lid or with cling film
- If you are not going to use the food or drink before the use by date…freeze it
- It is safe to freeze almost any food; if the food has a use by date, freeze it before that date. To eat the food, defrost it in the fridge and use it within 24 hours
- Always label foods that you have stored in the freezer with their contents and the date that you freeze them, to prevent you finding UFOs in the freezer (Unidentified Frozen Objects)
- Freeze foods in portions, as it defrosts quicker and you have the right amount of food you need to make the meal
- Keep a freezer list: note down items as you put them in the freezer and cross them off as you take them out – handy, as you know what you need when you go food shopping
- Grate hard cheeses and freeze in portions and use straight from frozen on pizzas, omelettes and pasta bakes
- Freeze leftover cake in slices and defrost a slice of a tasty treat
- Meat that has been defrosted and cooked thoroughly can be frozen again. Just defrost thoroughly in the fridge and re-heat until piping hot and serve
- Parboil potatoes (for 5 minutes), cool and freeze them for later. To use, just thaw them overnight in the fridge and roast as normal
- Freeze eggs before the best before date – just crack them first, then beat and freeze or separate the whites and yolks and freeze individually. Defrost in the fridge and once defrosted, use like fresh eggs and within 24 hours of defrosting
- Freeze over-ripe bananas – peel, cut into three and freeze. Blend from frozen to make a breakfast smoothies, or defrost and mash to add to a banana bread recipe
- Freeze leftover milk in ice cube trays – a handy tip if you are leaving on holiday so you’ll have milk in the house when you return
- Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays – to use later when making stews, sauces, or to add to the mince when making bolognaise
With £860 million worth of food sitting in UK freezers, we can feed ourselves for 11 days just with the food in the freezer. Although food can be safely stored forever, the quality of the food deteriorates after three months, so it is best to try to eat frozen food within three months of freezing it. So why not make once a week or fortnight a freezer food night? We’ve come up with some recipe ideas to use up the foods we found in our own freezer –
Leftover frozen pesto, sweet corn and peas – defrost the pesto and boil the vegetables from frozen, then add to pasta
Frozen egg white – Defrost and add to another egg to make an omelette or defrost and whisk and add to an American pancake recipe to make extra fluffy pancakes or whisk up to make meringues
Frozen ice cream – take scoops of ice creams, put in a blender and add some milk (depending on the thickness of the milkshake you prefer) and blend. Add your favourite chocolate bar (broken into pieces) for extra added sweet treat
Frozen bread or pitta bread can be toasted from frozen to be used in place of burger buns
Frozen potato wedges – cook and use instead of chips as accompaniment to dishes
Frozen crushed garlic, ginger or chillies – can be used straight from frozen to add flavour to main meal
Frozen pastry – defrost and use to make a hearty pie, tarts or pasty
Frozen seafood – added to stir-fries or curries straight from frozen, or
Use up those leftovers meals that are saved for a rainy day.