So do all food freeze well? No, it depends on the water content and texture of what you are freezing.
At Hey Fresto, we only freeze types of food, that when defrosted, will maintain all the quality ingredients that we make our ready-made meals with.
With raw foods, the water content is the main factor. Food with high water content is less likely to freeze well. Even when foods are cooked, there is still water remaining, which is not necessarily appealing visually, but also in terms of taste. Potentially, the discolouration can occur, making items such as cooked cabbage take on a yellow or brownish tinge and often an unpleasant aroma.
Equally so, there are some foods that you may never have dreamed of freezing that you can, and some that you should never freeze under any circumstances.
Here are some tips and rules to follow on foods to freeze.
Here are a few food freezing tips
Whilst we continually think about ‘no wastage’, sometimes the best thing to do is, frankly, throw it away! Follow some basic rules and you will be able to freeze and not overpack your freezer with leftovers etc., that you may never use.
- The most important aspect of freezing: Freezing will not make food taste miraculously better if you hated the taste of it before! The chances are that it will taste even worse! Freezing alters the texture of food as it is reheated and if you did not enjoy it for dinner the night before, just cut your losses now! Our frozen ready-made meals save time and indecision, as once heated, they will always be exactly right.
- If you are freezing a raw food with a high moisture content (think cucumbers, watermelon, oranges, leafy salad or veg) you intend on eating raw again, forget about it. The moisture that keeps the food crisp and intact does not behave the same way after thawing. A defrosted tomato on top of your salad is a big no-no. However, if you want to make something like a tomato sauce in your cooked pasta, it will work…
- Beware of creamy substances such as custards, blocks of cheese, yoghurt, cream – all of these dairy products freeze horribly as the curds separate from the whey. Again, if you are using it for cooking, you can salvage some of these, but err on the side of caution.
These rules apply to home freezing, not to specialist manufactured frozen ready meals like Hey Fresto.
Foods that do not freeze well
Some examples of foods that become a complete mess if frozen:
Vegetables: Celery, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, peppers (especially green), potatoes (especially raw), radishes, sprouts, salad greens, cabbage and any other leafy greens.
Fruit: Apples, grapefruit, grapes (unless you are eating them frozen), lemons, limes, oranges (DO freeze citrus zest!), watermelon.
Dairy: Cheese (especially soft varieties), cottage cheese, cream cheese, custard, eggs in shells, mayonnaise, sour cream, salad dressing, yoghurt.
Herbs: (if frozen alone in sprigs): Basil, chives, parsley, other soft herbs.
Other: Crumb toppings on casseroles and baked dishes, frosting (egg white and cream-based), meringue mixture (uncooked) fried foods, pasta, rice, sauces (especially those made with corn starch or flour). It may seem a bit of a minefield, so hopefully, this will guide you to successful freezing.
Foods that do freeze well
Vegetables: Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Asparagus, beetroot, Peas, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet potatoes, Ginger,
Fruit: Avocados, Bananas, Mangos, Cherries, Peaches, Strawberries,
Meat, Poultry and Seafood: Bacon, Beef, Chicken, Crab, Fish, Hot dogs, Lobster, Pork Sausage, Scallops, Shrimp, Turkey
Chocolate, Nuts, Seeds and Grains.
Wine (freeze in ice cube trays for use in sauces)
Remember that Hey Fresto produces high-quality foods, ready-made under the correct conditions and to an extremely high standard.