We’ve all learn’t the hard way “I’ll juuust freeze this lettuce salad for another day” – oh dear, oh dear.
There are foods that just mustn’t even so much as look in the direction of the freezer or go floppy and lumpy and weird.
Foods that Don’t Freeze Well:
- Cabbage, celery, cress, cucumbers, endive, lettuce, parsley, radishes (as raw salad)
- potatoes: baked or boiled (in soups, salads, sauces or with butter)
- Cooked macaroni, spaghetti or rice (when frozen alone)
- Egg whites, cooked (in salads, creamed foods, sandwiches, sauces, gravy or desserts
- Meringue (in desserts)
- Cream or custard fillings (Pies and baked goods)
- Milk sauces (for casseroles and gravies)
- Cheese or crumb toppings (for bakes and casseroles)
- Mayonnaise (on sandwiches)
- Gelatin (desserts)
- Fruit jam (sandwiches)
- Gravies and sauces with wheat in them.
Effect of Freezing on Spices and Seasonings
- Pepper , cloves, garlic, green pepper, imitation vanilla and some herbs tend to get strong and bitter.
- Onion and paprika change flavor during freezing.
- Celery seasonings become stronger.
- Curry develop a musty off-flavor.
- Salt loses flavor and has the tendency to increase rancidity of any item containing fat.
When using seasonings and spices, season lightly before freezing, and add additional seasonings when reheating or serving.
As a general rule, foods with a high water content, such as the vegetables in our list, do not freeze well. The water in food expands during freezing and breaks down the food is structure, making the food mushy when thawed. This is why frozen fruit packages often advise eating the fruit while still slightly frozen.
Tips for Freezing Pre-made Foods (from here):
- Dishes based on grains, meats, and/or vegetables freeze very well. Dishes with milk and other dairy don’t tend to freeze very well. If you’ll be freezing all or part of a recipe includes dairy, stop cooking and freeze it just before you would add the dairy. Fortunately, the dairy is added toward the end of most recipes, so it’s a simple matter to add it in once defrosted.
- Freeze food in serving-sized portions. Not only is this convenient, but smaller portions thaw more quickly.
- Fill the container that you’re going to freeze. This prevents freezer burn and saves space in your freezer.
- Don’t forget to label everything! After some time in the freezer, it might not be so easy to tell the vegetarian soup apart from the bolognese sauce!