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Old 01-30-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
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Freezing staples for recipes

There are a bunch of things that can be frozen to good effect so you will have them available when you need them.

Low carb recipes sometimes call for a bit of tomato paste, but even the smallest can is a LOT of tomato paste. I know you can get the stuff in a tube, but it's very expensive. I just open a small can of tomato paste, use the tablespoon or so I need immediately, and plop the rest onto a plate in mounds of about a tablespoon each. I freeze that till they are hard, then put them in a ziplock bag. Very handy.

The same can be done with canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.

When I get a bargain on lemons or limes, Ijuice them and freeze the juice in small plastic containers. Just chip off a chunk when you need it.

Fresh basil is so much superior to dried. When the price is right or your herb garden is at it's peak, chop up a lot of it and stuff it into one or more ziplock bags. When you want basil during the winter, again just hack a bit off the corner and it's just like fresh. (Of course only in cooked dishes--it is all soggy and such if you try to use it raw.)

Fresh ginger is much easier to use frozen, and it doesn't mold. Just scrape the surface with a serrated knife and you will have minced ginger.

I also get bargains on hot chiles sometimes. I love to cook with them, but I don't do it often enough to justify always having them in the vegetable drawer. When I get a lot of them, I chop them in the food processor and stuff them in a plastic bag. It's very easy to cut off a tablespoon or so and just drop it into whatever you are cooking still frozen.

I'm sure there are lots of other good candidates for this treatment. What do you freeze to use in small quantities like this?
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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Freezer Smarts :)

When you find a deal or have a "bit too much" - freeze away!

chopped green/red/yellow/orange bell peppers
tomato sauce - freeze in ice cube tray then store in freezer bag
chicken and beef broth - ice cube tray ...
cream cheese sliced into 1 oz chunks - freeze on cookie sheet then bag

Just off the top of my head...I'm sure others have more!
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MiRedkitty View Post
cream cheese sliced into 1 oz chunks - freeze on cookie sheet then bag
Oh man, I love the cream cheese idea. I use 1 ounce servings of cream cheese a lot in my protein shakes. That sounds perfect for them.

I can't stand cutting onions. I love to buy the frozen onions in a bag that are already chopped to use for recipes.

Great thread!
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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I do the same thing. I make small bags of pizza sauce, tomato paste, cream cheese. Whatever freezes well. There is no waste. I even freeze regular cheese if I need too but not specialty cheese.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:21 PM   #5
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The cream cheese idea is great. Does the texture suffer when it thaws? I wonder how that would work with say Pepper Boursin, which is pretty much cream cheese... I do end up with some of these things molding.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:28 PM   #6
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Cream cheese freezes and thaws well for me.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:36 PM   #7
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Cream cheese freezes and thaws well for me.
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