Thursday, October 25, 2012

5 Myths of Freezer Cooking

Yesterday I began a new blog series: Freezer Cooking: The EASY Way. Yesterday I shared the 5 reasons I make time to freezer cook even when I do not want to. And today I want to share 5 myths of freezer cooking that just aren't true. Hopefully after reading yesterday's post and today's post, you will want to at least try freezer cooking. . .and perhaps even make it a regular part of your life.


5 Myths of Freezer Cooking That Are Just NOT True:

Myth #1: You have to have a large freezer to freezer cook.
Actually you can fit about 20-30 meals in a standard over the refrigerator freezer. The secret is to freeze your items flat in freezer bags. See the freezer bags stacked on the bottom shelf in the picture below. I will teach you how to freeze items flat in freezer bags this week.


You also want to make sure you pack your freezer as full as possible. Not only do you want your freezer stuffed full so you can save time, money, and sanity when it comes to shopping and preparing meals, but you want your freezer stuffed full so it is energy efficient. My post: Is Your Freezer Full? explains how keeping your freezer full can lower your utility bill.

Jessica of LifeasMOM has a short video here where she shows you how she fits 20 meals in her side by side refrigerator/freezer. The video is part of her blog post titled: How to Have a Freezer Cooking Day if You Do Not Have a Deep Freezer. It's worth clicking over.

Myth #2: Freezer cooking takes a whole day.
When I first started freezer cooking, Once a Month Cooking (OAMC) was all the rage. I read all the latest books and thought these all day marathon sessions were the only way to fill your freezer with meals. But it was so hard for me to find a full day to get organized, a full day to shop for massive amounts of food, and a then a full day to cook. Plus I was so exhausted after this 3 day marathon that I was worth nothing for the next few days. I remember once I invited 2 girlfriends over for a half day freezer cooking day. That too took a lot of planning (have you seen those planning sheets in the freezer cooking books?) and coordinating and left me tired.

So. . .I discovered that freezer cooking can be done in 15-20 minute time spans. I learned that tripling a crockpot recipe and eating it for dinner and then freezing the rest helped me build a "freezer meal" stockpile. I learned that when I make pancakes on the weekends, I can make extra and freeze them for school day mornings. This was freezer cooking. And when I did this over a few weeks time, I filled my freezer. This is the kind of freezer cooking I am going to talk about this week. Freezer Cooking: The EASY Way.


Myth #3: You only eat unhealthy casseroles when you freezer cook.
Yes, I thought that too. I used to equate cream-of-anything-soup casseroles with freezer cooking. Not anymore. You can freeze so much more than casseroles. This week I will share breakfasts, soups, baked goods, meats, fruits, and veggies that all freeze very well and make it easier to get dinner on the table.

Myth #4: Freezer meals don't taste good.
The only freezer meals that we have not enjoyed were not because they were freezer meals, but because the recipe was not good to begin wtih. I remember being so disheartened having to throw away 2 big broccoli and chicken meals I had frozen because they tasted so bad. I have learned to freezer cook only those meals I know how to cook and I know my family loves. If I want to try a new freezer meal like that broccoli and chicken one, then I need to just cook it one night and see if my family likes it. If they do, then I know I can make it a freezer meal. But no more freezing recipes from those OAMC books I have not tried ahead of time.
 
Some say freezer foods don't taste fresh. Most of the freezer cooking I do is really just preassembling the meal and freezing them. I then thaw the meal and cook it "fresh". Some can even be cooked frozen, but you are still cooking them only one time. There are a few items I precook and prebake (like my pancakes) so that I only have to heat them up. . and even those no one has ever complained about them not being "fresh". I say at least try it.

Myth #5: Freezer cooking is only for those with large families. I actually believe freezer cooking can fit into anyone's lifestyle. Who does not want more time and less stress? Big families are not the only ones who lives are busy and even at times overwhelming. Freezer cooking can benefit singles, stay-at-home-moms, working moms, empty nesters. . . really anyone who wants to get dinner on the table quicker, easier, and cheaper.

So any other reasons why you think freezer cooking won't work?? Are you ready to give it a try?  Tomorrow we will start with 9 very easy, very doable suggestions to begin building your freezer meal stockpile. We really can do this.

And if interested, here is the rest of this Freezer Cooking: The EASY Way series:

Day 1: Why Make Time to Freezer Cook
Day 2: 5 Myths of Freezer Cooking
Day 3: 9 Baby Steps to Get You Started Freezer Cooking
Day 4: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins that Freeze Beautifully!


I am sharing this post at some of my favorite linky parties: Imparting Grace and Conerstone Confessions; Titus 2 Tuesdays

5 comments:

  1. This is so encouraging to read. I need to get back into cooking meals ahead and this plan may just do it for me. I look forward to your next posts.  I'd  love to have you link this us to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. I hope to see you there. 

    Kathy

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  2. I am popping by from Titus 2 Tuesdays. Oh my WORD! You are totally speaking my lanugage here! I tried freezer meals ONCE. I blogged about it because I was so excited about it...and being a mom of 2 kids 2-and-under...it seemed like a lifesaver...until I did it. It took all day and half the stuff was....okay, but nothing spectacular. I am now following you, because I honestly can't wait to read more! Blessings from Croatia: A Little R & R: www.littlerandr.org

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  3. I love it! I've been thinking about the freezer meal thing, too. I tried a couple of the freezer meals I was excited about making before I did a big batch and was SO glad we tried them first, 'cause they were so gross! I love the idea of just making a double of triple batch and freezing the leftovers. So clever! :)

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  4. Thank you so much! I look forward to reading more of this series. I've just started trying to do a little more with my freezer, and I need help! I appreciate the instruction. :)

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  5. Good Morning Su, I am so glad you are encouraging people to freeze food. I am a woman of a "certain" age and have been freezing food since the early 1970's. My children are grown and live in other countries so there is only my hubby and myself to cook for. For instance, I cook a large lasagne, we eat what we need for that meal. I allow the lasagne to cool, then cut it into squares and freeze. I always cook a little more meat sauce than I need, I freeze that and use it for spaghetti bolognaise. This way I increase my stock of meals for times when I am busy and do not have time to cook a meal. I love my freezer and I enjoyed your post. Best Wishes from England....Daphne

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