You might think that storing food in the freezer keeps it fresh, but it isn’t always the case – and there are some huge no-no’s when it comes to freezing your leftovers.
In fact, keeping the wrong food in the freezer can lead to some awful tasting meals or even worse, possible health risks.
“This is especially the case for most fruit and some vegetables that have a high water content, such as lettuce and berries,” Freedom Foods Dietitian Sonja Kukuljan explains to Starts at 60.
Fruit and vegetables, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries and bananas, will turn icy in the freezer, and they won’t thaw well. Sonja explains: “This is because when the water in these foods freezes, it expands and this causes the cell walls to rupture.”
So when thawed, instead of returning to their crispy, crunchy state, they’ll turn limp and soggy. These changes are less noticeable in high-starch vegetables, such as peas, corn and legumes, however.
“So, eat frozen fruit frozen or use the frozen fruit as ‘ice’ in a smoothie for an amazing fruity treat,” she recommends.
“Soft cheese varieties will break apart and separate when frozen and then thawed. These foods are best consumed fresh,” Sonja says.
For the most part, with cheese’s long fridge life, there’s really no need to put it in the freezer.
Foods that were fried will lose all their crunch if you put the leftovers in the freezer. And it’s fair to say, no one wants soft, mushy fried food, so our advice is to eat all of your fried food in one go.
“While cooked eggs may be frozen, for example in a frittata or an omelette, we wouldn’t recommend freezing eggs in their shells, as they’ll likely explode, as will other drinks and liquids in glass bottles,” Sonja says.
In the worse case scenario, you’ll be left with an eggy mess that will leave your freezer smelling rotten.
The key to a perfect cup of coffee may lie in how you store it. While it’s important to keep your coffee somewhere cool, cit doesn’t cope well under freezer conditions.
“The special flavour-rich oils of the coffee can break down when frozen and these oils may then take on other flavours and become rancid more readily,” she says.
Freezing food is a delicate matter. No matter what you’re freezing, make sure to use it within the recommended time frame, and always make sure to defrost correctly.