Love your fridge and freezer
Keep cool and learn how to get the best out of your fridge and freezer!
‘Cool’ Fridge Tips
- Keep your fridge between 0°C and 5°C to preserve your food for longer
- Store fruit and veg (except pineapples, bananas, potatoes and onions) in the fridge. Research has shown doing this can increase their life by 2 weeks!
- Store opened foods well. Re-seal ham and cheese, or store in air tight containers. There are lots of gadgets you can buy to help keep produce fresher for longer.
Using your freezer is a great way to reduce wasted food. It acts like a pause button, giving us more time to eat the food we buy. Once frozen it won’t spoil and puts the ‘use by’ date on hold.
It’s safe to freeze almost any food. If it’s got a ‘use by’ date freeze before the date, defrost and use it within 24 hours.
Making the most of your freezer
Here are some handy tips to help you make the most of your cold storage, which can save you time and money:
- For fruits that do not freeze very well like strawberries and apples, try pureeing them and using them in jams or pie fillings. This will save room in the freezer too!
- The look and texture of some food can change when it’s frozen (like yoghurt and cheese) but this doesn’t mean it’s not safe to eat. Try using it in a different way. Yoghurt that’s been frozen makes great smoothies; cheese makes great cheese on toast or a topping for pasta bake
- Try freezing food in portions, it defrosts quicker and you’ll have just what you need for an easy meal. This could include bread, meat portions (for example chicken breasts) and leftover meals
- It’s good to wrap food properly before freezing to keep it at its best. Use freezer bags or plastic containers and minimise the air around the food. This helps avoid ‘freezer burn’ which can affect the texture and taste of your food.
- In the freezer, food can be safely stored forever, but the quality deteriorates. So it’s best to try and eat frozen food within three months.
- Defrost food in the fridge, use within 24 hours and cook thoroughly making sure it’s piping hot all the way through.
You can freeze it
A survey conducted by WRAP found the foods people freeze most often are lamb, beef, fish, seafood, bakery (bread and cakes), chicken and minced meat. But many people do not realise that foods such as eggs, dairy and fruit can be frozen as well:
Eggs – don’t freeze in the shell. Beat into a mixture or freeze whites and yolks separately. Defrost in the fridge, not at room temperature. Adding salt (for savoury), sugar (for sweet) stops yolks going lumpy. Use as you would fresh eggs.
Milk – freeze as soon as possible and thaw in the fridge. Plastic containers are okay for freezing milk in, but the milk will expand so pour out a small amount to allow for this.
Cheese – try grating Cheddar cheese before freezing and use as toppings on pizza or shepherd’s pie from frozen. Stilton can be frozen without grating.
Cooked meat – such as chicken and turkey. Thaw in the fridge and use as normal, in casseroles, curries and stews.
Bread – use from frozen as toast or make sandwiches for work – by lunchtime they’ll be defrosted.
Potatoes – parboil and freeze them for later, thaw and roast. Mashed potato freezes well.
Fruit – slice and freeze lemons then use them straight from the freezer in iced drinks.
Yoghurt – pots can be placed straight in the freezer but the yoghurt will expand, so make sure there’s enough space in the pot to allow for this. If there isn’t, transfer to another container before freezing. Defrost and use in smoothies or straight from frozen as a frozen yoghurt dessert.