Food Preparation Tips
Author: Achieve Wellness Staff
Eating healthy can be made easier if you enlist the assistance of your freezer. Here are a few ideas to help you stay on track:
1. Always be ready to cook healthy and comforting soups by keeping individual bags of diced carrots, onion, celery, and peppers in the freezer. The prep work for any recipe is a lot less daunting when you’ve already done most of it!
2. The same idea applies to protein. So the next time you make a recipe that calls for ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground beef, buy an extra pound (or whatever amount you normally use), brown it, and freeze so that it’s already there and ready to go when you need it for chili or for any other recipe.
3. In general and when possible, cook more than you need and freeze leftovers in individual portions to eat at lunch or dinner. There’s nothing better than taking a ready-made homemade dish from your freezer. It’s delicious, you know exactly what’s in it, and the work is already done!
4. Save your rotisserie chicken carcasses in the freezer. After you’ve collected two or three, make stock either in your Crockpot or on the stove. (And remember that your Crockpot can be used overnight just as easily as it can be used during the day.) You can use your stock for a favorite recipe or to make chicken soup. For an easy chicken soup, just add the meat from the bones, some sautéed carrots, onion, and celery, seasonings of your choice, and a whole grain. (Barley and faro are two good choices.) Or you could instead add noodles. Either way, you’ll have a tasty soup that’s as tasty as it is economical.
5. You can freeze labor-intensive ingredients like grated ginger or chopped garlic. After grating/chopping, place in a small freezer bag and smooth the bag flat as you seal it. To use in cooking, break a corner off and add to your recipe. You can also use this technique to freeze leftover canned tomato paste.
6. If you’re buying fresh herbs for a recipe, don’t let the leftover herbs die a slow and wilted death in your crisper. Instead, bag them up and put them in the freezer to use later.
7. Finally, all of this advice on freezing foods wouldn’t be complete without one warning: always label and date your frozen food!