One of the biggest changes of recent years in our house is how we use our freezer. It used to be the area of the kitchen that was the most empty – We had Ice-cream, frozen pies, the obligatory chicken nuggets and not much else. As we started to cook more ‘proper food’ our freezer started getting stocked up better. We discovered frozen vegetables – Aside from the obvious peas, we now always have frozen peppers, frozen corn (sweetcorn and cobs) and frozen spinach. And then we discovered frozen fruit – Millie declared the other day that frozen raspberries are the best fruit ever! I’m not so sure they can beat perfectly ripe, fresh raspberries but they are certainly handy for baking with and a quick dessert.
The ease and reliability of frozen food comes into its own when you have 3 kids – you never know how many other children are going to be sat around your table – and there’s always one that doesn’t like whatever veg you have on offer. Cue: My frozen veg selection!
Our lifestyle means that we quite often only get in later and only start preparing meals late – Its very rare, we think so far ahead to get a frozen joint of meat out to defrost but frozen fish saves our life at least once a week. My fish pie recipe more often than not, uses only frozen fish and veg – except the potato. (I still can’t find a decent frozen mash)
A more recent discovery is frozen pastry – I have thrown far too many chilled pastries away as they pass their use by date but never a frozen pack of pastry. A super speedy dessert is Frozen Blackberries on Puff Pastry Squares with marzipan shavings & orange rind. Its really that simple:
Cut your pastry into 6 squares, spoon one pack of blackberries into the centre of each square.
Grate some marzipan over the top along with fresh orange rind.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 210C and you are done!
A sprinkling of icing sugar makes up for any juice spillages.
Foods you might not know you can freeze:
* Buttercream – It comes out perfectly fine!
* Egg Whites – I always feel a bit Nigella when I freeze egg
* Chopped Lemons & Limes – Great for in a G&T
* Cupcakes – Chocolate cakes are in fact, slightly better once they have been frozen
* Potatoes – As long as they are part cooked – Homemade Mash is brilliant to have frozen
I did look around for frozen herbs to put in my recipe but could not find any – Do they not exist any more?
The price of our frozen products were as follows:
Scallops per bag – £5 (2 bags for £8)
Frozen Mixed Peppers – £0.98 per bag
Frozen Sweetcorn – £0.85 per bag
Frozen Puff Pastry – £2.24 for 2 rolls (we used one and kept the other frozen)
Frozen Blackberries – £1.97
Disclosure: We were asked to go to Asda to purchase our frozen food selection – We had complete choice what to buy and which meal to prepare.
I’m working with BritMums and Coolcookery.co.uk highlighting the versatility, economy and nutritional benefits of cooking with frozen food. All opinions are my own. For recipes and ideas visit http://bit.ly/coolcookery