Freezing Your Scraps


| 6/30/2010 2:25:00 PM


Brent and LeAnna Alderman StersteI guess I have a huge thrifty streak, but I just hate seeing food go to waste. So I have been scheming with my freezer to find ways to save more of our food. Here are some of my tricks.

1. Scrap bags

Since we have toddlers, we always seem to have a collection of half-eaten bananas in our house. To combat this, we started the banana bag. I break the leftover bananas into pieces and tuck it in a bag in the freezer. Then we can use the frozen bananas for banana bread or smoothies. Once I started the banana bag, I became inspired to see what else I can save. I now have the stock bag: old carrots, onion skins, pieces of celery to toss in when we make our own broth. I also have the stuffing bag. In it, I crumble up leftover cornbread, and also add diced, stale bread. I then can use this to make stuffing. My mom has what she calls the soup bowl. She puts little bits of leftover veggies like peas, green beans, and corn in the bowl, then makes a big pot of vegetable soup when there is enough.

2. Cookie Sheet

If there is one thing I learned from watching Top Chef, it's that if you want to freeze anything and have it be edible later and not one big frozen chunk, you freeze it on a cookie sheet first. We froze all of the blueberries we picked this way last year. After spreading them out on the cookie sheet and freezing for an hour or so, I put them all into quart size freezer bags. Now I can get out berries for pancakes or muffins by the cupful instead of defrosting first. This also works great for other fruits and berries or vegetables like broccoli or spinach. Just blanche the veggies in boiling water for a few minutes, spread out on the cookie sheet, freeze for an hour, then put them in a bag.



This also works really well for dough. I sometimes make a triple batch of biscuit dough. I cut the biscuits out and freeze on the cookie sheet until firm. Then put them all in a bag and take out and bake as needed. You can also prescoop your cookie dough and freeze like this. I also sometimes make a double batch of pizza dough. I freeze one ball on a plate until it's firm and then store it in a bag.

Terry
5/18/2012 6:21:19 PM

WOW!!! THANK YOU ALL FOR THE GREAT IDEAS! I ASK MYSELF WHY HAVEN'T YOU BEEN DOING THIS A LONG TIME BEFORE NOW? I CAN NOW SAVE MORE AND HAVE MORE OF THINGS SAVED FROM GARDEN OR BOUGHT AT FARMERS MARKET. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!


joyce hill
5/24/2011 11:12:07 AM

I freeze in plastic bags flat in freezer and then put inbetween legs of upside down extender shelves (the ones you get in the dollar store to make two shelves out of one) they act like bookends and my bags don"t go skidding all over.


Trisha_2
8/8/2010 3:56:16 PM

May I suggest you use reuseable containers instead of plastic bags? Plastic doesn't biodegrade, and it will stay in landfulls - or the ocean if you live where they tote trash out on barges - until Jesus comes back. Reuseable containers are far more responsible and respectful of a planet in need of some TLC. I save our extra food and treat the chickens with it. They love a mix of whatever little amounts of veggies are left in the freezer.