Freezer Meals are the result of a carefully thought-out remedy for procrastination. You freeze meals in bulk to come up with weeks of food preparation. The process of such a manner is called Freezer Cooking.
Have you ever been in that situation wherein you are just so preoccupied with the demands of life? Then, suddenly you get so stressed out after finding out that it is already dinner time! Now, you put yourself in a situation that requires you to rush decision-making. You are like in a video game trying to accomplish a mission with limited time resources. So, you think about either going to McDonald's drive-thru or ordering some Chinese food instead. However, the time between those problems is just enough to cause rumbling sounds to your stomachs.
Decision-making is something that you do not want to be rushed at, yes? You always want to be prepared no matter what circumstances may come along your way, especially if you are that type of person who is ultimately busy throughout the day. Not to mention if you are juggling your work life, family, and personal life. Most importantly, despite all the busy schedules, you would always want to have a meal ready.
What are Freezer Meals?
Freezer meals are done through the process of freezer cooking. It is just the method of cooking your meals in large volumes and freezing them afterward. For beginners, you could always start and try by doing it in small, reasonable amounts. But, it would cost you time and effort. The most cost-efficient and time-conserving way of freezer meals is to have them cooked in bulks and freeze them altogether.
There are no exact procedures or manners on what to cook and how to cook the meals you want. Although, some websites like this provide you with a variety of options on what to cook. You still have the freedom of choice to choose the meals you would want to eat.
How to Prepare a Month of Freezer Meals in only a Day
Isn't it amazing that you can now make meals that will be good for one month, in only a day? It is like having extraordinary powers that allow you to prepare for the future. Well, in terms of combating hunger, of course.
So, how is that made possible? How can you cook a month of meals in only a day? The most important thing that you should do is set the date of when you will do this. Clear that chosen date from any other activities, appointments, and other plans. So, you have all the time you need to make sure everything goes well, according to plan and success.
Below you will find the necessary information you need to know to make this possible.
Make an Inventory of What you Already Have and What you Do not Have.
If you have some leftover food, it can save you some money to recycle those and turn them into freezer meals. Moreover, if it is not enough or you run out of supplies, make a detailed and complete list of the things you need. Included in this step is already planning out the meals you are going to make. You have not forgotten a single ingredient to save your time and effort later on.
This is the step wherein you buy all the cooking supplies and ingredients you need. This already includes the freezer bags or packages that you need for your freezer meals. Generally, everything that you need to achieve successful freezer meal making.
Prepare and Organize
After you have finished shopping for the things you need, it is time to prepare and organize everything. This process is to allow you to have a smooth-sailing freezer cooking process. So, make sure that your freezer is clean and you already have the desired and enough space that you need.
Next, Mise en place! This is a French term that means having all your ingredients, cooking tools, and equipment prepared. This includes having all the bowls, pots, containers, and another cooking equipment set. Plus, having all the ingredients sliced, chopped, peeled, measured, etc.
The last thing that you should have prepared and organized is the order of your meals. What meal are you going to cook first, next, and last? This will keep you on the schedule, stay focused, and be collected in this process.
In this step, it is all on you! You can have fun and enjoy making the freezer meals you like. I am sure that you already have the recipes planned out as to what meals you will prepare. Well, you did already buy the things that you need at this point. So, it is safe to assume that you got this one! But, just in case that you are unsure of what meals to prepare, do not forget that the internet is your best friend. There are a lot of recipes made available nowadays, also in freezer meals preparation too. However, to save you the time and trouble from opening a new tab and searching for the recipes here is a few that is commonly suggested and prepared when it comes to making freezer meals:
Freezer Meals Recipes:
- Buttermilk Pancakes
- Quesadilla with Cheese, Spinach and White Beans
- French Toast Casserole
- Scrambled Egg Muffins
- Baked Chicken Strips
- Granola Bars
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Fried Rice with Green Peas
- Chicken Pesto Alfredo
- Beef Stew
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Boneless BBQ Ribs
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Burger Steak with Gravy Sauce
The only thing that you need to make sure of is that all your processes are clean and sanitized. This is to avoid contamination on the food that might lead to bacteria build-up as you freeze them for some time.
Store the Freezer Meals Properly and Neatly
It is important to keep things neat and in order because cleanliness is essential to this whole process. If you want to end up with safe and healthy freezer meals, make sure that everything is properly. Prevent any damages on the packaging or containers to avoid any air or substances from entering. Furthermore, to avoid leakage in the whole freezer.
Clean the Kitchen!
By this time, you will already find yourself exhausted from all the chaos you had to go through. But, you need to push yourself a little more and clean the kitchen spotless. Well, you can always ask for some help from your kids or spouse. It is just fair. Besides, cleaning the kitchen can even be a good way to bond with your family and enjoy yourself.
After all of this process, you have to heat them, and your meals are ready for munching!
Why Should you Opt for Freezer Meals?
The sole purpose of freezer meals is to provide you with ease in preparation
and save you a lot of time
. For the reason that you get to spend only one day or even just a few hours to cook all the meals, you would want. It may take time and energy to cook in large volumes
. However, the aftermath is you get to have already prepped up meals for the remaining days and even weeks to come.
You can now get to say good riddance on those hectic mornings trying to prepare breakfast for the whole bunch. Also, say goodbye to the long hours
you spend preparing meals for lunch and dinner. All at the same time while trying to juggle unfinished chores.
This means that you can now save those extra hours to do the things you need to finish doing on that day and the days to come. This is a great advantage
for those who find little time to prep up some meals for themselves or their family.
Furthermore, what is also great about freezer meals is that it gets to retain their original nutrients
. However, there might be slight differences in texture, color, and aroma after thawing. Yet, the nutrients and vitamins it has stayed the same and intact as opposed to deciding on another drive-thru due to the limited time you have.
So, you not only save your time and effort but also get to provide healthy meals
for the family.
Is Freezer Cooking a Safe Process for Meal Preparation?
They say anyone can always try and freezer cook their prepared meals. However, not everyone can ensure that what they make is safe. There are certain factors to keep in mind. This is to make sure that you are making meals that are safe for consumption
. It would be best if you considered that you would be keeping these meals for days, weeks, and even a month. Hence, there is necessary to make sure that what you are preparing does not expire or be put to waste before consumption.
Freezer meals should be done by carefully planning
the ingredients to be used and the steps to take. It is all easy and convenient until a member of the family gets sick. The sickness may potentially be due to bacteria build-up or foodborne diseases
. Therefore, it is just as important to ensure that what you are putting on your tables is safe and healthy.
How do you make sure your Freezer Meals are Safe?
The United States Department of Agriculture had stated that as long as the food is frozen, it is always guaranteed to be safe. The freezing process, specifically at zero degrees temperature, prevents the growth of bacteria or other microorganisms in the food.
The Number of Days the Food Needs to be Frozen
However, the same principle does not apply if we do it for more extended periods. The process of freezing can be effective in a maximum of a month. Yet, it is still essential to keep yourself aware and informed. You need to equip yourselves with knowledge of the different types of food that can or can not be frozen.
Fortunately, the internet can provide us with all the answers we need. A specific chart is made available for further references. This chart
shows the days
it takes for a specific food only to be kept frozen. The good news is that the mentioned food variations on this chart can be frozen for a month or more.
The Type of Packaging you Should do or use
Another factor to consider when freezing meals is the kind of packaging to be used. Proper packaging
ensures and maintains the quality of the meals. A lot of meal packaging variations are available in nearby stores. Examples of these are freezer bags, plastic containers, disposable foil pans, or other freezer-proof material. There are certain things to keep in mind
when deciding what packaging to use.
- What happens to the food after you freeze it? Will it be microwaved and cooked in the oven? Barbecued? These are questions you need to ask yourself to know what appropriate packaging you should use for that particular food.
- You have to make sure that the packaging you will use is made for freezing. It should be thick enough to endure the freezing temperature over some time. It also has to prevent air or any matter from coming in, should not leak and does not break easily.
As you do this, it is recommended to add labels to your packaging
. Label the freezer meals with the date, the name of the meal, cooking directions, and other important information. This will allow you to ensure that the freezer meals are prepared well and will not be put to waste.