Freezer Meals are the result of a carefully thought out remedy for procrastination. Basically, you literally freeze meals in bulk in order to come up with weeks of food preparation. The process of such 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 just get so stressed out after finding out that it is already dinner time! Now, you put yourself in a situation that requires you through 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 just order some Chinese food instead. However, the time there is in between all those conundrum 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 all throughout the day. Not to mention, if you are juggling your work life, family and your personal life as well. Most importantly, despite all the busy schedule, you would always want to have a meal ready.
What are Freezer Meals?
Freezer meals are done through the process of freezer cooking. Literally, it is just the method of cooking your meals in large volumes and freezing them afterwards. 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 manner to do 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, there are some websites, like this for example, that provides 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 allows 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 span of a day? The most important thing that you should do is to set the date of when you are going to do this. Clear that chosen date from any other activities, appointments and other agenda. So, that you have all the time you need to make sure everything goes well, according to plan and successful.
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, then, it can save you some money to recycle those and turn them into freezer meals. Moreover, if it is not enough or you ran 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 to make sure to not forget 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 a successful freezer meals 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 and cooking tools and equipment all prepared. This includes having all the bowls, pots, containers and other 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 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 are you going to prepare. Well, you did already buy the things that you need in 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 a period of time.
Store the Freezer Meals Properly and Neatly
It is important to keep thing neat and in order because cleanliness is a core essential to this whole process. If you want to end up with safe and healthy freezer meals, then make sure that everything is in its proper place. 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 some help from your kids or spouse. It is just fair, don’t you think? Besides, cleaning the kitchen can even be a good way to bond with your family and enjoy as well.
After all of this process, all you have to do is to heat them up 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 the 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 the time and energy to cook in large volumes. However, the aftermath is you get to already have 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 in preparing meals for lunch and/or 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 that you need to finish doing on that day and the days to come. This is a great advantage for those who find themselves with 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 its original nutrients. Although there might be slight differences in texture, color and aroma after thawing. Yet, the nutrients and vitamins it has stays the same and in-tact. As oppose to, having to decide for another drive-thru due to the limited time you have.
So, you do not only save your time and effort, but, you 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 made is safe. Apparently, there some certain factors to keep in mind. This is to make sure that you are making meals that are safe for consumption. You need to consider that you are going to be keeping these meals for days, weeks and even a month. Hence, there is definitely a necessity to make sure that what you are preparing does not get expired or put to waste before consumption.
Freezer meals should be done through 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 assure that what you are putting on to your tables are safe and healthy.
How do you make Sure the your Freezer Meals are Safe?
The United States Department of Agriculture had stated that as long as the food are frozen, it is always guaranteed to be safe. The process of freezing, specifically in zero degree 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 are to do it in longer periods of time. The process of freezing can be effective in a maximum of a month. Yet, it is still essential to just keep yourselves 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 has the ability to provide us with all the answers we need. A specific chart is made available for further references. This chart shows the duration of days it takes for a specific food to only 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 certain things to keep in mind when deciding for what packaging to use.
- What happens to the food after you freeze it? Will it be microwaved? cooked in the oven? Barbecued? These are questions you need to ask yourself to know what appropriate packaging should you 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 a period of time. Additionally, 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.