I am all about easy tricks that make mealtime prep faster. That is why I am excited to share with you two of my favorite kitchen hacks – both of which are perfect for freezer cooking!
In addition to keeping my freezer stocked with meat, I like to always have my freezer stocked with 2 of the most common cooking ingredients – diced onions and shredded cheese.
It still amazes me how much time these two simple freezer tricks save me. If you are not already freezing these things, add them to your freezer cooking list!
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How to Freeze Onions
The best way to freeze onions is diced and in small packets.
I don’t know about you, but chopping onions is NOT my favorite kitchen task. It always makes me tear up. Since I don’t want to do that every time a recipe calls for diced onions, I dice my onions ahead of time.
I typically buy 3 to 6 pounds pounds of onions and dice them all at once. My Pampered Chef food processor (similar to this one) helps me be much more efficient with this task!
Once I have diced several onions, I scoop the chopped onions onto a square of saran wrap. I put around 1/2 cup of diced onions in each bundle. You can put more or less in your bundles. For me, this seems to be the amount I use in most of my recipes. Make your bundles with the appropriate amount of onions for one recipe.
Then, I pull the long edges together and roll the saran wrap together, much like you would a taco. Finally, I twist the ends and pull them together to tie the bundles in a knot.
It’s not fancy, but here’s a picture of how I freeze onions.
Repeat with more onions and continue making more bundles.
You can also make bundles with sheets of foil or snack size sandwich bags. The storage method doesn’t matter because the process is the same.
When you are finished, put all your onion bundles in a freezer Ziploc bag. Store the onion bundles in the freezer until you need some diced onions.
The next time you need onions, simply pull a bundle out of the freezer, untie and dump into your recipe. Most times I don’t bother to thaw the bundles. If you need to thaw the onions, you can do so by quickly running the onion bundle under hot water. You can also unwrap the onions and microwave for 15 seconds or so.
I love not getting my hands all smelly every time I need fresh onions! It also keeps my onions from going bad because they stay fresh in the freezer. This onion trick is such a lifesaver for me.
How to Freeze Cheese
I don’t know about your family, but we go through a lot of cheese in our household!
For awhile, I was finding great deals on the shredded cheese and stocking my freezer with them. However, once I started looking at all the artificial ingredients used to coat the cheese (and keep it from sticking), I decided to go back to buying the natural cheese blocks. It’s one of my baby steps to healthy food choices.
While I feel better about my choice, I still miss the convenience of grabbing a bag of cheese from the freezer whenever I need one. Then, I realized that I could make my own bags of shredded cheese!
It’s easy to do. I simply take an 8 ounce block of cheese and grate it. Then, I pour all the cheese into a sandwich bag. I use a sharpie to label the outside of the bag with the type of cheese. I’ve found that 8 ounces of block cheese equals a little more than 2 cups of shredded cheese. Then, I throw the bags of cheese in my freezer so I can easily prepare any recipe with cheese much quicker!
Running short on time? Buy the shredded bags of cheese and freeze those. (I still do…on occasion.) We go through a lot of cheese and it is the one thing I always try to have in my fridge and freezer.
Cheese freezes wonderfully! However, I don’t recommend freezing blocks of cheese. Shred it or slice it before you freeze it. Blocks of cheese last a long time in the fridge but if you want to save yourself more time, grate cheese for the freezer.
Those are two of my favorite freezer tricks that I use on regular basis. Do you have any freezer tricks that you do to save time?