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As your family starts to grow, a chest freezer can be one of your life’s biggest money- and time-saving purchases. They’re usually less than $200, which will pay for itself quickly by letting you buy food in bulk and when it’s on sale, reduce waste by freezing leftovers, and save trips to the store by keeping more food on hand at home.
Some foods don’t freeze well. Certain vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, bean sprouts and raw potatoes go mushy when thawed, boiled eggs get rubbery, dairy products and egg sauces may separate.
The key to good frozen food is getting as much air out of the package as possible before freezing. Freezer-safe plastic bags are great for ground meat, soups and sauces: store in single-serving sizes, then thaw the bag in a bowl of warm water and then turn the bag inside-out to reheat in the microwave or a pan. For dishes like lasagna or casserole, assemble in a foil pan that can be placed directly in the oven.
Some recipes good for freezing:
- Freeze-Ahead Fish Sticks
- Bursting-With-Flavor No-Burn Curry
- Zesty Romesco Sauce
- Soothing Applesauce
- Simple and Luscious Sweet Potato Soup
- Asparagus Soup
- Carrot-Ginger Soup
- Easy-Not-Queasy Vegetable Soup
- Better-Than-Canned Chicken Soup