Help and advice

7 foods and drinks to buy now, freeze for later

With food prices on the up, there's never been a better time to bag a bargain at the supermarket or grocery store.
Use-by dates, however, can be restrictive - if you want to stock up without having to eat the same thing for the next three weeks, ask yourself: will it freeze?

You might be surprised by what can be frozen; fish, meat, chips and ready meals are all freeze-able but what about food and drink items like milk or herbs? Take a look at seven items you can buy now and freeze for later.

Milk

If you've stocked up on milk and know it won't all be used before it reaches its use-by date, you can freeze the liquid for up to a month. It'll need to be used quickly after thawing out in the refrigerator so it makes sense to freeze milk in portions; cup-sized freezer containers are ideal. Freezing leftover milk before you head off on holiday is a great way of being economical and making sure you'll have some milk to come home to.

Fresh herbs

Herbs don't last all that long unless you buy them while they're still growing in plant form. If you're planning to purchase a pack of cut herbs, like chives or parsley, and won't be using the whole pack in one go, you can pop them into a freezer bag, seal and freeze them for up to six months. Alternatively, place the herbs in ice cube trays with a little butter or water so you can simply turn out a couple of cubes as and when you need them.

Nuts

Many cake recipes call for nuts and they're especially popular at Christmas-time, so keep any leftover nuts wrapped tightly in plastic and placed in the freezer. They should last for up to six months after freezing and can be defrosted in the fridge or used straight from the freezer in recipes, although the cooking time might be slightly longer.

Cheese

It's often cheaper to buy a bulk amount of cheese than a few smaller packs; pick up a block of hard or semi-hard cheese like Emmental, Parmesan or Cheddar and chop up into sections to save for later. Cheese should be wrapped up tightly in cling-film and stored in a freezer bag for up to four months. Once thawed, the cheese may be crumbly, so it's better for using in cooking or for cheese on toast than slicing for sandwiches.

Citrus juice and zest

When recipes call for a squirt of fresh lemon juice, it seems a waste to throw away the rest of the fruit. Instead, squeeze the remaining juice into ice cube trays and freeze indefinitely. You can also store the rind of the fruit for zest - simply grate, wrap tightly in plastic and keep in a freezer bag for up to six months.

Bread

Take advantage of those three-for-two offers on your favourite bread brand by picking up an extra loaf and putting it in the freezer. Bread can be frozen for up to six months - just make sure it's properly wrapped in the freezer. Let the loaf defrost overnight before eating, or use the bread for toast straight from the freezer.

Eggs

Crack eggs and pour into freezer containers or individually into ice cube trays and store in the freezer for up to a year. Simply thaw the eggs in the fridge and use them as usual in baking, scrambled eggs or omelettes. Eggs can also be whisked together and stored in the same way.


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