I touched on the subject of flash freezing briefly in a recent post for Nutella Stuffed French Toast Sticks and thought it was a subject worthy of looking at in a little more detail. Flash freezing is the process of freezing individual portions of food so you can use what you need, as you need it. In this post we’ll go through the process with some strawberries and peaches but flash freezing is a great method for a variety of different foods. Here are some of my favorites:
- Fresh berries and fruits
- Cooked or uncooked meat, meatballs, hot dogs, and sausages
- Baked cookies, muffins, and breads
- Unbaked, shaped cookie dough or dinner rolls
- Pancakes, waffles, or French toast
Flash freezing helps greatly with portion control. No more “I’d hate to waste all these cookies. I’d better eat the whole dozen”. Gosh darn it. If you shape and flash freeze your cookie dough, you can bake up smaller batches and keep the rest in the freezer for later. It also allows you to defrost exactly the amount of meat you need on any given night for dinner. Do you ever have those nights you planned for six and end up with just three? This is a common occurrence in my house. I also LOVE to flash freeze homemade pancakes, waffles, and French toast to have on hand in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast.
I believe Boy #4 could drink his weight in smoothies so when I see a good price on berries or other fruits at the peak of their season, it’s time to get to work. There are more intensive methods you can use, and some fruits freeze and thaw better than others, but berries flash freeze beautifully! I’ve also had great success using this easy method with peaches and mangoes. We make our smoothies by throwing frozen fruit directly into the blender without thawing and flash freezing works perfectly for almost any fruit when used for this purpose.
Rinse your strawberries and then transfer them to paper towels to drain.
Peek-a-boo! Blot the tops of the berries with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. You don’t want them going into the freezer wet or ice crystals will form.
Slice off the green stem ends and place the strawberries on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
On to the peaches. Peel and pit them.
Slice them up.
Set them on a wax paper lined baking sheet, making sure there is a little space between each slice.
Transfer the baking sheets to the freezer for at least a couple of hours or more, until the fruit is frozen solid. Just shove that baking sheet in anywhere it will fit. Mine fits comfortably on top of my vacuum sealed meats.
A few hours later you will have perfectly flash frozen fruit ready to be packaged up.
Store flash frozen items in freezer safe plastic storage bags or any other airtight, freezer safe containers.
A couple of important notes:
- Always defrost frozen items in the refrigerator or microwave, not on your kitchen counter. This is especially vital for meats and other perishable items.
- For the best quality, you should use most frozen items within three months, except for berries. They will be happy in your freezer for six months or more.
Go freeze somethin’!