"SURE, A FREEZER IS USEFUL. BUT IT’S SO MUCH MORE. IT’S PRACTICALLY MAGIC — A TOOL THAT ALLOWS YOU TO PUSH THE PAUSE BUTTON ON FOOD IN YOUR KITCHEN." ~Save The Food

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Freezing food is one of the areas that we must bend when talking about traditional kitchen. As soon as freezer boxes were created, civilizations were finding ways to use this to their advantage. Small Batch Wellness and therefore Purposeful Nourishment is grounded in Holistic Nutrition; we celebrate fresh food as paramount and while we wish to be alongside you always cooking fresh, the realities of modern life means that we must maximize our freezer. 

First off, start off cleaning your freezer out. Get rid of the old, mystery packages that have been lurking. We need to make space and if you have a second fridge or deep freezer, clean that out as well.

There are buckets of reasons why freezing preserves nutrients and are often favored over food that's been sitting on shelves for ages. Here we are working towards rounding out the pantry so that you have meals and prepped ingredients  ready to be pulled.

 

  • Grains! Yes, this is a weird one but you absolutely can and should prepare some plain grains (and pseudo grains) to be eaten later. This is not just for the postpartum person but also nourishment for support persons and siblings. Here is the best way to do this.

  • Veggies-  Here we are going to 'rice' veggies and use the provided strainer bags to get them in your freezer ready to cook up fast. 

  • Stewed Fruit

  • Congee + Kitchari with all the fixins in the provided compostable containers

  • Soups in the provided compostable containers. 

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  • Cool food before putting in the freezer. Ideally, foods (like a porridge) should be brought down in temperature as quickly as possible.  However, this does not mean shoving hot food in the freezer, cool on a counter or even better in an ice bath will do nicely.  Warm food in the freezer compromises the other food in there as well as makes your freezer work harder. 
     

  • Leave room for expansion. Always leave about a half inch to an inch in containers so liquid can expand. Pay particular attention to this when using glass.
     

  • Air is the enemy. Too much space or excess air can create freezer burn so if using bags, squeeze the air out. FYI:Water crystals aren't freezer burn and are normal thing to be found on the top of frozen food.
     

  • Get comfortable freezing for individual servings. This is meal prep 101 but ever more important in the postpartum. (The compostable porridge containers we send over are perfect for this.) Sometimes this means freezing in two stages.  For instance, laying out your riced veg flat so they can freeze not in one giant unmanageable lump and then once properly frozen, then transfer to a bag.  Same with berries, lay out on a cookie sheet to freeze, then transfer. Muffin tins are great for smaller portions too!
     

  • Label and lay flat! Be sure to label what an item is with the date and if it's a bag, lay flat. Space will be at a premium :)
     

  • You’ve taken care to freeze your foods to their best advantage, now give some time and attention to proper thawing. The safest ways to defrost frozen foods are by placing them in the fridge (overnight will usually do it), in the microwave (settings vary according to model), or in a bowl of cold water. Food safety experts do not recommend thawing on the kitchen counter or in warm water. And, yes, you can refreeze your food, as long as you’ve followed one of the procedures to defrost it safely in the first place.
     

  • Defrost with care. After all that hard work, defrosting should be done thoughtfully.  Ideally, pull from freezer the night before and place in fridge.  If that doesn't work, you do a bowl of cool water. When in doubt a microwave can work - just don't over do it!

Freezing Grains or Riced Veggies: Prepare as per instructions on the link, when it’s time to eat them simply toss them into some oil, water, or sauce until warmed through. Unlike other foods, you shouldn’t thaw in the fridge because this could give them an undesirable sticky, mushy texture.

Freezing Broth: Cool broth completely before putting into the freezer. It's great to use ice cub trays for smaller portions.  Remember broth is often recommended as a 'drink' so bare that in mind when portioning everything out.  

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