Straight off the shelf, this paperback resource equips any reader to use the freezer as a second pantry. Simple directions are listed for produce, organized from A to Z, making each food item easy to find as you purge your refrigerator. Learn how to prep, freeze, thaw + use produce from grapes to garlic. The author includes produces I’ve never frozen – citrus, melon, even celery! With clear instructions, thoughtful tips + an extremely readable design, these pages will inspire any reader to use their freezer more often + well.
Author Crystal Schmidt discusses flavor, texture + prep, then how to freeze – spread trays initially, in packages/containers, etc. – by individual item. If the produce is finicky when thawed, instructions pave the way. Schmidt also offers recipes for using the frozen items based on popularity… or the oddball ingredient. There’s practical advice in the “Freezing Basics” chapter that covers topics from how to use the thawed goods to freezer organization. Schmidt’s master class in freezer use will reduce the food waste in any household + open a new wave of thinking about your freezer.
What i tried:
My favorite tidbidt is the veggie-scrap container for last-minute broth, included here with tips + recipe. I’ve been preserving vegetable odds-and-ends this for several months now and the collected scraps made the BEST vegetable broth I’ve ever made. We’ve used it in several soups so far. There’s really no going back to bouillon cubes!
Instant Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (page 57) – creamy with a slushie consistency that my kids loved!
Ginger – grates perfectly direct from frozen, which saves oh-so-much time, really.
I used the tips from the Herbs section + the Basil Pesto recipe to make Kale Pesto instead. This worked well to finish my minestrone soup – I just added a cube to the top and let it melt while I set the table, then swirled it into the finished soup.
On the upcoming list:
Caramelized Fried Onions (page 123) – what a genius, time-saving idea to do them all at once!
Vanilla Pear Sauce (page 132)
Who is this book written for?
Home cooks tired of throwing away produce or wanting to use the freezer as a pantry. I’d also recommend it to gardeners who want to preserve abundant harvests in the simplest, fastest way possible.