Your freezer can be a handy place to store healthy foods — not just a place for ice cubes and frozen dinners. The experts at Food Network say that the following foods store well in your freezer and can be ready for healthy cooking at your convenience. So, stock up on BOGOs and sleep better knowing you’ve got a fully stocked freezer.
1. Egg whites. If you make homemade pudding, mayonnaise, or ice cream chances are you have orphaned egg whites on hand. You can freeze the whites for up to 12 months and use them for macaroons, angel food cake or egg white omelets. For best results, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Lunchmeats. There’s no need to make a last-minute dash to the grocery store if you’re a brown-bagger. Stock up on luncheon meats on sale and store them in freezer bags until ready to use. They stay fresh for up to two months.
3. Bread. Bread can go stale fast, especially if you live alone. Sliced sandwich bread is good for three months in the freezer and all you have to do is pop a slice or two in the toaster and you’re ready to go. Storing bread in the refrigerator tends to dry it out.
4. Nuts. The oils in these healthy snacks can go bad after two weeks at room temperature. Freezing slows down their decline. But make sure you remove just the portion you need for a few days. If you keep opening and losing the bag of nuts in the freezer, you will introduce moisture and the potential for contamination.
5. Milk. If you’ve bought more milk than you need, or have a sudden unplanned trip out of town, you can safely freeze milk for up to three months.
6. Grains. Pantry staples like quinoa, farro, and bulgur last up to three months at room temperature which is plenty of time for most people. But if you find you bought extra packages on sale, store them safely in the freezer for up to 6 months.
7. Smoked salmon. A vacuum sealed package of salmon or even trout or mackerel is good for two months in the freezer. Freeze a package of bagels alongside the salmon for a quick brunch treat! Unfortunately, cream cheese does not freeze well!
8. Tofu. Although the texture will become much denser, you can safely freeze tofu for up to 5 months to throw into your smoothies or stir fries.
9. Tortillas. Freeze tortillas but make sure to defrost them in the fridge and not the microwave or they will turn rubbery.
10. Applesauce. If you’ve cooked a huge batch of homemade applesauce, it will keep its yummy goodness for up to 12 months in the freezer. Just make sure you leave a lot of head space in the container.
11. Bacon. Portion bacon into handy serving sizes between sheets of waxed paper and store in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge and the bacon will be all set to cook in the morning.
12. Bananas. Fruits like bananas and avocado will become mushy after spending time in the freezer, but they are still perfect for baking or adding to smoothies. You can freeze bananas with or without the skin. To freeze avocados, peel them and mash with a little lime or lemon juice before placing in a storage bag for freezing.