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Foods not to freeze: what they are and why

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Introduction

Freezing food is a great way to extend the shelf life of food and better manage spending, saving money and precious time preparing meals. Using the freezer correctly, however, can prove to be a problem that leads to storing foods in the freezer that should not be frozen due to changes in flavour, consistency and food safety risks. First of all, food should be stored in the freezer in airtight containers as exposure to oxygen causes freezer burn and food can also absorb odors.

Effective use of what you freeze is important. It is essential, for example, to consume any frozen food within a few weeks or at most three months, although the preservation period of some foods is much longer and safe for health, but to maintain excellent quality, it is best to respect longer times short.

Foods not to be frozen

Whole eggs

Eggs can be frozen, both yolks and whites, but cooked or raw, without the shell. During the freezing process, the contents of the shell expand, causing it to crack. The consistency of the yolk becomes very rubbery when frozen.

Celery, Salads, Leafy green vegetables (raw)

Raw celery should not be frozen because its consistency and flavor change: it becomes soft and quickly develops an oxidized colour, flavor and aroma. One way to store it in the freezer: Slice celery, blanch it—that is, drop it in boiling water for two to three minutes—and then freeze it when it cools for use in soups and stews.

As with celery, when frozen raw, endive, a leafy vegetable to be eaten both cooked and raw, will sag and undergo changes in color and flavor. Due to the high water content, the texture of lettuce is also negatively affected when defrosted. The same goes for raw vegetables, such as spinach and kale, although, unlike lettuce, you can blanch them for use in cooking later, although their flavor will be less persistent because the blanching process interrupts the enzymatic actions.

Cheeses: which ones to freeze and which ones not to put in the freezer

Many cheeses can be frozen, while others should only be stored in the refrigerator. As a general rule, while hard cheeses, such as cheddar and parmesan, can be frozen, if well wrapped, for up to three months before becoming floury, soft cheeses do not freeze very well, as their texture will change . An example: brie, gorgonzola, camembert etc

Likewise, fresh cheeses such as ricotta and crescenza should also not be frozen. While it can be done safely, freezing cottage cheese will change its consistency, resulting in an unsatisfactory product when thawed.

Vegetables not to be frozen raw

Courgettes should not be frozen raw, but only cooked: the cold would make the consistency mushy once defrosted. Radishes also become soggy and waterlogged when they thaw. Freezing raw, baked, or boiled potatoes whole will produce a grainy texture. Tomatoes also don't go in the freezer: it's another fruit with a high water content, so once thawed it would lose its consistency. Better to freeze cooked tomatoes.

Already cooked pasta and rice

Already boiled pasta and rice should not be frozen because they lose consistency and tend to compact. Even more important, for boiled rice is food safety as a product vulnerable to food poisoning.

Fruit not to be frozen

Most fruits have better texture and flavor when eaten fresh. To reduce browning and loss of flavor, they should be treated with ascorbic acid before freezing. Alternatively, to reduce any food waste, you can peel, slice and cook fruit such as apples, pears, peaches, apricots before freezing.

Strawberries and berries can be frozen, but they should be used for the preparation of cakes, plum cakes or biscuits, then added to a mixture, not consumed as fresh because the consistency will be very soft, although the flavor will not change.

Sauces: do not freeze them

Sauces such as mayonnaise, ketchup, Béarnaise sauce, tuna sauce, tartare or cream-based ones, such as sour cream, should not be stored in the freezer. Sour cream, for example, will look broken down. The thawed mayonnaise, being an emulsion of oil and eggs, will transform into a watery cream with a consistency similar to curd.

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