We bought a used upright freezer for $100 and I am learning what I can freeze and the best way to freeze stuff. We are buying as fresh produce as we can (and getting some for free) and I am figuring out ways to save it. Also since I had my WLS I need a lot protein and we have had some good luck getting shredded cheese and even meat on discount but never really been able to take advantage of the sales as much as we would like since we had no place to store/freeze stuff.
I use this site as my freezing/storage bible STAY TASTY
Some of my experiments right now are with vegetables:
My current experiment is Acorn squash, you can freeze it once you cook it, either in a mash or as cubes… I like it mashed and then mixed with an egg, a little milk and shredded Italian cheese (I have to get protein as much as I can) and then baked like a sweet potato casserole (minus all the sugar, though I figure if I want to make it sweet I can add a tbs of Torani Brown Sugar and Cinnamon SF syrup to it) it is also great for thickening soups in place of potatoes. This works for other winter squashes as well actually.
I am also making my own roasted tomato sauce and freezing it in muffin tins then putting it in baggies (I use snack and sandwich baggies then put them inside a thick freezer bag and that way I can reuse the thicker bags)I also made a large curry with coconut milk and a little of my pepper jelly and some pesto with fresh basil we were given. Every time I make a sauce now I make extra and freeze it so I can have some in the future, I know SAD will hit this winter and I wont feel as much like cooking so I am getting ahead.
I am also using muffin tins to freeze cold brew (strong) extra coffee with a little milk so I can use it for protein drinks in the morning and since I am trying to remember to take a small container of cottage cheese with fruit to the coffee shop with me (I have containers with ice pack lids). I bought some cans of light fruit – peaches, apricots and Mandarin oranges in pear juice and crushed pineapple – and mixed them together after dicing the bigger stuff up and then froze them in muffin tins, this way I take one of my cottage cheese cups and a small cup with frozen fruit that usually thaws by the time I get ready to eat it. the 4 cans gave me 10 portions and this way I wont be as likely to snack on the fruit at other times and they are portion controlled.
I am trying to get a grip on the food we eat, less canned, less waste and less chemicals and certainly less cost.
ALSO … This extra idea involves the freezer and the fact that we are trying to eat healthier and more veggies but we live in an apartment and can’t compost here…on the other hand my mom has a house, a garden and a compost pile and there I am with a big ass freezer and at least one 2 gallon bucket with lid. Solution! I am freezer composting – well saving stuff in the bucket for composting then sending the stuff to mom when it is full, she can toss it frozen into the compost.