Whew! We’re two-thirds through the month of October so also two-thirds through this freezer cooking series. Are you enjoying it? Have you gained some new recipes? Is your freezer getting full? I certainly hope so, because I am – and mine is! Instead of sharing a new recipe today, I want to share two freezer tricks that I will be using in some upcoming recipes.
The first trick is to prepare what I like to call onion bundles. I don’t know about you, but chopping onions is NOT my favorite kitchen task. It always makes me tear up. Since I don’t want to do that every time a recipe calls for diced onions, I dice my onions ahead of time. Since I normally dice 3 to 5 pounds of onions at a time, I get out my Pampered Chef food chopper. It helps me be much more efficient in the kitchen!
Once I have half of an onion or a whole one (depending on the size) diced, I scoop the onion pieces onto a square of saran wrap. I put around 1/2 cup of diced onions in each bundle. Then, I pull the long edges together and roll the saran wrap together, much like you would a taco. Finally, I twist the ends and pull them together to tie the bundles in a knot. Repeat with more onions and continue making more bundles.
When you are finished, put all your onion bundles in a freezer Ziploc bag. Store the onion bundles in the freezer until you need some diced onions. Pull a bundle out of the freezer, untie and dump into your recipe. Most times I don’t bother to thaw the bundles, but if you need to thaw them, you can do so by quickly running the onion bundle under hot water.
Over the weekend, I diced up 3 pounds of onions which turned into 15 onion bundles. You can easily make your bundles bigger or smaller depending on your recipes. 1/2 cup fits most recipes but it’s also easy for me to add two bundles if I need more onions in a specific recipe. I love not getting my hands all smelly every time I need fresh onions! This trick is such a lifesaver for me.
My second favorite freezer trick is regarding cheese. For awhile, I was finding great deals on the shredded cheese and stocking my freezer with them. However, once I started looking at all the artificial ingredients used to coat the cheese (and keep it from sticking), I decided to go back to buying the natural cheese blocks. I felt better about my choice, but I missed the convenience of grabbing a bag of cheese from the freezer whenever I needed one. Then, I realized that I could make my own bags of shredded cheese!
It’s easy to do. I simply take an 8 ounce block of cheese and grate it. Then, I pour all the cheese into a sandwich bag. I use a sharpie to label the outside of the bag with the type of cheese. I’ve found that 8 ounces of block cheese equals about 2 cups of shredded cheese. Then, I throw the bags of cheese in my downstairs freezer so I can throw together any recipe with cheese much quicker!
Did you know you can cheese freeze? Cheese freezes wonderfully! However, I don’t recommend freezing blocks of cheese. Shred it or slice it BEFORE you freeze it. That said, whenever I find a great deal on cheese, I make sure to stock up! Cheese is a staple in our fridge and freezer.
Those are two of my favorite freezer tricks that I use on regular basis. Do you have any freezer tricks that you do to save time? For all my other freezer cooking recipes, click on the button below.