ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Five Things I Always Keep In My Freezer

Updated on June 10, 2012
peas and corn are my favorite frozen veggies to keep on hand
peas and corn are my favorite frozen veggies to keep on hand
nothing handles a craving in a pinch like a scoop of ice cream
nothing handles a craving in a pinch like a scoop of ice cream
See those vents? Good. Keep them clear to keep your freezer working its best.
See those vents? Good. Keep them clear to keep your freezer working its best.

I have recently noticed that there are several items I am so accustomed to having in my freezer that I am lost without them. These are my favorite freezer items to keep on hand and why.

1. Ice

I know. Obvious, right? Not for everyone. I have been places without ice in the freezer, or at most, a few stray cubes. For those of you with ice makers built into your fridge, supplying the ice is done for you. Unfortunately for me, when my landlord finally replaced the harvest gold (gotta love the 70's!) monster with a new unit, he did not spring for the extra bells and whistles. I keep just one ice cube tray and use it to fill a small plastic container. That way I always have a few handfuls of ice on hand. When it looks like I am getting low, I empty the tray into the container and fill it back up with water. One tray and a container rather that multiple trays makes the ice retrieval much simpler. There is no fighting with that stubborn cube that wont come out, or pulling out a tray to find only a few stray cubes, or even worse, thinking you are grabbing a tray of ice only to find someone just filled it with water. Why have ice at all? I for one, enjoy a few cubes in my beverage on a warm day. It is also nice to have on hand for guests. And emergencies. Its much nicer to throw a few cubes in a Ziploc for that burn or sprain than it is to be using that beautiful rib-eye!

2. Frozen Veggies

These are great to have on hand. They have a longer shelf life and have just as much, or more, nutrition than their fresh counterparts. They also tend to have better color and texture than canned vegetables. Which ones to keep on hand is a matter of personal taste and cooking style. I have never been fond of frozen beans or carrots. Only fresh will do it for me with those guys. That being said, there are a few frozen veggies that I can't live without: peas, corn, and spinach. I will cook these as a side dish alone or blended together. They are also great added to other dishes. I add corn or spinach to omelettes. Try an omelette with peppers and corn, or spinach and feta. Frozen peas and corn also make great additions to salads. They add color and texture to tuna, chicken, or pasta salads. I will even add them to tossed salads when I want to switch things up a bit. A word of caution to dieters: peas and corn will add extra calories, so be careful. Also, frozen veggies can release a bit of water when they defrost. I recommend defrosting them before adding to omlettese and salads to avoid making them watery. You dont have to heat until hot, just enough to melt them and drain the water.

3. Frozen Hamburger Patties

I am not talking about those things that come in a box or bag that resemble hockey pucks. If that's your thing, go ahead. But there are a few good reasons to make your own. For one thing, it will save you money. The next time you are making a dish with ground beef, spring for the bigger package. Many times it will cost you less per pound. Use what you need for that meal and make small to medium sized patties. Wrap these individually and then place them in a freezer bag. They defrost quickly and easily, or can be cooked frozen over a medium heat (don't put the heat up to high or you will end up with a charred outside and cold center). You can also use them for dishes that require ground beef. Just break up the patties. Trust me, it is a lot easier to go from a frozen patty to plain ground beef than it is to go from a frozen chunk of ground beef to a patty. There are many nights when burger patties in the freezer saved me from a night of expensive and not so healthy take-out.

This can also be done with ground pork, chicken, or turkey. I also freeze boneless chicken or pork when I can get it on sale. However, these take longer to defrost and so require some planning. Always wrap individual patties or cutlets. This allows you to easily control how many portions you defrost.

4. Ice cream

Plain chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ice cream are great to have on hand. I tend not to keep baked goods or candy around lest I have one of my weak moments and eat half a cake or a dozen cookies. I am also only an occasional dessert eater. Nightly indulgence never fails to lead to extra pounds. But I do indulge now and then. For those of you like me that get a craving for dessert, but don't have the best willpower, ice cream is great. Plain ice cream is relatively low in calories compared to other desserts. About 150 calories per serving. And because it's cold, it is a lot less likely that you will down the whole dish in under two minutes, giving your body time to register and stop you from overeating. If you aren't a fan of the plain stuff you can add some fruit or granola or a small amount of your favorite topping. I also make the occasional shake: icecream, milk, stir. And have added a small scoop to iced coffee.

5. Space

Hmm. Is space a "thing"? Well, for the purpose of this hub, let's just say it is. I am always sure to keep some space in my freezer. I have seen freezers packed so tight you would be hard pressed to squeeze in one more cube of ice. Not a good idea. Take a look in your freezer. If you see vents that is a good thing. If not, move some things around. Did you uncover a vent? If so, keep it that way. Blocking the vents decreases the efficiency of your freezer. Another reason to leave space is so that you have some wiggle room. If it is packed so tight you need extra body weight to get the door shut, how on earth are you going to get to that item in the back without taking a bunch of things out? More importantly, how are you going to even know that thing in the back is there? While forgotten items in your fridge will announce their overly long stay with an rather unpleasant odor, frozen items do not. It is not difficult for that ice cream sandwich to turn into something resembling the iceberg that sunk the Titanic when it has been hiding behind the TV dinners for months. And the last reason to leave some room is so you can put something else in there! Believe it or not, I have returned from the store with someone who opened their freezer to put away his groceries only to discover there was not enough room. Don't be that guy!

I hope that you have gained a few nuggets of information from this hub. If you are itching for some more check out the links I have provided. Enjoy your foray into the world of your freezer with all the gusto of an explorer headed on an artic expedition!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I'm a bad one for filling my freezer full. I get this idea we're going to get snowed in and might need the food. One thing I always keep in the freezer is chicken breast and thighs.

      I didn't know there were so many people that loved ice the way I do. I always ask for extra and once I drink the drink I eat the ice if I'm not eating out.

      Voted Up.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks again! Overstuffed freezers kill me! My boyfriend does the same thing. And I swear some of those things have been in there a year or more. Seriously?! He's lucky I love him! :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Dana--another great hub! I like all the things you keep in your freezer. I am guilty of stuffing my freezer to the brim. I'm trying to work on that. Interesting hub. Besides funny, I voted it up, useful, interesting, and awesome!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading! great to hear there is another ice lover out there! my favorite thing about getting soda out is that its mostly ice. i know they are ripping me off, but i dont care!wait until its 90 degrees this summer and everyone is drinking warm beverages except for us prepared people!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Yo! Ice! I am your ice-sister. There are so many uses for it, but most important to me, I'm an ice freak. If I order an iced tea or soda out, I ask the server to fill the glass with ice and then add the beverage. They look at me like I'm crazy, but that's the way I like it. I do happen to have a fridge model that's newer than the harvest gold (avocado was a great color, too!) and indeed it has an auto ice maker. I worked long and hard for that one!

      Space is a totally vital thing to keep in the freezer.

      I think you are well-prepared...frozen veggies, patties, and ice. No ice cream for me (lactose), so my other favorite is homemade chicken stock. You can pour it on anything.

      Super hub. Up, useful, funny, too.