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Freeze, Thaw, Heat! Getting the Most from Seasonal Food for Longer.

January 24th, 2014 / cat / 0 comments

Freezing is a wonderful way to enjoy seasonal produce throughout the year, and, with a little upfront work, it makes it easy to grab healthy options to thaw and heat when in a hurry!  Just give yourself a few minutes to heat slowly so as to maintain the nutritional integrity of your delicious frozen homemade meal.

Here are a few timescale tips on refrigeration, freezing, thawing and heating your favorite foods!

REFRIGERATION

  • If not frozen, soups and entrees can be kept 7 –10 days in a refrigerator
  • Cookies and muffins can be kept in a refrigerator for 2 weeks.
  • Salads last 4 – 8 days in the refrigerator depending on how cool your keep your refrigerator

FREEZING

  • Soups, entrees, cookies, and muffins can be frozen for 1 year.
  • Dips and sides can be frozen up to 2 years (got to love garlic and lemon!).
  • When freezing with mason jars, avoid cracking by using straight-sided jars, and filling only as far as the fill-line below the lid twists.

GENERAL THAWING AND HEATING INSTRUCTIONS

Soups

  • Place frozen soups in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours until thawed.
  • Or, to thaw faster, put soup in a bowl of water in your sink.
  • Once thawed, place contents in a stainless steel saucepan, and heat slowly.
  • To preserve nutrients, opt for slow stovetop heating over the speedy high-heat of the microwave.

Entrees

  • Entrees can be thawed in the refrigerator 2-10 hours prior to warming.
  • If thawed first, heat the entrée in a conventional oven, preheated at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or in a toaster oven for 20–30 minutes based on the size and wattage of your toaster oven (convection is best).
  • If placed in the oven fully frozen, please allow at least an additional 10 –15 minutes.

COOKIES, MUFFINS, DIPS & SIDES

  • Cookies, muffins, dips and sides can be thawed in the refrigerator – takes 4-5 hours.
  • Warm to taste.

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