We've had quite a few posts on frozen food, but no category.
The ideal is to have fresh food available, picked or caught the same day, but this is difficult in many places and climates. Sometimes fresh food isn't.
What do you think about frozen food? Is it an acceptable alternative? Do you wind up wasting it due to mislabelling or freezer burn?
I certainly use some frozen foods, especially in the winter, when frozen spinach for one thing becomes a mainstay to have enough dark greens. But I am perplexed by people queuing at the cash with baskets full of so-called "ready meals".
I think there are two different threads here about "freezer surprise" but that is a totally different thing.
It is well established now that many frozen foods are an excellent option both to save money and also to be able to eat certain vegetables out of season without having to have them shipped halfway around the world. There is also much less waste because you only take the amount you need out of the package when preparing a meal.
Living alone, I find that the freezer is a godsend for saving money on meat. There are often special deals at the supermarket on large packages of beef, pork or poultry. If I know I still have enough space in my freezer, I do not hesitate to take advantage of these deals by dividing these items into various more appropriately sized freezer bags.
As for the people who buy full meals, I try not to judge them because I don't know their lives. Some people have no time to cook; some people have no skill. It is also far more efficient to buy a frozen pizza or a frozen 'couscous royal' rather than trying to assemble all of the ingredients independently, not to mention saving money. There is also the category of people who buy frozen 'Weight Watchers' dinners to try to control their calorie intake without having to think about it.
Thank you for reminding me that I bought a large slab of Copper River Salmon yesterday, intending to divide and freeze it for several meals for the Mr. and me. Must do now.
I LOVE my new side-by-side fridge which has a much larger freezer compartment than the old top-freezer fridge it replaces.
BTW, in the fresh vs frozen debate, unless you buy your veggies at a local market, or live near where they are grown, I've heard it said that frozen veggies - picked at the height of ripeness and flash-frozen - actually retain more of their nutritional value than fresh food that may sit in a truck for several days, then in a distribution center and then in your supermarket, before languishing in your fridge for awhile before being prepared and consumed.
That is absolutely true about frozen vegetables in most places.
And for anybody who does not know this already, COOKED tomatoes are much better for you than raw tomatoes. This does not mean that any of us should stop eating raw tomatoes -- they are perfectly fine, but far more antioxydants are released when they are cooked.
Even in Florida where lots of produce is grown, the produce in supermarkets is of a vastly inferior quality. Carless in a car and strip mall culture, I can't get to many little markets or pick up something on my way home. Grocery shopping is an infrequent experience. Like Kimby, I love and rely on the freezer compartment of my side by side.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jun 17, 2017 18:00:44 GMT
My freezer needs defrosting it's getting to the stage when I have to lean on the door to ensure it shuts. I still cook for 4 even tho there are usually only 2 eating (our son has a special diet) so I generally have chilli, Bolognese, soups etc leftover. I freeze them in individual servings and at least once a week we take pot luck from the packages there...
I tend to have spare pasata and sauces when I'm cooking too...so they go into the freezer..and any leftover fruit can end up as some sort of ice lolly..I had squished strawberry one this arvo and very nice it was too.
I have a small fridge, about 10 cubic ft. (The label was in Imperial measures). However, it does have a separate freezer compartment, which I've never had before, and it keeps food much better. Mmm, salmon. I can't justify a larger fridge for Livia and myself; since I live in a central urban neighbourhood, I can easily shop on foot or by bicycle several times a week.
I was once in Florida, and confess I was very disappointed in the produce and especially the tomatoes. Bixa has said the same about tomatoes in Mexico, their birthplace.
While our growing season is relatively short, we produce very good field tomatoes. Everything is late this year because of so much rain, but we are starting to get local berries. Those can be frozen, but I don't know what to do with them - I don't eat smoothies. I just buy what I can eat fresh.
I find it very handy to have some frozen fish fillets in the fridge - a Portuguese shop I go to also has off-cuts of different fish to make a typical stew - very good, and economical.
Growing up, frozen food was indespensible for us. We had a huge casket sized deep freezer in the cellar that held all manner of foods. Vegetables, that might be otherwise jarred to preserve, but, mostly meats of various cuts, pork, beef, venison and seafood. There were also some prepared dishes, mostly seafood chowders, and some stews along with many different varieties of stock. There were also many home smoke/cured meats and seafood. All carefully wrapped in "freezer paper" and or containers.
The lid to this freezer in and of itself was huge and heavy. As a child it was a source of wonderful hot meals magically transformed into delicious meals that I lovingly recall.
These days we rarely use the freezer for the same such as there are just the two of us and we use our freezer for ice cream, some stocks, and microwave type side dishes for when we are lazy and certain things are not in season, e.g. brussell sprouts and some decently prepared commercial items, Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese and a limited other few other items. It's really rather shameful but, then again, where we live, the availability of fresh seafood, seasonal vegetables, fruits, smoked or cured meats are so plentiful, home grown and/or bartered with neighbors and friends, there's not much need or want for frozen food. I cannot fathom buying frozen fish, oysters, shrimp, many vegetables or the like for any reason at all.
It isn't shameful. There have been a lot of horrific problems in New Orleans but I'm heartened by the fact that so many fresh products are still available there. That has become far less the case in many places - to wit, in Italy, and even in many places in the US South. We have lovely shrimp up here but they are only the tiny nordic shrimp. Not so bad for fish, or oysters - many come from our Northern Acadia. As for vegetables, we have a wealth of excellent ones from May to October (some hardy ones into November) but then a long hard season not only of winter but also early spring. Well, what you knew in New York but colder.
For a person living alone, or even a couple who don't eat a lot (I'm a boomer) freezing can be a good way of wasting less, though there is the danger of not using frozen stuff.
we do buy quite a few frozen vegetables - some, like peas, are not that often available fresh in the supermarkets and markets here, others, like green beans, are just easier frozen. i am not a bit fan of cooking, so i like going the easiest way ... sometimes also buy frozen cauliflower or broccoli, especially if i just need a little bit - if i buy a whole broccoli i end up having to use the rest of it soon, before it goes bad, and i don't always manage that ... mr. r. likes buying vegetable mixes (like "italian", "mexican" etc.) that are already seasoned. i think those aren't that healthy, as they also have fat added, but still better than nothing (and supposed to be better than from a glas or can) and easy to use ... the other thing with vegetables, fish, etc. in the freezer is that then i always have some food there, for the days i don't manage or don't want to go shopping ... as for ready meals from the freezer, we do some - like fish filets already with a sauce (and then make fresh mashed potatoes to go with it, for example), again to save time, and pizza of course. we do also make fresh food of course, but as i said, i am not a big fan of cooking, and we don't always have the time.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Mar 20, 2019 9:51:16 GMT
My sister took me to a brilliant butcher...he makes his own sausages and all his meat and poultry is from small local farms. I got a beautiful leg of lamb from him a few weeks ago so when I was there again yesterday I stocked up...freezer meat drawer is full. The meat is expensive but really good quality.
I have no reason to buy frozen food for most of the same reasons Casimira listed. Also, the only reason I ever go to a supermarket is to stock up on paper goods & stuff like that. However, on my last supermarket run I did buy a kilo bag of frozen tilapia fillets -- five of them in the kilo, each in its own sealed bag. Living in a landlocked city and mostly avoiding meat, I thought it would be nice to have a ready source of protein around.
I do cook lots of things in bulk -- a kilo of dried beans at a time, for instance -- and freeze them in one-quart containers. I've learned not to freeze things like vegetable soups or stews, as the vegetables are pretty dreary after being defrosted. Aside from the tilapia, everything in my freezer is homemade: 1 quart of chili, 3 pints of caponata, 1 pint of hummus, 1 quart of garbanzos, 2 quarts of lentils, very large container of dog food, and ice cubes.
Bixa, when you say chili, what do you mean? So many variants on that, and doubt that any are "authentic". I`ve had the same problem - and shame about waste - concernig vegetable soups and stews. Most of the things in my little freezer compartment are homemade, but I do have 300g of smoked salmon on discount, and some very tasty mushroom pelmeni. I eat very few prepared foods, but those were exceptions.
The Picard frozen food chain here has a wonderful method of selling frozen blended soups (also mashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli, etc.). They are in briquettes, like a bag of charcoal, so you can take exactly the quantity you want.