Which foods can you freeze? How long can you keep something in the freezer for? What's the best way of freezing food safely? If you're in a flummox over freezing, don’t worry, we’ve done some research to help you make the most of your freezer.

Roughly a third of all food produced globally is wasted and using a freezer can help cut food waste and save money. Planning, saving freezer space when cooking for lots of people and being quick to freeze your leftovers on the day can help keep your ingredients safe till you're ready to eat them. And almost anything can be frozen from milk and cheese to bananas, bread and butter!

We've put together a list of 15 foods that can be easily frozen, foods that don't freeze so well and some handy general tips for freezing foods safely, too. So next time you see them getting close to their best before or use by dates, pop them in the freezer to prevent them from going to waste and enjoy them another time.

Foods that can be easily frozen

1) Cheese

If grated and stored in an airtight container, cheese holds up great in the freezer. Toss on top of a pizza or pasta dish to give it a brie-lliant kick.

2) Milk and dairy free milk

Milk can be frozen and stored for months. It will expand slightly when frozen and needs some time to defrost. Same goes for oat milk or rice milk, too. If they are homemade, they may go a bit grainy so strain them through a cheese cloth after they have thawed, if needed. 

3) Eggs

Don’t freeze your eggs in the shell. Break them in a bowl and beat until the yolk and egg white is just about blended. Put the mix in an airtight container and label with the date and number of eggs used.

4) Mushrooms, broccoli and other vegetables

Vegetables such as mushrooms, avocados, spinach, rhubarb (yes, it is a vegetable!) beans, carrots, broccoli can all be frozen. If they naturally have a high water content it's best for them to be pureed, sautéed, stewed or made into these easy freezer-friendly veg meals before freezing.

5) Cooked rice

Rice can be frozen, but be sure to freeze it as soon as possible after cooking. Pack the rice into a microwavable container or Tupperware as soon as it’s cooked. When the rice has cooled, seal the container and put straight into the freezer. Make sure to reheat thoroughly so it’s piping hot before eating.

6) Mashed potato and sweet potato

You can freeze cooked potatoes and mashed potato. Make sure you do this when they're fully cooled though. For mashed potato, you could either transfer all of it into a freezer bag/container or if you're feeling particularly #FoodSavvy, you can freeze your own individual servings by scooping out portions individually like ice-cream scoops. Freeze these on parchment paper for about an hour and then transfer into a freezer bag/container from there. 

7) Cooked pasta

Slightly under-cooked pasta is best for freezing. This avoids it turning starchy when you reheat.

8) Bananas

Bananas freeze fantastically without their skin. Use frozen bananas to make a healthy alternative to ice cream, or coat them in melted chocolate before freezing for a sweet treat.

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9) Butter

You butter believe it, it freezes beautifully. Either wrap it tightly in aluminium foil, beeswax wrap or plastic freezer wrap or place it inside container or freezer bag. To thaw it quickly, you can grate it or microwave it…or go slow and let it defrost over time in the fridge.

10) Tomatoes

Blitz before freezing and keep in a sealed container. You'll have tomatoes for sauces to the ready at all times.

11) Bread

Whether it's homemade banana bread, Irish soda bread or shop-bought bread, you could slice it before you freeze to keep a constant supply of bread ready to toast fresh if needed. 

12) Berries

Berries freeze nicely, although they may go a bit squidgy when defrosting. Sprinkle on top of your porridge, pop them in a smoothie or whip up a healthy summer pudding.

13) Chopped up chillies and herbs

Seal in a clip lock box to avoid frostbite. Some herbs don’t freeze so well. See below.

14) Cakes, brownies and biscuits

Believe it or not, they can all go in in the freezer. If you have any left that is. Wrap well.

15) Wine

Wine can be frozen, just like water. It works best with wines that taste better chilled (like white or rose).

Ready to get freezing? Try these recipes for easy frozen meals you can batch cook and freeze.  

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Foods that don't freeze so well

  • Some herbs - basil, chives and parsley turn brown in the freezer.
  • Yogurt and sour cream- use up before heading off on holiday. 
  • Some dairy - soft cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream.
  • Fresh salad greens - finish off that lonely lettuce with our delicious fattoush recipe
  • Deep-fried food - after defrosting, the crispy coating will turn to mush
  • Dishes with crumb toppings - the once crispiness with go soggy after freezing. 

General tips for freezing food

  • Let all food reach room temperature before freezing. 
  • Be savvy with your ice cubs tray - you can use it to freeze stock, liquid and even eggs. Creates perfect portion sizes, too. 
  • Never refreeze raw meet that has been frozen and then thawed. Never let meat defrost outside of the fridge overnight, always keep chilled. 
  • Try to freeze everything at its freshest either when it's just been bought or cooked. 
  • Make sure the freezer isn't so packed that air can't circulate. 
  • As a general rule, nothing should be kept in the freezer for longer than nine months - a year

Hungry for more? Dive into our hub of tips for hundreds of other everyday ideas to live more sustainably, and save money, too.

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