A couple years ago we got a deep freezer to accommodate a half cow share we purchased. Since then we’ve purchased another half cow and also use the deep freezer to accommodate items I like to keep stocked or load up on when they go on sale. It’s helped me get into a solid habit of shopping my freezer while meal planning for the week and now that I’m in that routine, I find it to be an orderly and helpful system.
Butcher Box Meats – Butcher Box provides 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, humanely raised pork, and wild caught seafood. I average about one box a month. They send an email reminder a week before my delivery is processed so I can easily hop on, adjust the cuts of meat I want, and peruse the member specials and deals.
I take advantage of the deals, for example this past month organic chicken breast was on sale and I bought 15 pounds to load up in the freezer at a great price. I also watch for their frozen meatballs and breaded chicken tenders to go on sale and stock up on those as well for quick and easy dinner helpers.
Organic Riced Cauliflower – I know cauliflower had it’s heyday of being used for everything from mashed potatoes to pizza crust. Maybe that had died down some, but keeping riced cauliflower in the freezer has so many uses. It cooks up in less than 10 minutes stovetop for a low carb dinner side. It can be added to smoothies to boost nutrition and frostiness without adding a funny taste. It can be added to a veggie hash in the morning to bulk up the base to put a fried egg on top. It can be added to Finley’s food, too, as a treat- she loves it. Plus, it’s cheaper than buying a fresh cauliflower.
Organic chicken breakfast sausages – I get these from Costco and the whole family loves the way they taste. I love the added protein for the mornings, especially if the kids are eating a more sweet or carb-rice breakfast, like sweetened oatmeal or pancakes. It can help balance their blood sugar and get some needed protein into them first thing.
Daily Harvest meals – These are helpful to have around in a pinch. At breakfast I will add a chicken breast to my mini crockpot with a splash of broth and by lunch it’s cooked and ready to be thrown on to of a veggie-heavy Daily Harvest meal.
They also offer a product called “mylk” which are frozen cubes of pureed almonds and vanilla or pureed oats. I love these as a smoothie liquid base because they turn into almond milk or oat milk when you put them in your blender with some water. So nice to have on hand when you don’t have any milk you want to use in your fridge; they last so long in the freezer.
Coffee Cubes – Each morning I brew a pot of coffee. I used whatever is left to fill our ice cube trays. David uses the frozen coffee cubes to cool down his insulated cup coffee for shorter commute mornings. It brings the coffee to sipping temperature without watering it down. I also use the coffee cubes to add to vanilla protein smoothies for a delicious afternoon pick me up.
Raw cookie dough – anytime the girls and I bake cookies, we wrap up half the cookie dough, either in log form (to slice and bake) or ball form (to toss on a cookie sheet). Then on a random day when we are craving a cookie, we bake it directly from frozen and enjoy homemade cookies!
Organic mixed veggies/ peas/ corn – it’s nice to keep a bag or a few on hand for soups. I often will make soups out of whatever randomness I have left in the fridge, plus a can of tomatoes. Having a bag of frozen mixed veggies rounds out whatever the rest of the ingredients are and bulks up the soup to a nice hearty meal.
Frozen wild blueberries – the kids and Finley like to eat these from frozen. I like how much cheaper they are than fresh blueberries and how well they blend into smoothies for an antioxidant-rich base that adds a level of creaminess.
Tomato paste – rarely do I need an entire can of tomato paste for a recipe, so I always roll whatever is leftover up in a little plastic wrap and freeze it. Yes, you can freeze it into neat little cubes, too, but I find the wrapped in plastic method works neatly and easily for me.
Olive oil and herb cubes – whenever my countertop gardens are producing more herbs than I can use, I chop them up and freeze them in olive oil. Then I use them to throw into a marinade, soup, or hot pan for fresh flavor in a pinch.
Frozen soups – I’ve gotten into a cold weather routine of making an extra batch of soup just for the freezer. I freeze it in my two cup portioned souper cubes, then pop it out and store them in a labeled ziplock bag. At breakfast I can just place a cube in my mini crockpot and I have homemade, warmed up soup ready to go for lunch.
What are your favorite freezer items?