One of my twitter followers and fellow chronically ill foodie suggested I write about food storage after seeing a photo of my freezer.
A well stocked freezer is a must have for the chronically ill cook. There are too many days when I don’t have the energy to cook or the ability to stand long enough to prep ingredients. Having frozen items on hand means I can easily reheat something or toss items into a pot for soup or stir fry.
I buy food in bulk, usually when they’re on sale, break it down into single serving sizes and seal them in freezer bags. I keep a variety of proteins in 3-4 ounce servings in bins: beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and several varieties of fish. I also have bags of diced fruit and veggies, much of it from my parents’ garden, in either quart sized bags or pre-measured amounts. These include: berries, roasted beets, carrots, celery, corn, melon, onions, peas, pumpkin, and squash. My mom also makes apple and plum sauce and freezes half cups of it in bags. All of these things can be easily turned into meals and I don’t have to worry about being well enough to go grocery shopping or running completely out of food.
In the door of my freezer I keep ready-to-eat meals and the few store bought convenience foods I eat, mostly bread, gluten free waffles, and turkey burgers. I package my leftovers in 2 cup freezer and microwaveable safe plastic containers with screw top lids. They fit perfectly in the door and contain just enough for a single meal. I mostly freeze soups, stews, beans, rice or quinoa dishes since they keep and reheat well and are packed with nutrition.
Living without my freezer would make eating and cooking nutritious meals difficult. I’d love to physically be able to cook every meal and grocery shop several times a week but that’s not realistic. It takes time, energy, and money to keep my freezer full but it’s resources well spent and in the long run saves me more than I use.