They'll last longer, which means you'll waste less (and can cook with them all year round). 

By Maki Yazawa
March 19, 2020

Though local, fresh foods are often the most sought-after, there are certain ingredients that taste great, last longer, and are equally fresh when purchased (or kept) frozen. Here are seven items worth considering freezing right now for long-lasting freshness—you'll limit food waste, too.

RELATED: How Long You Can Store (Almost) Anything in the Fridge and Freezer

1
Nuts.

Extend the shelf life of nuts by freezing them in airtight containers and freezer-safe bags. The cool temps will help preserve their quality and flavor—nuts are prone to tasting rancid or going stale quickly, after all. Nuts can last up to two months in the freezer and are perfect for adding protein and crunch to dishes like fresh almond butter or pesto. 

RELATED: 7 Major Mistakes You’re Making With Your Freezer

2
Proteins.

In order to preserve the peak of freshness, proteins like salmon must be frozen shortly after being harvested. It is highly likely that the salmon you purchase at the seafood counter has been frozen and thawed (perhaps more than once) to sell to you that day. Fortunately, due to salmon’s firm consistency that can bear the freezing process well, it is an excellent fish to purchase or store frozen. Additionally, freezing helps stave off bacteria that salmon and other proteins can be susceptible to. Other proteins, like frozen turkey meatballs, portioned chicken breasts, and beef, are also perfect to keep in your freezer for impromptu dinner needs.

3
Certain types of produce.

Berries (like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and açaí), leafy greens (like spinach or kale), and veggies (like bell peppers and broccoli) last longer and are equally fresh when purchased frozen. Shortly after these crops are harvested at the peak of their ripeness, they are thoroughly washed and cleaned, frozen to lock in key vitamins and nutrients and packaged for use right out of the bag. Freezing berries, leafy greens, and other vegetables helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria or mold that they may be otherwise exposed to on their long journey to your plate. Most fruits and vegetables can last upwards of eight months in your freezer, making them a highly convenient choice to reduce cost and food waste for your weekly meal prepping routine.

RELATED: Yes, You Can Roast Frozen Veggies Straight From the Bag—Here's How

4
Bread.

If you notice you’re unable to eat your entire loaf of bread before it begins to turn moldy or stale, you may want to consider freezing your bread instead. If you want to have the option of eating only a few slices at a time, make sure your loaf is already sliced into individual pieces before freezing. Once you’re ready to eat, thaw in the microwave or add extra toasting time to ensure your bread can crisp up to your desired liking. 

RELATED: The Major Storage Mistake You’re Making With Bread

5
Cauliflower rice.

Hop on the trend and purchase the ever-so-popular cauliflower rice in your frozen section to transform into pizza crust, risotto, or sushi. Make your cleanup effortless without compromising any flavor or nutritional value by purchasing this vegetable frozen. No need to whip out your clunky food processor to get the ideal rice consistency you’re looking for.

6
Mirepoix.

Aside from the fancy name, mirepoix is simply the combination of chopped onion, celery, and carrot used to flavor a variety of dishes like soups, stocks, and stews. Avoid having to constantly make room for these veggies in your pantry or fridge and keep a frozen stash that is ready to use whenever needed. Quickly turn your mirepoix base into a delicious bolognese, omelet, or chicken and dumpling soup.

7
Vegetable noodles.

If you’re a fan of zoodles or trying to entice the picky eaters in your family to eat more vegetables, frozen veggie noodles may be the choice for you. Avoid peeling vegetables, investing in a space-consuming spiralizer, and minimize food waste by purchasing frozen vegetable noodles that will make your weeknight dinners a breeze. Quickly portion out your serving and thaw for an instantly healthy and fun, high-fiber meal.

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