This post brought to you by The Frozen Food Foundation. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Joyful Abode.
I love my deep freezer. For so many reasons.
We bought it when we arrived in California, because I knew I wanted to find some local grass-fed beef and buying in bulk was the way to go to save money. So, the first thing we did was fill it with 1/4 cow. But as we worked our way through eating that beef over the next year, I fell in love with our freezer.
- It gives me the opportunity to stock up on grass-fed beef, like I already mentioned. Not only is it usually more affordable in bulk, but when you live far away from the big stores that sell it in a convenient way, you don’t really want to make that trip much.
- I have lots of room for making and storing ready-to-go foods, so that if I’m having a crazy day or my husband is out of town and I don’t feel like doing a bunch of dishes, we have something easy ready to go. And sometimes I just want to batch-cook something complicated so that we can enjoy it more than once from my efforts. So usually, we have an entire shelf full of ready-made (homemade) meals in the freezer.
- I always have tons of frozen fruit on hand for my smoothies, or for making a quick cooked fruit topping for my pancakes on the weekend, or for making popsicles. Often we buy big packages of pre-frozen fruit, but when we went berry-picking, it was nice to have room to store SO MANY berries. And since freezing basically “presses the pause button” on any nutritional decline that naturally occurs over time, our berries were as good (and good for us) as the day we picked them, for months!
- I also love to have frozen veggies on hand. Not only do my kids love to snack on frozen peas (not warmed up, thawed, or cooked…just frozen), but it’s also really nice to be able to just warm up some vegetables at lunch without any preparation necessary. And my frozen veggie stockpile is absolutely crucial to my being able to feed myself and my kids healthy, well-rounded meals on those weird weeks when no one seems to be able to get to the grocery store and we’re “stretching” our food. And I don’t ever feel like serving up frozen vegetables is a compromise, health-wise. In a study done by The University of California, Davis, frozen fruits and vegetables were found to be generally as rich in nutrients as fresh ones, and sometimes even more so (since fresh ones are often picked wayyyyyy before they ever hit the grocery shelves, while frozen ones are “paused” at the peak of freshness).
- I mentioned popsicles in #3 but seriously… having a deep freezer is super nice when I’m making popsicles. LOTS of room for multiple flavors. My kids LOVE that in the summertime.
Surprisingly, one thing we don’t have in our freezer (almost never) is ice cream.
What’s in your freezer?
Right now ours (the regular indoor one, not our deep freezer in the garage) looks like this:
We haven’t been grocery shopping in almost 2 weeks, so we’re completely out of fresh vegetables… but still going strong with the help of frozen ones. I brought all of these in from the deep freezer once we ran out of fresh ones in our fridge.
So even though I’m basically out of all of our fresh food, I’m still able to cook meals like this – wild-caught flounder (thank you, deep freezer), and mixed vegetables.
And I think the kids are more than okay with meals like this.