It’s no surprise that weather patterns seem to be changing, with significant storms like Hurricane Sandy becoming more commonplace in the tri-state area. Power outages often result, making food preparation challenging. In times like these, nothing creates a sense of normalcy and safety more than good, healthy food on the table, especially for kids. But what mom wants to feed her family non-stop out of a can?
With no evidence that weather conditions will be settling down any time soon, it simply makes good sense to be prepared. One way to make sure there is always delicious and nutritious food in easy access for your family is to stock a stand-alone freezer, such as the Frigidaire Convertible Freezer/Refrigerator, with home-cooked dishes that don’t need to be re-heated upon thawing. This will keep you in charge of your family’s health by reducing your intake of canned foods, which are typically high in sodium and preservatives, not to mention the toxic exposure to chemical residue from BPA found in most can linings.
While there’s nothing wrong with chowing down on dad’s famous frozen lasagna served at room temperature, here are some additional ideas that will keep your tummies full while you’re waiting for the power to come back on.
Milk and coffee - No matter which you prefer, whole, skim or any percent in-between, milk freezes well and often goes on sale at both local supermarkets and big box stores. Consider your family's needs when deciding upon how much to keep frozen and in what size containers. And, if you hate the thought of that caffeine-withdrawal headache, freeze at least one quart of black coffee per adult in the household and mix with milk if needed upon thawing.
Soup – There are a ton of yummy recipes for soups that thaw easily and are delicious served cold. These include tomato-based, spicy gazpacho, tangy cucumber or glazed carrot soup, as well as some interesting fruit varieties like creamy-pink strawberry or root-vegetable borscht. Think about the fruits and veggies your family loves and then keep your eyes open for sales on those items so you can buy them in bulk. Cook them up as the main attraction in healthy soups or as ingredients in other dishes that freeze well, like stews and casseroles. Stock your freezer full of these cost-effective, vitamin and fiber-rich meals in labeled containers that include the date, and store them according to their category or use-by time. Stand-alone freezers like the Frigidaire Frost Free 17 Cu. Ft. Convertible Freezer/Refrigerator for $869 feature flexible storage options like bins and baskets, to allow for easy organization and access to all your favorite recipes.
Pasta Salad – Both economical and versatile, pasta forms a great base for a variety of salads. Go for all your family’s favorites from wagon wheels to rotini, but remember, any-shaped pasta thaws best when cooked al dente and rinsed in cold water immediately after boiling. Tons of add-ins freeze well, are versatile and easy. Take your pick from hard salami slices, cooked chicken or salmon chunks, shrimp, artichoke hearts and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and carrots. Toss all your favorites with the pasta prior to freezing, along with a light coating of olive oil. Don’t forget to add your favorite seasonings such as basil, garlic and oregano. Store the salad in airtight freezer bags or plastic containers. To avoid a mushy texture, freeze any liquid, like salad dressing, separately and mix in upon thawing. Shaved parmesan or romano cheese also freezes well and will add extra flavor to your dish. Freeze several quart-sized bags with hard-boiled, chopped egg yolks as a great garnish that adds a protein punch. The eggs can also do double-duty as breakfast sandwiches when spread on whole wheat bread, pita or bagels, which also freeze and thaw with flavor and texture intact.
Yogurt-fruit smoothies – Delicious and savings-savvy, home-made smoothies can be blended up by the gallon and frozen in individual, easily-stored containers. You can’t go wrong with bananas and mangoes, but keep your eyes open for seasonal fruits like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, which can be bought by the tubful at fruit carts all summer long. Blend with your favorite yogurt and some milk, but skip the ice cubes to avoid the liquids separating when frozen. Use your ice cube trays for another great trick instead: fill them with yogurt, freeze and bag, along with your favorite frozen fruit for an easy and delicious taste treat straight out of the freezer. For more information on this Frigidaire Freezer, other Frigidaire freezer models or home appliances, all built in the U.S.A., visit www.Frigidaire.com.
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