Remember how I got all this fabulous summer squash from a farmer’s stand two weeks ago? That afternoon I chopped it all up and froze it…so that later I can make a zucchini soup and/or stew.
I tossed in some carrots and celery to the plastic containers, so that all I would have to do is take out the veggies, toss them in some homemade chicken broth on the stove, and Voila!
Is it crazy that I am already thinking ahead to when baby arrives…in late November! I’m working up a plan to do some “batch cooking” and get some cooked meats and side dishes into the freezer…so I can keep on making $5 meals once Baby Boy #3 arrives!
If you’ve got a favorite “freezable” side dish, muffin, loaf bread or freezer meal recipe, please leave the link in the comments section! I’m starting a list of things to prep to stash away post-baby! Thanks!!!
I love the idea of batch freezing all the veggies for soup!!! I always make a big pot and freeze the cooked soup, but never thought to do just the mix-ins. I’m stocking my freezer for post-baby as well and will definitely be adding this to the stash!!
I’ve been eyeballing this freezer roll recipe from Southern Plate, it can probably be adapted for dietary restrictions:
This is a great idea. Now I know what to do with all the squash I’m getting from my garden.
Love this idea!!! I batch cooked before my baby got here and I love having the stash!!! I have other recipes that I haven’t blogged about yet so email me if you’d like more!!!
These are all my posts about my freezer cooking!!!
Amanda @ Coping with Frugality says
What a great idea! I love new ways to use up all the squash and zucchini from the summer. I love to freeze enchiladas. The recipe you have for cheese/beef enchiladas would be perfect. Prepare them the exact same way except cover with foil and freeze before baking. 🙂
My favorite after baby #2 came was chicken pot pies! I just go ahead and make them in an aluminum pie pan, put it in a ziplock and freeze. Then when you need a quick dinner, pop it in the oven and go!
Here’s a recipe for “multipurpose hamburger mix” I recently made to freeze for quick meals: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1826,155160-238194,00.html. I added pepper, garlic, and used watered-down tomato paste instead of ketchup. I split it into 6 freezer bags, with a pint in each bag. It can be used to make quick sloppy Joes, casseroles, etc. Last night I used it to make your “simple moussaka” recipe. I just threw it in the skillet, added the spices and tomato, and heated it up. It made the moussaka very easy!
Thanks girl! I saw you on your blog that you were doing some freezer cooking! This is JUST what I need to do sometime between now and “then”!!!
Will you share your freezer batch cooking list and recipes? I’m due in September and I could also use some good ideas. I’ve had success with freezing soups and shepherd’s pie, but I need to do better than that!
I will…as soon as I get it finalized! Working on it still!!
Abigail Berthold says
Please share all your freezer cooking plans and ideas. i’m due in early Dec. However, we have decided to sell our home, build and move into an apt between time. i’m not sure if we’ll have time or space to do the freezer cooking. but it never hurts to have a dream.
Have u ever frozen fresh fruit? At my local farmers market, I got REALLY DIRT CHEAP quarts of blueberries, plus strawberries, bananas, etc., AND zucchini, asparagus, grape tomato, etc. Here’s my question: Have you frozen this stuff before and does it come out mushy when u pull it out of the freezer? Or would it be best to pull it from the freezer and put directly into the dish? I want to use the blueberries for blueberry streusel muffins and bananas for banana walnut muffins. Anyone have advice????
Fresh fruit can be frozen and used for baking and smoothies…most will thaw “mushy”…which is why its best to bake or use in smoothie. My favorite website is http://www.pickyourown.org It has OODLES of information about freezing…what vegetables need blanched before freezing, etc. From what I hear, tomatoes don’t freeze well whole…I only freeze tomatoes that have been turned into salsa or spaghetti sauce!
I freeze lots of blueberries. I lay them on a tray until they are frozen then put them in meal size bags and vacuum seal. I DO NOT WASH THEM FIRST. To thaw I just run them under hot water for a few minutes until they thaw. Not too long. They taste like fresh picked and go good on my oatmeal breakfast.
I have been successful with freezing whole tomatoes. Once our frig froze a whole batch of tomatoes. So I decided to see what happened when I used them. I thought they did well in soups, etc
Do you need to blanch any of the squash, carrots or celery? I really like this idea. Tomorrow is the last farmers market of the season, I think I’ll buy a bunch of squash while I can get it “farmers market style” (as in local, cheaper and delicious!)
Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom says
Because it’s going into a soup, I didn’t blanch anything. Summer squash is best frozen in chunks for smoothies, diced for soups and shredded for baking. It will thaw “mushy” so if you plan to use it for cooking/baking, just freeze as is!
We froze a bunch of Bean Burritos before baby, and they were great for quick reheating! I will never forget the wonderful experience of eating one in the Neonatal ICU lounge when I had been discharged (after 2 days of hospital food) but my son was still being treated for jaundice; my partner made a trip home to bring back supplies, and that homemade burrito tasted fabulous!
Another nutritious, affordable recipe that freezes well, and also is easy to make while caring for a newborn, is this Lentil Rice with flavor variations.
Best of luck with your pregnancy and birth! I’m sure you won’t regret planning ahead for good food.
can zucchini soup be frozen
I freeze tomatoes all the time. I just wash them (blanch and peel if I’m feeling industrious, but not usually), dice them, and freeze them raw in ziplock freezer bags. They are great in soups and stews, and have a much fresher taste than canned! I usually just throw them in frozen to whatever I’m cooking, but you could also thaw them out first if you wanted.
Peppers also freeze very well, and I usually stock up when they’re cheap in the fall, slice, and freeze to use all winter! They also thaw out soft, but are great for soups, curries, chili, and other stuff like that.
I use frozen blueberries and blackberries in muffins, pancakes, and baked goods too. Freezing is awesome!