Let Your Freezer Be Your Ally!

Most recipes end with instructions to "serve immediately." You could conceivably serve any one immediately but how about putting meals in the deep freeze for prosperity. "Freezing" is the simplest, quickest form of food preservation and its a safe and convenient way to preserve food for months until you're ready to enjoy them.

Busy people especially can benefit from freezing prepared meals, particularly on week days when time is scarce. In the battle to get food on the table in a hurry, your freezer can be your best ally. Main, a home economist and caterer who has written many books concedes that the biggest challenge to preparing and freezing foods for the weeks or months ahead is finding the time and energy to cook in mass quantities.

The recommendation is that you begin slowly, with a few days' worth of meals, then gradually make your way up to building larger food reserves. In no time you'll have a reliable stockpile.

Freezer inventory should consist of a wide mix of meals. In winter, allocate space for soups, stews, and casseroles, but save room for breakfast and lunch items like muffins, bagels and sandwiches.

The freezer also can be a valuable tool in summer, when there's an abundance of fresh produce. Preserving summer harvest presents a unique set of issues, like how to store berries without damaging them or which veggies should be blanched before freezing. Also important is how to package, label items, and organize them in your freezer. Some foods freeze better than others, while others are just not meant to be frozen.

Below is an example of a recipe and sauce that can be frozen and placed in your freezer for future meals.

Meatloaf "Muffins" With Barbecue Sauce

Meatloaf Muffins:

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef,
3/4 cup oatmeal or dry breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs,
1/4 cup wheat bran,
1 can (5.4 oz/160ml) evaporated 2% milk,
1 egg,
1 teaspoon chili powder,
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder,
1/4 teaspoon salt,
1/4 teaspoon black pepper,

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (190C).

Barbecue Sauce:

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

To make the muffins:

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, oatmeal, bran, milk, egg, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups (12 cup muffin tin, greased), pressing down lightly.

To make the sauce:

In another bowl, combine ketchup, onion, sugar and, if using, hot pepper sauce. Spoon about one tablespoon sauce over each muffin. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in center.

To freeze:

Wrap in freezer bags. Seal, label and date. Freeze for up to two months.

To serve:

Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Reheat thawed "muffins" in baking dish at 350 degrees F. (180C) for about 20 minutes or until heated through.

Author: Susan Rutter -- Publisher, Nutritionist, and Instructor who assists patients and the public make healthy choices and changes in their lives. Web Site: Healthy YOUbbies - http://www.geocities.com/healthyoubbies/

In The News:

Nutrition in older age  Rising Kashmir
Adolescent nutrition  The Lancet
Nutrients and Nutrition  VOA Learning English
Nutrition and Oral Health  American Dental Association

The Importance of Protein

Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the... Read More

Cherries Taste Great and Build Health

You must add some fresh cherries, which are now in... Read More

Maximizing Your Nutrition Dollar

Because of consumer demand, the food industry focus is on... Read More

Ocular Nutrition and Eye Health Food

Understanding ocular nutrition and eye health can be one of... Read More

Reasons to Eat Organic Food

Your healthOrganically grown fruit and vegetables are not covered in... Read More

What About Potassium?

Information on potassiumWhen you read about potassium and senate document... Read More

Homeostasis and Complementary Therapies

The word 'homeostasis' is made up of two Greek words:... Read More

Stay Healty, Eat more Fish and Seafood

There are a lot of very good reasons to eat... Read More

Fruits and Vegetables and Phytochemicals

I'm willing to bet you probably haven't heard the word... Read More

Death, Aging, Rejuvenation (Part 2)

DeathDeath. Why it happens? Why do we die? Why do... Read More

Aggressive Behaviour Seems To Be Triggered By Early Age Diet

The fact that diet directly affects behaviour is no news,... Read More

Four Important Nutrients - Vitamin E, Selenium, Sodium and Potassium ? For Good Health

Vitamin EThere has been a lot of controversy about vitamin... Read More

Improve Your Eating Habits.

1. Water. If you're thirsty you're already dehydrated. The majority... Read More

Facts About Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is less known compare to olive oil, corn... Read More

Grains That Cause Illness

Eating grain products - breads, cakes, cereals - have long... Read More

Anti oxidants ? Why Its a Must in Your Diet

While oxygen is the key to human survival, it is... Read More

Chocolate Splendor: Food For The Gods; Bodybuilding Nutrition

A fictional overheard conversation at a Thelma's Fine Dining.Hi, I'm... Read More

Power of Oatmeal

Come on, guys and gals. Those Trix are for kids.And... Read More

Startling New Evidence: You Can Slow the Aging Process, Scientists Say

What if you could actually slow your rate of aging,... Read More

The Fountain of Youth - Right in Front of Us All This Time!

Can we really stop the aging process, slow it down,... Read More

The Isometric Diet and Balanced Health

The concept isometric has been a part of the health... Read More

Seasonings: Add More Than Just Flavor

Besides providing taste, color, and aroma, certain seasonings can also... Read More

Avocado - Ooh, What a Lovely Pear!

Many people avoid avocados thinking them to be fattening, but... Read More

Blueberries and Their Role in Cholesterol Control

Our bodies need cholesterol. We use cholesterol to produce vitamin... Read More

Helping Your Immune System Win The War Against Disease

Just as our country is currently engaged in a war... Read More