Can I freeze leftovers? What meals are best for freezing?

Updated by Steven Todd Smith

Chef Del, who wrote Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook, shared the following:

"Most dishes will freeze well, but freezing foods will generally change their texture as water freezes and expands, rupturing the cell membranes of foods. Some foods like beans freeze really well but others like leafy greens soften greatly and lose their visual appeal.

A good key for freezing foods that you will eat in the next several weeks, is to use a freezer bag. Make sure to squeeze out as much air from the bag as possible as it is the key ingredient to causing freezer burn.

For long term storage I recommend a vacuum sealer. They are inexpensive and can add months of shelf life to frozen foods.

Bread and baked goods freeze well whether raw or cooked.

Most grains freeze well. My one exception is millet. Dishes with millet may crumble when frozen.

Sauces, chutneys, vegetable stocks, and pesto all freeze well.

Dishes made from beans or grains freeze well but if the vegetables or fruits used in those dishes are high in water content, they may not hold up well to freezing---leafy greens and some fruits used in the salad dishes are good examples of those ingredients that should not be frozen.

Soups and stews freeze well but the vegetables will soften when frozen. Consider cooking these ingredients a few minutes less if you know you are going to freeze them.

Pasta dishes can freeze well but pastas tend to soften when frozen so cook them a few minutes less if you know you are going to freeze them."

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