If you are like me, your childhood may have created some issues when it comes to leftovers. How many of you suffered though pots of “leftover stew”? I admit it. Even I am guilty of creating them a few times. Leftovers do NOT have to be a source of evil though. Skip the refrigerator.
Open your freezer instead!
Are you working on the idea(s) of eating at the table, cooking at home and taking your lunch to work? If so, the freezer is your friend. Do you see the articles online? Spend a whole day prepping, cooking and freezing enough for your family to eat for 30 days! I personally think this is genius. Unless you own 2 freezers and have no plans for a whole weekend, it isn’t necessarily realistic. I work weekends and sporadically throughout the week. There is simply no way.
How then, do I utilize my freezer?
When I cook soups and delicious Nosh Pots, I add extra beans, veggies, a little broth if needed. That way I can ensure leftovers for the freezer. I feed my family that night AND freeze 1 or 2 containers for easy meals in the coming months. Refrigerator leftovers might only last a day or two, but in a freezer… I get four to six months out of most meals!
What else can you freeze?
I learned through trial and error when I became a Mom. Our first boy ate expensive jar food when the time came. Boy number 2 was subjected to the cheaper jar knock-offs. By the time boy number 3 joined us, we skipped jar food altogether. He lived on mashed bananas and butternut squash. I used to bake the squash, puree it and freeze it in ice cube trays. You can probably imagine how much money this saved us. His food was literally squash with no preservatives. Our child subjected to my penny pinching probably got the best start in life!
These days I freeze everything I can. I’m not just talking meals either. How many times have you cleaned your fridge and found Tupperware containers filled with questionable items? Are they random leftovers from canned goods? This is a huge pet peeve of mine. A few years ago, I changed all that. I used my baby food ice cube trays and solved my own problem.
I have been known to freeze leftover coconut milk, pumpkin puree, pasta sauce, cookie dough and even pineapple juice. Sauce aside, I freeze the rest in my trays. Once frozen, I toss the cubes into a freezer bag. Then I take out what I need when the time comes.
Best part about these cubes is that they thaw quickly. Toss them in a soup broth for added flavor, in a smoothie or even mixed with your morning oatmeal while you warm it up.
Next time you whip up our Pumpkin Pudding, don’t forget to freeze those leftovers!