When you make your NutriBlast, nothing goes to waste! Not only do you retain all the essential fiber of fruits and vegetables, but you can even include certain seeds and skins. This, however, leads to another problem: what happens when you realize your eyes are bigger than your stomach and you’re just not Blasting fast enough to go through all of the nutritious greens and fruit you just bought?
Don’t toss it into the wastebasket just yet! According to the USDA, Americans trash up to 40% of their food - that's almost half of all your groceries! Luckily, fruits and veggies are easily freezable, making for a frosty (and much more convenient!) Blast mix.
Freezing leftover produce (or almost any food for that matter) is simple. The hardest part is remembering you have the food in there and using it before freezer frost bite takes over or it becomes overshadowed by tubs of ice cream, frozen TV dinners, and Hot Pockets. Oh, don’t be silly! We know you’d never have that stuff in your freezer!
Top Freezer-Friendly Foods
Banana “ice cream” anyone?
One of my all-time favorite desserts is adding a frozen banana to a NutriBullet short cup with a tablespoon of cacao powder, some unsweetened coconut flakes and 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk and Blasting it to soft serve perfection. What a healthy “guilty” pleasure! To freeze bananas, simply peel them and cut them in half or into chunks and then freeze them in a tightly sealed freezer bag.
It must be strawberry season because the ones I’ve had lately are absolutely delicious! I just might stock up and freeze some to enjoy later when they aren’t so perfect. For berries, wash and dry well. Freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined tray. Once completely frozen, transfer into a freezer bag. Adding frozen fruit to a Blast lends a thicker, more shake-like consistency. Yum!
3. Leafy Greens
While some have been successful at freezing leafy greens raw, I find it best to trim, chop and blanch them first. Be sure to dry them well, and then follow the same steps as you would with berries.
Let’s be honest: how many of us actually cook beans from scratch? It’s a pain, but so worth the fresh flavor!
For the times you do, try cooking a large batch and then freeze some for later use. Simply cool the beans after cooking and freeze in a Mason jar with some of the cooking liquid covering the top. Make sure to leave some small head space between the liquid and top of the jar so it has room to expand as it freezes. When you’re ready to use the beans, defrost in the fridge, drain and toss into soups, salads or Blasts. I do not recommend this for canned beans, which already come in small containers and have a super long shelf life!
It seems like there’s a new “It” grain every few months, from quinoa to barley to buckwheat to freekeh! I often find myself buying new ones to try. Luckily, sturdier grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa, and farro can be frozen in small portions for later use. After cooking, cool and freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined tray. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. You can add frozen grains to your smoothies or thaw them in the fridge for a nice stir-fry or side dish.
6. Fresh Herbs
Mint for digestive woes, cilantro to help detoxify the body, basil to lift your spirits and parsley to reduce that awful bloating! These are just a few of the many healing powers we're starting to recognize through the use of herbs. Using fresh herbs makes a world of difference when cooking, yet these tiny superstars often go limp shortly after buying. Next time, chop them up and spoon into an ice cube tray. Top with a nice extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or cold-pressed coconut oil and wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze the tray until cubes are solid. Transfer herb/oil cubes to a freezer bag. Reheat cubes in a pan when making soups or pasta or toss as is in your Blast for an added boost of flavor and nutrition.
Due to their high fat content, nuts are susceptible to rancidity. I usually store mine in the fridge since I go through them so quickly, however, freezing nuts is another option. Toss them in a freezer bag or airtight container to prolong their shelf life.
8. Vegetable scraps
After cooking a lovely meal, I often find my garbage can filled with discarded carrot tops, onion peels, celery tips, pepper tops, beet greens and other vegetable scraps. What a waste! Little did I know, if I toss these into a freezer bag, I can use them later to make a low-sodium vegetable broth for soups and grains. I’d skip on the cruciferous veggies, though, as these lend a bitter flavor to broth, but be sure to use these leftovers in your Blast!
A Few Tips to Part With…
• Be portion savvy – When freezing think of how much you will actually use each time you need that particular ingredient and portion it out appropriately. No gallon sized tubs of brown rice allowed!
• Seal it snug – Freezer burn is the worst! Remove as much air from your bag as possible (use a straw if you don't have a vacuum sealer.)
• Stay organized – Label all your packages! Most frozen foods will stay good for about 3-6 months.
• Use it or lose it – Plan ahead and remember to allow time for the ingredients that need to be thawed prior to use.
Never let food go to waste again - Blast it or freeze it!
Need more tips on freezing various foods? Search through other common fruits and vegetables here.
Check your freezer right now and let us know your freezer finds!