Stock your freezer. It will save your sanity. I promise.

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Stock-your-freezerIt was the beginning of summer, 2014. I just had my third daughter, and I decided to do the unthinkable. I decided to keep all three of my girls home for the summer. No preschool, no daycare. I decided to keep my newborn, almost two-year-old, and my four-year-old home. What was I thinking?!?

I was nursing, and it seemed like I was starving 24/7.  I was tired. And I was starting to believe everyone when they said I was crazy for keeping all the girls home with me for the whole summer.

But I KNEW I could do it. I kept thinking there had to be a way to manage

  1. my hunger
  2. the kids
  3. and still keep my sanity.
  4. sleep. I knew there was no way I was going to get sleep so I crossed that off my list.

One day I was sssh’ing the baby in the Ergo, swaying back and forth at my girlfriend’s house trying so desperately to have an adult conversation. I was telling her that I needed to do something different in the kitchen. That’s when she started rambling in what sounded like a foreign language… “Flash freezing, doubling recipes and even tripling recipes.” What on earth?!? Had she gone mad?!

I kept listening and of course, kept swaying. My mind was spinning with all the information. She made it sound so easy. So doable. Most importantly, she gave me hope! I left her house with a goal and the beginning steps I needed to satisfy my hunger and save my sanity-  oh, and to also keep the family fed.

I soon discovered that freezer cooking was my way to get rid of the frustration, get out of the kitchen and into the pool with the kids! So now it’s my turn to share some of those easy tips with you!

Flash freeze: {a fancy word for freezing in a single layer so they don’t form one frozen brick.}

  • Flash freeze strawberries and blueberries. They are great to pack in lunches because they will be thawed by lunch time. Throw them in yogurt for a healthy snack while out and about in our ‘City Beautiful’.
  • Cook 3-4 chicken breasts in a crock pot with water and set on low for 4-5hrs. Once done, remove from crock, shred with forks and freeze about 1 breast per bag. Shredded chicken thaws super quick and can be used to whip up chicken salad, throw in a salad or use for dinner.
    Another recipe for your shredded chicken. Mix chicken with a package of softened cream cheese and about 1/2-1 cup of Frank’s Buffalo Sauce. Scoop into a tortilla, wrap and flash freeze for about 1hr. They are amazing for on-the-go lunches (they thaw in time, I promise) and your husband will LOVE them!

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  • Use a whole loaf of bread to make about 9 PB&Js. I love to use The Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal to quickly remove the crust and make super cute round sandwiches. Wrap each one individually, then place in the freezer. They are perfect for a quick lunch, for a play date, or a spontaneous trip to the beach.

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Last summer, I was able to keep the family fed, keep my hunger at bay and keep my sanity all because of these few starter tips. My girlfriend permanently changed the way I think in the kitchen and I am forever thankful!

Do you have any freezer cooking tips that you would love to share with us?

14 COMMENTS

  1. Solid Advice! As a newbie “cook”, i’ll l use that term loosely for now, i’m definitely going to bring some of these ideas into my kitchen. The PB&J seems so almost fool proof, and makes me wonder why i never thought of that. Thanks!

    • Christine, the PB&J sandwiches really are fool proof! I even get the kids to help out in the assembly line. Try it out and let me know what you think 🙂

    • Ashley, it really makes a huge difference and feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Try a few out and let me know how it goes. I would love to hear what you think! 🙂

  2. Great tips and very doable!
    Aside from labeling each item, how do you remember what’s in the freezer before its frost bitten?

    • Thanks Karen! Last summer, I used a very high-tech method…piece of paper taped to the fridge and I added and crossed them off as I pulled them out. Now, I’m using a web based program to meal plan and track all my freezer meals. Hope this helps! 🙂

  3. We always recommend Crockpot soups or stews. Throw it together Sunday morning, have a tasty dinner Sunday night, then freeze leftovers in single-serve Tupperwares. Then if you’re too tired to cook during the week, you have something ready-made. It’s also really helpful for work lunches too. It’s a nice way to stretch a budget using bargain-rate groceries and takes the place of less-healthy, more expensive, prepared frozen dinners.

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