Saturday, December 24, 2022

10 Freezer Staples, and One Thing I Never Freeze

Georgia has been in a state of emergency this weekend with extremely cold weather. In keeping with the freezing weather outside, I thought of writing this freezer-themed post. The list below is long and I certainly don't have all of these items in the freezer at all times. They rotate in and out. But each of these has, at various times, saved us from a mediocre takeout meal, fed last minute guests, or fended off an untimely grocery run. 

Blanket weather

10 Freezer Staples

  1. Fruit
    • Frozen blueberries: I eat some for breakfast every day
    • Other frozen fruit like cherries, peaches, mango which I use for
      • Smoothies
      • Protein shakes
      • Quick compotes for topping pancakes, cheesecake, etc. 
    • Seasonal buys like cranberries- purchased after thanksgiving and used for desserts and date cranberry chutney in winter
  2. Vegetables
    • Boxed spinach for lasagna, saag, casseroles
    • Edamame as a quick side for Asian-inspired meals
    • Okra- okra sambar and okra-potato sabzi
    • California medley- for sipping soup
    • Fire roasted peppers and onions- soups, stews, stir-fries
    • Italian beans/ green beans- sabzi and khichdi
    • Peas- curries, samosa filling, peas pulao
  3. Basic ingredients
    • Ginger garlic paste- I make enough to fill several small jars and pull them into the fridge one at a time
    • Ginger, chopped- mainly used for chai
    • Coconut- chutneys and curries
    • Butter- baking
    • Puff pastry during the holidays
    • Dosa batter
  4. Flours
    • Almond flour for baking
    • Flaxseed meal for adding into oatmeal and baked goods
  5. Plant-based meat substitutes
    • Quorn nuggets- my son takes two in his lunchbox every day
    • Chikn strips- meal starter
    • Crumbles- meal starter
  6. Breads
    • Sliced bread- sandwiches
    • Mini naans- quick pizzas
    • Burger buns, rolls
    • Rotis and parathas
    • Tortillas- wraps and quesadillas
  7. Hash brown patties
    • Aloo tikki chana chaat
    • Hash brown casserole
  8. Frozen meals
    • Store-bought- for those occasional times when we have no lunches on hand and no time to fix anything, it is easier to grab a boxed meal from the freezer than to walk out and find lunch in the cafeteria. We have a few favorites from Trader Joe's that we keep on hand- palak paneer (although that's been out of stock for months), vegan tikka masala, chana masala
    • Homemade- when I have extra curries/dals on hand, I box them in individual servings. A relevant post: On freezing Indian food
  9. Take out fake out stuff
    • Frozen dumplings
    • Vegan orange chicken
    • Veggie burgers and frozen fries
  10. Extra food that can be frozen for later use instead of being wasted
    • Overripe bananas
    • Cheese, shredded
    • Sweets and treats
One thing I never store in the freezer- spices. I find that it completely kills the taste.

On a recent Friday afternoon, the fridge and crisper were quite bare and I needed to put together a quick dinner. The freezer came to the rescue with a box of spinach. I paired it with a block of hi-protein tofu to make this spinach and tofu curry, inspired by Vegan Richa's recipe. It literally takes 20 minutes to put together and was a good reminder of how it helps to keep a well-stocked freezer. 

Every few weeks, I do a freezer eat-down by scanning for items that have been in there for a while and planning to use them up in the next week. 

What do you have in your freezer that you don't see on my list? 

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! 


  1. Replies
    1. Yup, coconut is definitely on my list :)

  2. Such a helpful post! Do sliced bread or burger buns keep well in the freezer? I've never tried that.

    1. Yes, they both keep beautifully in the freezer! They toast up to be as good as new.

    2. Thank you so much for responding. I'll be sure to try this out next time. I minimize freezing because I'm worried about the loss of nutrition from food. But it's good to have some meals handy.

  3. I tried the recipe from vegan Richa but the yogurt broke after I added it .. any tips ? I couldn’t find a way to leave a comment on her site so checking in with you please ..

    1. Usually mixing a bit of besan with yogurt keeps it from curdling, so that's something to try.

  4. Excellent post and very useful list Nupur. I've never frozen onions; do you chop and freeze them?
    I shared this post with my hubby's nieces who're relatively new to US and new to cooking as well :)
    I do keep few of the items you've listed; in addition I soak, cook and then drain and freeze all sorts of beans (chickpeas, black peas, kidney and black eyed etc.) for quick curries, stews, salad additions, hummus, pulao, taco stuffing's and many more. My friends cook and freeze idlies in a plastic container laying them one next to other with a parchment paper between the layers. Then they take out one box as needed and steam as usual and they taste awesome.


  5. Merry Christmas Nupur and family! Freezers are great - amazing what you can freeze - I've never thought of butter! My freezer always seems full these days - we have processed foods for lazy days but also english muffins, peas, berries, any leftovers and bits and pieces. Occasionally I am so happy I squirrelled away food like Christmas eve when I used up old bread in the freezer for bread crumbs for my nutroast.

  6. Ha! I have most of these in freezer as well except for buns maybe. Did not think they would freeze well. I also have a lot of whole tomatoes and jalapenos I grew in my garden this past summer. We also have a lot of desserts - TJ's mini icecream cones and sandwiches ;).
    Happy holidays to you as well!


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