Freezer Crock Pot Cooking
In today’s hectic world, many of us are trying to find time to cook nutritious meals at home. We all know processed foods are bad for us, and that restaurant food can be less than healthy, too.
This has lead to many creative approaches to home cooking, including freezer meals and cooking with a crock pot.
For those who may not be familiar with freezer meals, this entails setting aside a day or two to prepare and cook meals for a whole month or a few weeks.
It can eat up an entire day, but its followers say they love the freedom it offers every other day of the month: Just choose a meal from the freezer and reheat it.
Less ambitious home chefs double or triple meals, freezing the extra. This may not provide a month’s worth of food, but it does offer a great way to eat at home when time and energy are low.
More people are familiar with crock pot cooking.
At it’s simplest, cooks dump a bunch of ingredients into a crock pot or slow cooker in the morning and have a warm meal by evening.
But recently, a friend told me about her adventures with freezer crock pot meals. She takes a few hours to prep all the ingredients for a week (or several weeks) worth of dinners. Then she places all the ingredients for a single meal into a gallon-sized freezer bag.
She seals the bag, pushing out as much air as possible, writes the date and contents on the bag, then pop it into the freezer.
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You could make the meals last longer in the freezer by sealing the bags almost shut, then sticking a straw into the small, remaining opening. Suck the air out of the bag using the straw, then seal completely. If you have a vacuum sealer, using it will make the meals last the longest possible time without risk of freezer burn.
My friend says there is no need to blanch any of the ingredients before freezing.
Then, whenever she wants a delicious home cooked meal, she simply removes a bag from the freezer an extra half hour ahead of time.
She lets it lie on the counter and thaw for 30 minutes, then dumps the contents into the crock pot. She then cooks the meal according to the timing and temperature of the original recipe.
I’m going to have to try this method myself.
How about you?