A lot of us tend to believe that our freezer is the best place for food which we have either overstocked or leftovers which we would like to save for a rainy day. Here’s clearing away some common myths about food safety when freezing your munchies.
MythCrash #1: Keep it wholesome
Ready to fry or readymade frozen foods which boast of low calories do not necessarily mean that they are healthy or are any less processed than the average frozen food. Even if you are calorie conscious and trying to cut down, you should still buy frozen foods which have at least 350kcal to 500kcal per serving to constitute as a wholesome snack. Anything with a lower calorie intake will leave you wanting more in the next couple of hours.
MythCrash #2 : Don’t freeze it all
We tend to believe that anything and everything edible, can be frozen. That’s not the case. Some foods, especially delicate vegetables tend to turn brittle when frozen, causing them to break when thawed. Similarly, sauces which contain cream will curdle when thawed. Some foods, like coffee, contain oils which break down when frozen, causing the food to absorb other flavors and losing its original flavor.
MythCrash #3 : Frozen food does not last forever
We think that all foods remain healthy to eat for any amount of time as long as it’s been in the freezer. If you’re questioning if it would be safe to eat, yes it would, however most foods have reduced quality, the longer they stay frozen for. How you store your food also plays an impotent role in it’s frozen shelf life. Vacuum sealing works best so you can try using freezer bags and pressing as much air out of the plastic bag as possible. Uncooked meats and poultry tend to keep for longer than cooked meats or meals.
MythCrash #4 : If you freeze it, cure it
When we freeze foods, that automatically kills the bacteria. The only way you can kill bacteria is by cooking it at the recommended temperature. So if your food already has bacteria, freezing it will only stop the bacterial activity temporarily. However, once it is thawed your food will continue to harbor the same bacteria. Curing food by smoking or salting, brining or smoking can improve the shelf-life of your meats and perishables.
MythCrash #5 : Never refreeze
We think we can freeze and refreeze foods as many times as we would like to as long as they are not kept out for too long. What we miss is that if we refreeze food, especially when it is uncooked, it loses its quality and a lot of moisture while being thawed. This could make the food unpalatable.
What to look for when you’re shopping for healthy frozen foods:
If a frozen food lists too many unidentifiable products, it indicates that the product is most likely highly processed. You should avoid heavily processed products.
Reduce the consumption of foods with unhealthy fats. Most frozen foods have a lot of sodium. You should be consuming around 2300mg of sodium a day, and most frozen foods exceed this limit. Look for low-sodium options.
As time goes by, manufacturers are trying to focus on more organic and wholesome foods. While we may look to frozen food as a quick snack and a time saver, we may not willing to trade off on nutritional value and are more aware of the facts about healthy eating.