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How to freeze and thaw food correctly

Eating properly in the rush of everyday life is not an easy task, but with a little organization and dedication, it is possible to accomplish this feat. We can’t always enjoy a freshly prepared meal, so the option of freezing food is a good option.

In addition, waste is present as a negative effect of this lack of time, where food often ends up spoiling in the refrigerator because there is not enough time to prepare it.

According to nutritionist Michele Silva, who is technically responsible for the nutrition service at Promove São Camilo, freezing food is the ideal practice to make life easier for those who are always on the go. “By carrying out this process, it is possible to facilitate the activities that are fundamental for well-being and health, in addition to reducing the waste of what is not consumed due to lack of time for preparation”, she explains.

Regarding the process of freezing and thawing food, the professional also reveals that, depending on how we use food before preparing or preparing vegetables, there may be a significant loss of nutrients.

To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to follow some techniques to preserve nutrients at the time of preparation and at the time of consumption, such as preparing grilled, roasted, steamed, immersion, cutting and freezing and thawing foods. . “These are necessary precautions to ensure a good use of food”, he adds.

How to freeze food correctly

Here are some tips from professionals to freeze food without losing its nutrients:

1. Prime for the quality and cleanliness of your food

Whenever possible, choose good quality foods, preferably organic, and clean them well before taking them to the freezer.

2. Try portioning food

“Try to separate food into small portions”, teaches Michele. Ideally, after being thawed, it does not return to the freezer. Therefore, the portions must match the exact need for that meal.

3. Use suitable packaging

The professional indicates placing the food in suitable packaging, such as plastic pots, glass or plastic bags suitable for frozen foods. The best options would be jars with airtight lids and bags with a vacuum seal.

4. Identify them with a tag

Even in the freezer, the food still has an expiration date and can be stored in this place for up to three months. Therefore, it is recommended to identify each package with a label containing both the manufacturing date and the expiration date.

5. Keep food cold

Having a well-regulated freezer with constant temperature is essential so that food can be preserved without changes in its taste. According to the professional, the ideal temperature should be below 18°C.

6. Blanch vegetables before freezing them

In the case of vegetables, in order not to lose their nutritional properties, Michele recommends blanching them before being taken to the freezer. For this, just dip about 300gr of vegetables in 2.5 liters of boiling water. Leave them soaked for 1 to 10 minutes, depending on how hard the food is. Afterwards, it is necessary to cool them in a container with ice, to only then dry them and pack them.

After its preparation, or even cleaning, portion the food as soon as possible and take it to the freezer. The longer the food is exposed to air, the greater the chances of contamination by microorganisms, which can spoil more quickly.

And to defrost?

Knowing how to correctly defrost food is a process as important as freezing it, thus avoiding food waste, contamination or loss. Check out the professional guidelines below:

1. Defrost in the refrigerator

The ideal is to remove the food from the freezer, place it inside a container and take it to the fridge for about 12 to 24 hours. “In this way, thawing is done safely, without major risks of contamination”, teaches the professional.

2. Use the microwave to speed up the process

If you want to speed up the freezing process, Michele advises you to put the food in a tightly closed plastic bag and immerse it in hot water. Another possibility would be to use the microwave oven.

3. Avoid using running water to defrost them

By doing this, along with ice, frozen foods will also lose their nutrients and even their flavor.

4. Skip the defrosting process

According to the professional, there are some foods such as meats, sausage, hamburgers, soups and broths, which can skip the thawing process and go from the freezer directly to the pan, without changing their nutrients.

5. Do not freeze thawed food.

“Once defrosted, the food cannot go back to the freezer, except in the case of a raw product that will be transformed into a recipe”, warns the professional. Hence the importance of portioning food according to what will be consumed.

Foods that should not be frozen

Although most foods can be frozen, there are some foods that are not recommended for freezing, either due to loss of their original properties or nutrients. Check out some of them mentioned by the professional:

  • Potatoes: If the potatoes are cooked, they absorb a lot of water, in addition to darkening and softening.
  • Creams and Puddings: if the recipe uses cornstarch in its preparation, this ingredient will release the water from the dish after freezing.
  • Green Leaves: when they are raw, they lose water and freezing can cause their leaves to burn.
  • Fruits: pear, mango and banana are fruits that change color at low temperatures.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt should not be frozen, as the ingredients that make it tend to separate and the product ends up having a carved appearance.
  • Mayonnaise: the fat separates from the other ingredients and the food curdles when thawed.
  • Whole raw egg: cannot be frozen, as its shell may burst.
  • Vegetables and vegetables: raw tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes change their color and flavor, in addition to softening their texture.

In the case of foods that will be frozen ready, Michele indicates that they should be lightly seasoned and cooked for the minimum time necessary, as freezing tends to accentuate the seasoning and soften the food.

Ideal for those who do not give up a good meal, but do not have the time to prepare them just before the meal, freezing and thawing food is an easy and safe practice, as long as it is done carefully. Avoid waste and get into this habit now!

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