This week’s guest post comes from a dear friend I admire and respect as a missional woman living out her faith daily. Jessica Gebbink is gifted in many areas, and today she shares with us the benefits of freezer cooking. It’s amazing how a ready-made, healthy meal can relieve some anxiety!
There are a lot of things that give me anxiety as a mom, and it sounds weird, but FOOD is a big one! Are they eating enough? Is it the right food? Are they eating enough fruits and vegetables? Are there ingredients I can’t pronounce in this? Are chicken nuggets “real food” (again!)?
One way I cope with food-anxiety (is that a thing?) is Freezer Cooking! Yes, it may sound a little intimidating at first, but the joy of pulling ready-made breakfast, lunch and dinner out of the freezer, that I made with my own two hands, not only cuts down on my food-fears, but saves me money and time!
Here are some tips for filling your freezer without losing your mind:
1) Double up
When you’re making your family’s fave meals, double the recipe and put half in the freezer. Casseroles and soups freeze great! This is one of our family’s top picks (ie. the kids eat it and ask for more).
2) Hang onto your leftovers
When you have 1 or 2 servings left, stick them in a baggie for a quick lunch. I warm it up for my daughter’s thermos or send it with my hubby for his lunch as well.
3) Marinade for your meats
When chicken or pork is on sale, I like to buy a bunch and divide it up for future meals. I will split the meat between gallon freezer bags, pour in some Italian dressing, BBQ, or favorite marinade, and stick it in the freezer. On a busy day I put it in the crock pot still frozen, turn it on low, and “see you at dinner time!” Go here for a ridiculously long list of recipes for this method.
4) Bake in batches
This is my go-to for breakfasts and lunches. I spend about 2 hours cooking large quantities of a few recipes, then flash freeze them, and toss them into gallon bags. *Flash Freezing is freezing the food flat on a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes so that they don’t stick together in the bag.
My favorite recipes are:
The key to freezer cooking is looking into your pantry and fridge to see what you already have, shopping the sales, and then making a large amount so that you have meals for later. With just a little planning your family will thank-you on those busy days… and so will your food fears!
Jessica is mom to 3 darling girls and wife to a godly man. When she’s not freezer cooking, she’s volunteering at church, working as a counselor, blogging at littlelakecounty.com, or sharing her talents as a photographer thru Jessica Lynn Studio.