Hello everyone! I wanted to welcome you all to a new series I’m doing called Freezer Fridays. One of the best strategies for ensuring you always have healthy, home cooked meals on hand is to cook ahead and freeze servings of your favorite dinners. There is nothing more depressing (or take-out inducing) than coming home from a long day at work and realizing you have nothing to eat. Sometimes, I don’t walk in the door until 7:30 and the thought of making a meal makes me want to cry.
The solution: Freezing! My lovely friend and reader Caroline recently suggested that I promote freezing and feature some freezer friendly recipes. Since she is so super brilliant, I decided this was worth a try.
BENEFITS OF FREEZING:
- Shelf life: Frozen foods LAST. Kept at a consistent temperature, properly packaged and sealed, some foods, like meat will last for a year.
- Cost Saving: You can buy a lot of fresh food seasonally and in bulk which cuts down on cost.
- Vitamins: Research suggests that nutrient contents in fruits and veggies remain stable while frozen. Freeze at the height of freshness and reap all the nutiritional benefits.
- Time Saving: You can cook large batches and freeze leftover meals. This will save on cooking time and give you lots of healthy options for mid-week meals.
- Serving Size: Are you cooking for just yourself? For two? Most recipes are designed to accomodate multiple eaters. Freeze extra servings of your favorite dishes and prevent overeating and/or food waste.
Now. As you all know, I am a huge propoenent of farmer’s market and gardening. My own garden is completely overrun with fresh basil. It’s a good problem to have, but I don’t want it all to go to waste. The solution? Freezer Pesto.
This recipe is simple to make and store. Just throw everything into a food processor and freeze in an ice cube tray. This large batch recipe will make 8-10 pesto cubes. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a freezer bag.
NOTE: Parmesan cheese does not freeze very well. As a result, I left it out of the recipe. I add some Parm right before serving instead.
There are many tasty ways to enjoy these pesto cubes – I used one for some tasty spaghetti squash I picked up at the farmer’s market. You can also throw these pesto cubes in soups, over some roasted veggies, or with some pasta.
- 6-8 cups of fresh basil, washed and tightly packed
- 6 cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- optional: ¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until pureed.
- Using a tablespoon, spoon pesto mixture into a clean ice cube tray and freeze
- Once frozen, pop out cubes and store in a freezer bag until needed