WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- There is never enough time in the day, so having a freezer stocked with the essentials is the key to eating well every day.
Freezer meals are the superheroes of busy weeknight dinners. They swoop in when you’re in a tight spot, like when you’re just back from vacation and don’t have time for the grocery store, or when you come home late from work and would rather hang out with your family than cook. Freezer meals save the day.
If you’re looking to simplify your life while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, check out these 10 things to keep in your freezer for easy vegan cooking.
1. Chia Eggs
Some of us may remember chia seeds from those ch-ch-ch-chia pet commercials in the ‘80s. They can accomplish the same goals as eggs by acting as a binder in baked goods and other recipes, like veggie burgers. They also add moisture to baked goods and help them rise. Grind the seeds in bulk using a coffee bean grinder and freeze the flour in a jar. Whenever your baking and need an egg, scoop out a tablespoon and mix it with 3 tablespoons of water.
2. Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions are simple to make, inexpensive, and add rich flavor to everything they touch, but they take a long time to cook, so advanced preparation is key. Fill the crock pot about three-quarters of the way full with sliced onions and cook them on medium heat for at least 10 hours. After they’re done cooking, pack them into the freezer so that you can be prepared to add flavor to a meal at any time.
3. Fresh Citrus Juices
Buy fresh fruit in bulk and squeeze them into ice trays. When frozen, pop them out and keep in a freezer bag. Now you can add a small amount of fresh-squeezed flavor to any meal in no time at all.
4. Tomato Paste
Most recipes call for only a small portion of tomato paste; you use a tablespoon or two, and the rest invariably goes to waste. Scoop the rest by the tablespoon right into your ice cube tray. Freeze then pack into freezer bags for the future.
5. Chopped Onions and Peppers
Buying onions and green peppers in bulk is a great way to stretch the family grocery budget. Freezing onions and peppers also helps keep the workload down when preparing meals from scratch. Chop onions or green peppers to the desired sized. Put onions in a zippered storage bag, remove air, then lay the bag flat in the freezer to freeze.
6. Energy Balls
These bites are the easiest things to make; just throw everything in a food processor and blend it for a minute or two. They last a good three weeks in the freezer, so you can make lots at the same time and keep your freezer stocked with goodness for ages! So, whether you’re a workout fanatic or just looking for a quick bite of energy between meals, raw vegan energy balls are easy to make and incredibly delicious.
7. Breakfast Muffins
Avoid the store bought processed muffins, and make your own healthy version! They are great for freezing for busy lifestyles on the go. Pick your favorite healthy muffin recipe and then stash them in the freezer so you don’t eat them all in one sitting.
8. Cooked beans
Freezing is a great way to preserve cooked beans! You can easily freeze them for quick defrosting and use in small bags or containers. They do take some time to cook, so spend a weekend afternoon cooking up a big batch and then freeze for the week to come.
9. Soups, Stews, and Chilis
Soups are one of the easiest and most reliable dishes to freeze. You can come home from work, warm up a bowl of frozen soup, and know without a doubt that it will be delicious. Make a double batch of the soups, stews, and chilis you love most and freeze some for later.
10. Pre-Made Burritos
Breakfast burritos offer a fast and filling way to fuel up on busy mornings. But with a little advanced planning, you can make getting breakfast on the table even easier. Burritos come together in a flash, and can be wrapped up and frozen for a quick morning feast. You can reheat breakfast burritos in the microwave or in the oven for much-needed convenience.
Original Article: 11 Things I Keep in my Freezer To Make Vegan Eating Easy, MindBodyGreen.com, 1/4/16