I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WinOverWinter #CollectiveBias
Time seems to be a commodity that is in ever-shortening supply these days. Especially this time of year when the holiday are quickly approaching. Because of that, we often don’t take the time to eat right and often opt for quick and simple solutions when it comes to dinnertime. That option isn’t always the healthiest. But with just a little pre-planning, you can make a variety of dishes that can be prepared beforehand and stored in your freezer which you can reheat quickly and enjoy when the time is right. Not only will this save you time when your week gets hectic, it will also cut down on your intake of take-out and fast food, making you a healthier and happier person.
Here are some tips for simple freezer meals that will let you enjoy a home-cooked meal without the time usually needed to do so:
Know What Not to Freeze
Before you freeze any of your dishes, make sure you know what kinds of foods won’t lose quality and consistency during the freezing process. Some foods don’t hold up to freezing temperatures. For starters, you should never freeze dairy or cream-based ingredients, such as milk or sour cream, yogurt, or cottage cheese as it will often crystallize and separate into its components upon thawing. If you are going to be freezing cream-based soups, be careful with how it tastes when it is reheated. You also want to avoid certain fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruit, cucumbers, watermelon, and lettuce. Cooked eggs are another food that will lose its consistency after freezing. If you want to freeze potatoes, they should either be raw or be mashed potatoes.
Learn How Long to Freeze Foods
An important thing to keep in mind is how long a food item can be frozen without losing taste and texture. Most foods will still have an expiration date even though they are being stored in the freezer.
Food that maintain their integrity the longest in the freezer are uncooked poultry and uncooked red meats, which can be stored for up to 9-12 months. Dressed poultry and smaller cuts of meat such as steaks or chops that haven’t been cooked will stay good between 3 and 12 months, depending on what it is. Soup, stews, and casseroles can be frozen for about 2-3 months. Luncheon meats, hot dogs, bacon, and ham can be frozen for about 1-2 months.
Use the Proper Storage Containers
When freezing food items, it is essential to remove as much air from the container as possible. Excess air promotes the formation of ice crystals and can cause food to become dehydrated. It is also important to remember that liquids with a high water content will expand once it reaches its freezing point. Choose airtight containers that correspond with the amount of food you are trying to freeze.
If you are using freezer bags or zipper bags, make sure to squeeze as much air as possible from them before sealing.
Take Up as Little Space as Possible
If you are freezing a lot of foods and ingredients, you are going to take up too much space in your freezer and run out of room. A better idea is to try to stack freezer bags, which take up a lot less space, but can still be labeled and organized. For example, if you have soup or chili, let it cool off after cooking, then pour it in freezer plastic bags. Let them lay flat, then place them in the freezer. And don’t forget, no matter what manner you store food in, make sure it is labeled with contents and date.
Since time is such a commodity, especially with Christmas coming up, I decided to head out to Target and stock up on everything I need to create a winter tool kit. That way we will have everything we need on hand….just in case. We all know that the the holidays and winter season bring a lot of fun for families, it is also the peak of many seasonal illnesses, aches, and pains – and I like to be prepared.
For the kids, I definitely want to be prepared for fevers. Like you already know, those things can come out of nowhere, so I grabbed some Children’s TYLENOL®. When it comes to reducing fevers and relieving pain in children, TYLENOL® is the brand recommended most by pediatricians. I have used Children’s TYLENOL® for years and love that it doesn’t upset little tummies. It is for children ages 2-11 and available in Cherry Blast and Grape flavors. Use only as directed.
For me, it’s super important to make sure that I have the right pain relief on hand for those headaches I’m sure to get from running myself ragged over the next month. I like to make sure I take care of the pain on the inside and outside, so I grabbed some Extra Strength TYLENOL®. Seriously, between school events, holiday shows, parties, family gatherings and every day life, I think my family is going to be non-stop for the next 4 weeks.
For the outside, I got some Ultra Strength BENGAY® Cream. With all the running around I’m going to be doing, I am definitley going to be sore all over.
Of course I grabbed some tissues & hand sanitizer, too! Now that I am all stocked up, I am ready to conquer the busy holiday season. How are you preparing for the holiday season?