5 Foods to Avoid Freezing

From leftover soup to half a pepper, you can freeze almost any food. Freezing is a great way to reduce food waste and lower your grocery bill. However, there are some foods that don’t hold up well after being defrosted.

Freezing food is a great way to extend the life of perishable food because freezing prevents the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds that cause food spoilage and food poisoning. However, it is important to freeze food safely. No matter what you’re freezing, make sure to use it in an appropriate amount of time (consult the Refrigerator/Freezer Storage Chart). Also, defrost safely.

[Read more: Freezing 101]

Avoid freezing the following foods:

1. Salad greens: Greens wilt and will lose their flavor after they are frozen. Instead, store salad greens in the refrigerator and rinse well under running water just before using. Kitchen hack: Wrap in a paper towel to extend the shelf life.

2. Mayonnaise / creamy sauce: These sauces will separate and curdle when defrosted.

3. Eggs in the shell: Here is a bit of science for you: Liquid expands when it turns to a solid. This is why it is important to choose appropriate containers and leave extra room when freezing liquids. The same principle applies to eggs: The liquid will harden, expand and crack the shell, leaving a mess of unusable eggs.

4. Raw vegetables: You can and should freeze vegetables, but blanch them first to preserve the color and taste. Blanching is a process in which vegetables are exposed to boiling water or steam for a brief period and then rapidly placed in ice water to prevent cooking. Blanching stops the food’s enzyme action and destroys microorganisms present on the vegetables surface reducing your risk of food poisoning. Read more on how to safely blanch before you freeze.

5. Canned foods: Do not freeze food in the can. However, you can take the food out of the can, place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze the contents.

Added tip: When freezing food, label and date with these handy freezer labels.

Food & Nutrition Magazine
Food & Nutrition Magazine publishes articles on food and diet trends, highlights of nutrition research and resources, updates on public health issues and policy initiatives related to nutrition, and explorations of the cultural and social factors that shape Americans’ diets and health.