NDSU Extension Service - Sargent County

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Freezer Meals

04.22.16 Freezer MealsThis week I sewed the binding onto the baby quilt I’ve been making for my newest grandchild, so it is ready to be delivered!  When we go to meet the new baby, my husband and I will also take along several freezer meals that I prepared last weekend.  No doubt, with two other young children at home, plus the new baby, those freezer meals will come in handy for my son and daughter-in-law. 

Preparing freezer meals is one of the kindest things I can think of to do for others, and it’s a kindness we can do for ourselves, too!  The benefits of freezer meals include:

-          Saving money by reducing food waste
-          Saving money by eating away from home less often
-          Saving time by consolidating shopping trips and food preparation steps
-          Improved nutrition
-          Enhancing family mealtime
-          Simplifying clean-up 

If the idea of freezer meals is new to you, begin with recipes that were designed to be used as freezer meals.  Recipes for a variety of ground beef and chicken recipes such as enchiladas, orange teriyaki chicken, sloppy joes, and spaghetti, plus links to several other reliable sources of “cook once, eat twice” and “make ahead meals,” are included in the one-week freezer meal plan from Utah State University.  It also includes the shopping list for the week’s meals and tips for success.  The publication can be found online at http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/FN_FoodPreservation_2009-01pr.pdf

Dedicating time to preparing freezer meals is one way to accomplish the task.  An alternatives is to double the recipe for a freezer meal so you have one to eat right away, and one to freeze for later.  Another alternative is to get a few friends together as freezer meal exchange group.  Similar to a cookie exchange, each person in the group prepares enough of one freezer meal to give one to each friend.  If you have five friends in the group, each person gets to take home the four freezer meals that the other people prepared, plus the one they made.

Photo Source:  http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/FN_FoodPreservation_2009-01pr.pdf  (Downloaded 4-23-16)

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