It’s safe to say that current circumstances are different to anything we’ve experienced before. Avoiding going out apart from the absolute essentials can be tricky, especially if you’re used to frequenting the shops several times a week for food. We’ve put together a list of space saving and freezer friendly food tips and several easy recipe ideas.
- Spices, herbs, onions and garlics are definitely an essential to turn good meals into great meals. Each household will have their own preference, but these are some of the ones we use most regularly and can create a variety of meals from: onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, thyme, chilli powder and stock cubes!
- Tins are a luxury right now as everyone is stocking up where they can. Beans, chickpeas and various pulses are cheap and versatile for bulking out casseroles, soups etc., but if you’re struggling to get your hands on tins, try buying packets of the dried variety. Not only is it cheaper, but you’ll be saving lots of space in your cupboards.
- Can’t get your hands on tinned tomatoes? Did you know that you can use tomato puree in its place for a little effort? Whisk 1.5 tablespoons of flour with 60ml water until lump free and then add another 300ml water with 4 tablespoons of tomato puree and 1.5 teaspoons of sugar. Bring to simmer on stove until it thickens to gravy consistency and voila, you have an alternative to one tin of chopped tomatoes. Tip from RecipeTin Eats.
- Powdered milk, long life bottles and dairy-free alternatives stay much fresher than regular milk.
- Rather than buying large joints of meat, buy thighs or chunks which can be stored in a much smaller space. Tinned fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines are also a good alternative to meat.
- Eggs are brilliantly versatile and last for weeks. They’re perfect for breakfast, baking, quiches, omelettes, rice dishes and much more. Time to stock up!
- A lot of dairy items are actually freezable – butter, milk, cream and cheese! A handy tip is to grate a big block of cheese and freeze it – it’s so small that it will defrost if you sprinkle it onto a hot meal, least of all if you cook with it.
- Don’t forget your veggies. Our long lasting staples that we use in so many recipes include onions, garlic, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. Whether you buy them frozen or you prepare yourself and freeze, you can store the above veggies, as well as peppers, sweetcorn, squash, courgettes, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, spinach and many other greens in the freezer. Spinach can be bulky but reduces down nicely once cooked so cook until it wilts and then freeze to maximise freezer storage.
- Fruit is a bit trickier, but apples and oranges can be kept in the fridge for about 4 weeks. Buy really green bananas so they don’t get overly ripe too quickly. Most fruits can also be frozen and are perfect for smoothies. Dried or tinned fruit are also good alternatives.
- Fresh herbs add amazing flavour to a lot of things, but dried herbs last a lot longer than fresh. If you prefer fresh, did you know you can freeze them whole? Or chop into portions, add to ice cube trays, fills with water and freeze. When you need herbs just pop one in your dish when cooking.
Here’s some of our favourite cupboard staple recipes: