Aug. 20, 2013
To Freeze or Not to Freeze? HH Recipes That Freeze Well (or not so much)
A couple of months ago, I asked the Herbies on Facebook to let me know what HH blog, meal plan, and cookbook recipes they had successfully frozen (or not — so we don't all do it!). Freezing foods is a great way to save time during the busy school year (if you have little Herbies at home) or for general bulk cooking and saving leftovers past their usual prime all year round.
First of all, I have to say I loved the comments like this one! :)
"Everything recipe I've made from the HH cookbooks don't last long enough to make it to the fridge, much less the freezer! That's a good thing though! The only thing that I have frozen is the veggie broth!" — Rhonda M.
Some Herbies had mixed results with the same recipe, for example, the Hippie Loaf.
"There is always hippie loaf in my freezer." — Sarah M.
I was surprised to heat that this worked, as mushrooms generally don't do well in the freezer, and there were several dissenting comments to that effect.
"Hippie Loaf did not freeze well, but every muffin recipe I've tried has been great in the freezer." — Stefanie T.
This is an important lesson — as helpful as personal experiences can be (and I hope these comments give you some great ideas to try), results can certainly vary a bit. Whether it's the method of reheating you use or your personal sensitivity to texture changes (I am very sensitive to texture), sometimes what works well for one person won't be a best practice for someone else — like almost anything in life, really. That said, there were many HH recipes that seemed to be freezer home runs for nearly everyone! Yay!
"Chickpea Tenders freeze well (EHH). These are my favorite. I cut them up and make not-chicken salad with them too. I have heated them in a dry skillet and in the microwave. If you use the microwave, start with 1 minute. Any frozen patty/burger will dry out if microwaved too long. Yummy!" — Anna M.
"Most burgers freeze well. I've frozen HH Mushroom (HHC), Pinto (EHH), and Soul (HHC). Only freezer flop I've had was a minestrone soup. The noodles turned into mush when the soup was reheated." — Cecily R. (Again, I was surprised about the Mushroom Burgers since mushrooms generally don't do well frozen, but maybe they do because not much is used.)
"All the soups freeze well. The biscuits and muffins as well." — Gabby N.
"Your Quick Black Bean Burgers (EHH), the Pancakes (HHC) (Put the pancakes and waffles right into the toaster do it twice they're perfect!), Courtney's Waffles (HHA), Chickpea Tikka Masala (EHH)." — Lou F.
"The banana Oatmeal Cookies (HHC) freeze well I microwave them for breakfast." — Rebecca C. (Cookies for breakfast! Yum!)
"All of the burgers are great to make ahead and freeze, but I freeze them individually on a cookie sheet and pack them into a container when they're all individually frozen so they don't stick together. Same deal with muffins — freeze individually and then store together. Also, the Aztec Corn Salad freezes really well." — Alisha K.
"Cajun Cornbread Casserole (EHH). Cook them in muffin pans, put the cooled muffin pans in the freezer, once frozen they pop out nicely and can be individually stored for quick individual meals." — Donna F.
"Chili sans Carne (HHC) (I always make a double batch) and Zucchini Muffins! (HHC)" — Melissa P.
"I made French Toast Muffins (EHH) and froze some. I thawed them the night before eating and then heated them in the microwave terrific!" — Rita S.
"I've frozen a few of your smoothies into popsicle molds — kids and adults love them. Herbsicles? Neopolitan, Cinnamon Bun and Peanut Butter Cup (EHH) all worked well so far!" — Sarah H.
"Spicy sausages (HHC) freeze great and I'm very picky about food tasting just as good after being frozen. — Sharon Z.
"Agreed! Spicy sausages do freeze well. Sometimes, I find them a teensy bit gooey after being defrosted, so I slice them and toast the slices in a nonstick pan or under the broiler to give them a little crusty edge." — Leslie C.
"Tempeh Meatloaf (EHH). There are just the two of us and I make a double batch and cut them in half . . . love those tempeh loaf sandwiches!" — Jackie S.
"All the muffins freeze really well, I take them out and put them in the lunches frozen and they are fine by lunch time." — Katy M.
"Cajun Chickpea Cakes (EHH). Freeze uncooked then pan fry unthawed 3-5 min per side. I make them on the thin side though cause I like them crispy. Carissa N.
"Power Up Pineapple Stir Fry (from the Reboot & Cleanse!) freezes beautifully." — Stephanie M.
"I make Mardi Gras Beans and Rice (EHH) and freeze it all the time. I eat it probably twice a week for work! I'll make a double batch every time we make it just so that I can have leftovers to freeze! I would love to know which other dishes are good to freeze too!" — Kristine S.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Herbies! (You can read all of the replies here.)
For more information about freezing methods, check out the blog posts below. Another great reference is Still Tasty. It lets you look up the food you're questioning and will give you information on how long it will last frozen, tips, and sometimes even an explanation on why!
Related Posts:How to Freeze Tofu
Tell us about your freezing wins and woes in the comments!