Things you didn't know you could freeze

Using your freezer for just ice cubes and a packet of frozen peas? Freezers are the most efficient when they are full, so make the most of the space to prevent food waste and have ingredients ready to go. From milk and cheese to veg and rice, your freezer can do it all!

  1. Milk

    Overestimated how much milk you’re going to get through? Pop it in the freezer and you’ll never need a last-minute dash to the supermarket again. If full or unopened, pour a little bit out of the container before freezing so that it has room to expand as it freezes, or tip into an airtight container. Defrost overnight in the fridge and shake well before using to mix the milk and fat back together, then use as normal.

    Milk
  2. Cheese

    Hard cheeses like Cheddar, Red Leicester or Comté all freeze well if you are clearing out the fridge. Grating the cheese before freezing in airtight Tupperware will make it easier to use handfuls as you need it, ready for adding to indulgent macaroni cheese or melting into an indulgent cheesy dip.

    Cheese
  3. Eggs

    Did you know you could freeze eggs? Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk together, then freeze in a freezer bag or individual ice cube trays – defrost for omelettes and baking whenever you need. Or if you’ve just used yolks in a recipe, freeze just the whites ready for meringues.

    Eggs
  4. Bananas

    Peel ripe bananas and freeze whole or in slices. These can be used straight from the freezer, perfect for cold, thick smoothies or snacking on with these easy 3-ingredient fruit and nut bananas. Plus, frozen bananas are all you need to make this super simple banana nice cream.

    Bananas
  5. Potatoes

    Potatoes last well in a dark, cool cupboard, but if you’ve got too many to use before they start to sprout, the freezer is a good saviour. Peel, roughly chop and blanch until just cooked, then spread out on a tray so they’re not touching. Freeze until solid, then tip into a freezer bag – roasties ready to go!

    Potatoes
  6. Yogurt

    You’ve probably bought frozen yogurt on holiday as a cooling summer treat, but you can just as easily freeze your spare yogurt at home. If you’ve got kids, pop a lolly stick in mini yogurts ready for summer snacks at a later date. Or plan ahead and use up the end of a tub of Greek yogurt to make these 3-ingredient frozen yogurt bites filled with fruit and granola.

    Yogurt
  7. Wine

    Opened a bottle of wine but know you won’t finish it? Pour the rest into ice cube trays (or a freezer bag if you have a larger amount), then add a cube to recipes as needed. Give an extra boost to gravy, add red to a Bolognese for depth of flavour or use white in risottos.

    Wine
  8. Herbs

    Don’t let a big bunch of herbs wilt and go to waste. Roughly chop soft herbs like basil, coriander and parsley, place in ice cube trays and top up with water, then simply defrost on a plate when ready to use, or drop whole into pasta and curries. If you’ve got lots, simply place whole bunches in freezer bags and chop when needed – no need to defrost!

    Herbs
  9. Butter

    Bought more butter without realising you already had some? Pop one packet in the freezer, ready to have on standby. Keep in its original wrapper or wrap in foil. Melt into recipes straight from frozen or grate from frozen – chilled butter is key for light, tender pastry so use your frozen stash in this storecupboard cornflake tart or an impressive baked fig and custard tart.

    Butter
  10. Cooked rice

    If you’ve cooked too much rice to go alongside your dinner, don’t throw the rest out. Freeze as soon as possible after cooking. Pack into an airtight container (portioning into servings if you’ve got lots) and freeze, ready for fried rice at a later date. Reheat until piping hot when ready to use.

    Cooked rice
  11. Avocados

    Avocados have a tendency to go from underripe to overripe extremely quickly. If too many have ripened at once, freeze them at peak condition. Peel and freeze in chunks – add frozen chunks to the blender for a morning smoothie or defrost and make guacamole.

    Avocados
  12. Bread

    If you’ve bought too much bread or can just never get through a whole loaf before it goes stale, the freezer can help. Place whole loaves straight in the freezer, wrapping tightly and squeezing out excess air. Sliced bread can be toasted straight from frozen and you won’t notice the difference – top with mushrooms, tuna or build a club sandwich.

    Bread
  13. A few freezer tips to remember…

    If you’re ready to start making the most of your freezer, there’s a few basic tips to remember before you start filling it up:

    • Food should always be room temperature before freezing. If it’s hot when you put it in, the rest of the freezer will start to defrost.
    • Label everything with the date you froze it and what it is, for easy recognition later.
    • Food will expand once frozen, so don’t fill containers right to the top.
    • Always defrost food in the fridge, not at room temperature.