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Freezer Cooking

June 26, 2012

 

Recently, I was asked to join a freezer cooking club.  Now I think this is one of the best ideas out there – one that just about everyone should check out!  Freezer cooking clubs are simply a group of people coming together, thanks to some great organization, to cook meals to fill everyone’s freezer!  The premise of the club is fairly simple – select a recipe, cook, package and freeze enough of them for each member of the group to have one. At the exchange, everyone gathers and swaps food, going home, then, with one of each frozen meal. Great idea, right?  Variations of freezer cooking groups abound – some follow specific cookbooks, menu plans or packing styles, others are more loosely planned.

For our circumstances, however, it’s a little tricky.  You see, I avoid gluten, and my husband, who has type 2 diabetes, avoids sugar and most corn products. Gluten and corn are so common – and typically found in most people’s freezer meals.  Gluten, in particular, so prevalent with pasta, cream soups or used as a thickener in a casserole, is a biggie.  Certainly, there are good substitutes for gluten – I know a little something about this! Unless the freezer cooking club is specifically designed with these food challenges in mind, though, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’ll end up with food you can’t eat.

I’ve always had a huge interest in freezer cooking.  It’s made a huge difference in my food budget and helped answer constant question of “what’s for dinner?” In the past, rather than devoting an entire day to filling the freezer for a month’s worth of meals, I’ve resorted to doubling and tripling recipes as I’ve made them.  Another way I stocked the freezer was getting together to cook with a friend.  We would take turns hosting (and thereby take turns with whose house our young children would destroy for an afternoon).  It really was one of the best forms of playdates ever!

Now that I’m done with school (YES! I’M DONE WITH SCHOOL!) we are slowing easy out of warp speed/crisis mode and my mind is naturally turning its attention to ways for our family to get organized once again.  Freezer cooking, for me, is at the top of the list.

There are amazing resources on the internet for freezer cooking.  It’s hard not to get sucked into the recipes and meal plans!  Here’s a great tutorial on how to get started, complete with a great – and free – e-book.   Another site that caught my eye last night (possibly because of the beautiful pictures?  I have  food p*rn…) is Martha Stewart’s Freezer Friendly Foods . Some of those beauties – adapted to be gluten-free, obviously, are definitely going on my “need to try this” list very soon!

So … how about you?  Do you cook ahead and make meals for your freezer? Please share! What are your best tips or favorite recipes!  This girl needs a little help getting started again!

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