Although freezing food is very common in our daily routine, many times we know little about what should not be frozen and why we should not do it. For this reason, before undertaking this task, it can help us a lot to know these foods. The most important thing to consider when freezing a food is its biological structure. In addition, it is also important to take into account if they are fresh, cooked or previously frozen. Foods not recommended for freezing are those that are made up of a lot of water, starches (carbohydrates), dairy or fat, as well as all those that meet several of these characteristics in the same product. On the other hand, those that are previously frozen or cooked in certain ways cannot be frozen either.
Why are there foods that cannot be frozen? Because their structures are not very compatible with low temperatures, since all the previous ones are altered and lose their essential characteristics. Now, what foods are they exactly? At RecetaGratis we want to share with you the list of foods that cannot be frozen. It can be useful to you on more than one occasion!
High-fat or fried foods
Fat needs to freeze very low and slowly, which is why home freezing does not work well in many cases. In other words, very fatty foods frozen at home can taste, smell, lose consistency or go stale. Consequently, the following foods should not be frozen: eggs, creams, mayonnaise (and other similar sauce), soft cheeses, among others.
However, there are products that contain a certain amount of fat that better withstand home freezing, almost without losing their essential characteristics. In these cases, these foods must be packaged very well before freezing in order to insulate them from the cold as well as possible. Here the following products are outlined: bacon, sausages, very fatty meats, etc. In the case of meats, some experts recommend remove inedible parts (fat, nerves, tendons and bones) to improve its conservation in the freezer. However, it will also depend on the destination of the meat, for example, if it is hamburger meat, you must leave it a certain amount of fat.
Finally, if you freeze fried foods, which are also rich in fat, they will always lose their organoleptic characteristics: smell, taste (they become almost tasteless) and above all texture (their consistency becomes soft and unpleasant). For this reason, freezing fried foods is not recommended.
It is preferable to consume fresh dairy. However, butter and whipping cream can be frozen (although following certain guidelines). With that said, let’s see which dairy breaths shouldn’t be frozen:
- Milk. During the freezing process, this food separates its liquid part from the fat part. Thus, once defrosted, many things can happen: its consistency becomes grainy or partially recovers its original texture, loses much of its organoleptic characteristics or it can become rancid. For these reasons, freezing milk is not recommended. It is important to mention that the more fat this food contains, the worse the final result will be.
- Cheese. In this case it depends on the type of cheese. Soft or creamy cheeses never freeze, since they will lose all their essence, while hard cheese can be frozen (first wrapped in plastic wrap, before packaging), but it will only serve to add it to tacos, make some sauces or on top of it. pasta because it will lose consistency and crumble when cut.
- Yoghurt. This dairy does not react well to very high temperatures, because when it thaws it loses its texture and can be cut. In this case, it also applies that the greater the amount of fat, the worse the result.
Finally, it is important to note that foods prepared with dairy products should not be frozen either.
In principle, eggs in their original state are foods that cannot be frozen for several reasons:
- During the freezing process the egg expands, since it contains abundant liquid and a semi-rigid shell. Because of this, there is a risk of it breaking or exploding.
- The components of the egg, both fatty and liquid, do not support the freezing process well. Consequently, this food loses a large part of its organoleptic characteristics. In addition, the fat contained in the egg tends to go rancid when frozen, deteriorating its taste and smell.
In conclusion, the egg cannot be frozen raw or cooked. It is also not advisable to freeze products that contain it among their ingredients, such as mayonnaise, sauces, cakes, puddings, mousse, puddings, etc. It is always advisable to eat fresh or chilled eggs.
However, there are always exceptions in almost every rule, so although all of the above is true, some people argue that broken eggs can be frozen and get acceptable results. In this case, there are two ways to do it:
- Separate the white from the yolk. Once separated, they should be kept in containers to freeze food. This is the most recommended option.
- Beat the yolks and whites together. Add a pinch of salt or some acidic ingredient, so the yolk will not harden when thawed.
Despite the above, it should be noted that the meringue, which is made with beaten egg white and sugar, should not be frozen because it becomes moistened and acquires a sticky texture.
Mayonnaise, cream and emulsified sauces
Since these foods are quite delicate, especially if they are prepared with eggs, cream and flour, in general, it is not advisable to freeze emulsified sauces because lose their properties and / or are cut. However, there are exceptional cases of certain sauces that can be frozen without damage, but their properties are always altered. This is the case of the bechamel sauce, which can be frozen but loses some of its texture.
Among the sauces that we should never freeze are mayonnaise, aioli and hollandaise sauce, among others.
Fruits that cannot be frozen
In the case of fruits, it is not advisable to freeze them, since they generally contain a large percentage of water (the most watery is between 84-92%). Because of this, during the freezing process ice crystals form within these foods, changing their internal structure. Consequently, its organoleptic characteristics are negatively affected. That is, you will get a fruit with a soft, tasteless and discolored or blackened texture.
But as we discussed earlier, usually each rule has its exception, this would be the case of red fruits, bananas and citrus without skin, which can be frozen. In fact, it is common to freeze these foods to make, for example, homemade ice cream or smoothies, such as banana ice cream. The remaining fruits, on the other hand, They can only be frozen if you cook them before, as well as impregnated in sugar or syrup.
Vegetables that cannot be frozen
Although most vegetables can be frozen, You can never freeze them to eat them raw. That is, vegetables cannot be frozen to make salads or any other preparation that requires raw vegetables. Instead, they work great in stews and other cooked preparations.
Why? Because even though these foods stay very well frozen (especially thanks to previous treatments such as blanching or blanching), they do not retain the essential characteristics of fresh foods. So if you want to freeze vegetables, you might want to check out the following short list:
- Vegetables that we can freeze fresh or cooked: spinach, peas, zucchini, among others. This group is to be consumed exclusively in stews, cooked salads and other preparations that need cooking.
- Vegetables that we cannot freeze raw but can be prepared: the tomato should not be frozen as it is, but it can be frozen in sauce.
- Vegetables we can never freeze: all those foods that are made up mostly of water or starches. The best examples of this case are reflected in lettuce and potato (although the latter is not eaten raw). Even if you decide to prepare them in a recipe, freezing would be unfavorable. The foods in this group can only be consumed raw or cooked at the moment.
Discover How to freeze vegetables correctly in this other article.
Although we just named it, it deserves a special mention because its biological conformation rejects freezing, Twice! Yes, this food is made up mostly of water and starch, both incompatible with this preservation technique.
It is interesting to mention that the potato when thawed does not get bad or can harm us, but its texture changes, it becomes brittle, floury, and loses flavor. For this reason, if you want to freeze a dish that includes potato, do not prepare it with this vegetable from the beginning, it is better to add the potato after defrosting the dish.
For all the above, the potato omelette cannot be frozen either. This recipe is made up of problematic ingredients for the freezing process: eggs and potato. In principle, it is not patched to freeze the potato omeletteas it melts when thawed. This happens due to the starch in the potato. In addition, the potato loses flavor and consistency. However, there are those who freeze the potato omelette using the following trick: freeze the mixture without cooking (the beaten egg, salt to taste and the potatoes already fried). When defrosted, it simply has to be cooked.
In this case, something very similar to what happens with some vegetables and a large part of fruits happens, the important percentage of liquid in these plants does not make them good candidates for freezing. Why? Mainly because lose much of the aroma. In addition, they change their appearance and texture.
Despite all this, many people freeze aromatic herbs in various ways: in paste as if it were a pesto (perhaps the most effective), wrapping the leaves in aluminum foil or freezing the leaves in ice buckets (filled with water, olive oil or melted margarine).
Seafood that should not be frozen
Although most seafood can be frozen raw and at home (as long as it is fresh, never frozen seafood from the supermarket), there are some others that we must cook before processing them like this or simply eat them as quickly as possible, …