This time of year at AnswerLine, we answer so many questions about freezing. People have questions about freezing fruits, vegetables, and leftover food. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great resource for preserving food. We use their website and cookbook “So Easy TO Preserve” many times each day. They also write a blog called Preserving Food at Home.
The blog that was published on May 12, 2015 had some great information about which foods can be successfully frozen. We know that freezing a food affects the texture. As the food freezes, the water inside the cells expands and causes the cell walls to burst. The loss of structure as those cell walls break down makes thawed food seem soft or mushy.
In that blog post they mention a quick way to know if a food will freeze well. Foods that are generally eaten raw–such as lettuce or celery– do not tend to freeze well. Those foods that are generally eaten after cooking–such as green beans or corn– do freeze well. Cooking foods also breaks down cell walls, so cooked foods will have a similar texture to those frozen and then thawed.
Any of the above mentioned foods would not be unsafe to freeze, that is, you will not cause anyone to become ill from eating foods that do not freeze well. You will NOT enjoy the texture and possibly flavor of those foods.
Some foods can lose flavor after freezing. Onions stored in the freezer will lose their characteristic flavor over time, while garlic will become strong and bitter.
Remember if you have any questions about freezing food; don’t hesitate to contact us at AnswerLine.