Low temperatures ruin the texture, flavor, and appearance of these foods.
by Jill Neimark, for Rodale's Organic Life
1. Water-Rich Vegetables
These include crunchy celery, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, and watercress. The fact that they are water-rich means they freeze easily, but freezing ruptures the cell walls that give them their structure, so when they are defrosted they go limp and mushy. (They also develop an unpleasant oxidized aroma, flavor, and color.) However, pickled and fermented veggies will freeze just fine, since their cell walls have already been broken down. Fresh tomatoes can be frozen if you plan to cook them after defrosting, but if you want to eat them raw, don’t freeze—they’ll have a mushy, runny texture.
2. Whole Eggs
Eggs in the shell bust open when frozen, admitting dangerous bacteria. (If you really want to freeze eggs, take them out of their shells, first.
You can store unopened, freshly roasted bags of coffee in the freezer for up to a month, but after you've opened the bag, don't freeze it again. Thawing and refreezing coffee beans leads to moisture condensation on the beans, causing them absorb unpleasant freezer smells.
4. Soft Dairy Products
Sour cream, cottage cheese, and whipping cream separate and become watery after freezing.
Potatoes will discolor and lose texture if you freeze them raw; cooked potatoes turn waterlogged and mealy. Bottom line: Don't freeze your spuds.
Freezing causes mayonnaise and salad dressings to separate and turn watery. (This also goes for recipes containing mayonnaise, such as dips or mayo-based salads.)
7. Block Cheeses
Freezing tends to make cheese very crumbly so that it doesn't slice or shred well after. (To avoid this, you can shred your cheese before freezing it.)
8. Meringues + Cooked Frosting
Freezing turns airy meringues tough and rubbery; and makes cooked frostings soften and weep. Finish those desserts now instead of putting them on ice for later.
This article was originally published on Rodale's Organic Life.
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