Before I had kids, the freezer was for three things: ice, ice cream, and vodka.
Now that I’m a mom, not only is my freezer PACKED, but it’s become one of the biggest time savers in our household. The ice cream is still there, though. That won’t change.
Aside from that, here’s what I try to keep stocked:
Organic Corn Pizza Crusts
You can probably freeze any kind of pizza dough, but these are relatively guilt-free, delicious, and freeze like a charm. I typically keep a few on hand plus canned toppings (tomato sauce, olives, artichokes) and throw whatever’s in the fridge on top. Find them in your area here.
Trader Joe’s Hash Browns
So we all know McDonald’s has the best hash browns. But you guys — Trader Joe’s tastes ALMOST exactly the same! They’re cheap and toast up awesome in the toaster oven.
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants
Do you know how impressed people are when you say, “Would you like a freshly baked, warm, chocolate croissant?” These little breakfast treasures thaw on the counter the night before, then just pop in the oven and come out ah-mazing.
Lemon Ice Cubes
This crowd pleaser couldn’t be easier. Just chop up a lemon into small slices, place in a muffin tin, fill with water, and freeze to make sweet little individual lemon infused ice cubes. They look great in glasses, or throw a handful in a pitcher. For a fun, summer treat, mix in oranges and berries for a more colorful blend!
Having pre-cooked, shredded chicken on hand is such a time saver, and has so many uses. I usually will throw about six breasts into the crockpot (cover with chicken broth, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on high for 4 hours), shred, and place in individual serving bags for the freezer. Thaw the night before for tacos, pasta, casseroles, sandwiches….anything!
Making your own baby food sounds time consuming, and it is — if you don’t utilize your freezer. Fresh produce is best, but if you don’t have time, just pick up bags of frozen veggies and fruit (it’s pretty easy to find organic options in most stores), heat, puree, and freeze. When you’re ready to serve, just pop a few cubes in the microwave. A couple hours can prep meals for weeks! I’ve had the best success with these containers. Also, check out my post on making and freezing homemade baby pouches here.
I had no clue muffins were freezable until I was meal prepping before baby #1. Not only do they freeze easily, but they thaw beautifully and make a quick grab-and-go breakfast (or in my case at the time, 3am snack). Just wrap in a damp paper towel, pop in the microwave for about :30-1 min, and enjoy! My favorites: Peanut butter banana muffins, lemon blueberry muffins.
I know, bread is best when fresh. But when your toddler is screaming for a pb&anything sandwich and you’re out of bread, “fresh” becomes a luxury. I always try and have a loaf hanging out in the freezer, and honestly can’t taste much of a difference when it thaws out!
I just discovered cauliflower rice, and I’m obsessed. You can rice your own in a food processor, but I prefer to buy the pre-riced version sold in the freezer aisle since it saves a ton of time. I like this Mexican Chicken & Beans recipe, and this one with Andouille Sausage (I stock sausage in the freezer too!). Great for stir fry too!
Did I miss anything?