UACES Facebook Fill the Freezer - Basics to Freeze
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Our next Made at Home series with Becca Stackhouse from the University of Georgia will help you fill your freezer with good, nutritious options for meals at home!

Fill the Freezer - Basics to Freeze

by Katie Cullum

How would you like to have meals ready to cook every night?  But you don't want to pay a small fortune, OR gets tons of extra sodium in the process.  You can fill your freezer with healthy meals at a fraction of the cost that you'd pay for those sodium/fat-laden meals at the store!  We'll help you.

Today, we're talking about the basics of freezing - measuring, food safety, and packaging.  Check out the video for all the details, along with the food demo (which also goes along great with the Slow Cooker post)!

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

1 cup onion, sliced 

1 cup bell pepper, sliced 

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts 

1 jar (about 25 ounces) spaghetti sauce, low-sodium or heart-healthy 

1 can (about 15 ounces) diced tomatoes, no added salt 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

Half of 1 lb. box of whole-grain pasta, cooked *not needed until day of cooking 

  1. Label your 1-gallon freezer bag with the name, cooking instructions, and use by date (3 months from today). 
  2. Place onion, bell pepper and chicken breasts in freezer bag. 
  3. Add spaghetti sauce, tomatoes and garlic powder to bag. 
  4. Remove as much air as possible from bag, seal, and lay flat in your freezer. 

Makes 4 servings. Serve over cooked pasta with a side salad. 

To Use: The day before cooking, move bag to refrigerator to thaw completely. Place contents in a slow cooker, then cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. (*The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165° Fahrenheit). Serve over cooked pasta. 

Nutrition Information per serving: calories 520; total fat 8g; sodium 130mg; total carbohydrate 68g; fiber 6g; protein 49g. 

Tip: Use an empty coffee can or wide mouth half gallon Mason jar to hold the bag upright while filling it with ingredients.  

Tips for Good Freezing

Freezing Cooked Food for Future Meals: Freezer Bag Tips from the University of Nebraska Extension

Food Freezing Guide (good information on packaging plus everything else!) from the North Dakota State University Extension

Check out the rest of this series!