Freezing your food gives you convenience. When you freeze your food, you can plan your meals ahead of time and even take your food on the go. Freezers can be likened to a small pantry because they help you avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store. What’s more, you always have food available.
While freezing food is helpful for households, it is important that you understand this can reduce the quality of food. For instance, when you freeze meats, this can damage the cell walls and both the taste and the freshness are affected.
While freezing is convenient, allowing the food to thaw out and putting it back to the freezer can be a bad idea. There are a few rules to follow, particularly with refreezing. Here are foods you should NEVER refreeze:
1. Ice Cream: Surprise! For most people, it makes sense to refreeze ice cream, but this is an extremely bad idea. This is a dairy product and it can spoil very fast once thawed. Additionally, you will find that the change in flavor and texture: signals that it is now trash.
2. Fruit Juice: Once thawed, don’t refreeze fruit juices, particularly concentrates. They lose their quality and it is often hard to reconstitute with water.
3. Smoothies: Best to drink smoothies on the spot. Most of the smoothies come with milk, so thawing them is not a good idea as they become lumpy.
4. Raw Meats: Never refreeze meats once they have thawed out on the counter. They not only become smelly, but they also change in color, which means that they are no longer safe to eat. This is also applicable with seafood and poultry.
5. Cooked Meats: Aside from raw meats, you should also avoid refreezing leftover meats. Only take meats out once because proteins easily go bad after thawing them for the second time. You definitely don’t want to eat bad meat.
6. Salad Greens: Salads are tastier with crispy greens, but you cannot achieve this if you freeze them. For instance, if you want to use lettuce, avoid refreezing this vegetable as it can become limp, flavorless, and soft.
If you want to refreeze your food, make sure there are still ice crystals. But still, use your best judgment here. For instance, big foods, such as turkey, should not be refrozen even though they still have ice crystals. This is because they can be warm inside and thus is unsafe for you to eat. If you need to refreeze raw meat, make sure it is still cold. Cook it under 40F and then you can put it right back in the freezer.