When it comes to your refrigerator the freezer has a pretty important role. Its the perfect place to store leftovers, fruits and vegetables that are out of season or anything that you’d like to keep fresh for an extended period of time. But do you know how to get the most out of your freezer? Here are 6 tips for keeping your frozen food fresh.

  1. Keep your freezer organized –Keeping the food that has been in the freezer the longest up front it will allow a sort of first in – first out mentality. This will allow you to use your items faster so they are less likely to go to waste. Store new items in the back, this will allow the new food to be in the coldest part of the freezer.
  2. Air flow is key –Make sure when you add new food to the back of the freezer that there is adequate room around the item to allow for air circulation. This air circulation will ensure that your food is cooled on all surfaces evenly.
  3. Minimize freezer burn with vacuum sealing –Air tight and vacuum sealed packaging will help minimize freezer burn, which can leave your food tasting less flavorful and colorful.
  4. Blanch vegetables first –When it comes to freezing vegetables, it is best to blanch green vegetables before your freeze them. Blanching will help the vegetables to keep their color, flavor and nutrients when frozen.
  5. Everything has a shelf life –Even fruits and vegetables have a shelf life. Fruits (except citrus) can be stored for 8 to 12 months. Citrus fruits and their juices can be stored for 4 to 6 months. Vegetables can also be stored for 8 to 12 months.
  6. Label everything –Clearly label each package with the date it expires. This will make it easier to identify which food you need to consume first, and which items are past their shelf life.

These simple tips can help you keep your frozen food more fresh, and even extend the life of some of your seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. For more tips and tricks in and around your kitchen, visit the Institute of Home Science.