Miscellaneous freezer/cooking tips using ginger, citrus fruits and bananas

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One of the most useful cooking tips that I have ever learnt was from a tv show featuring chef Michael Smith.

His advice was to freeze fresh ginger to preserve its freshness and useability. (For added cost benefit, I purchase ginger when it is on sale and keep it in a freezer bag in my freezer for ready availability whenever I need an added ‘kick’ to a dish, or for making a cup of fresh ginger tea. ‘Fresh’ ginger is now always on hand to meet my impromptu cooking and tea drinking moods; with no more surprises of finding a knarled, dried root in my fruit bowl or in the back of the fridge crisper!)

Chef Smith is soooooo right…..frozen ginger really does work better, and is very simple to grate. It is much easier to use when it has been frozen than when it is fresh, because frozen ginger does not produce ’strings’ when grated, and there is no ‘wasted’ juice that is so often the case when using a fresh ginger root. The frozen ginger also measures more accurately, because it is ‘dry’ (without being powdered), but still has all its potentcy intact (maybe even a little more so, in comparison to fresh).

Frozen ginger tends to blend into any dish you are cooking easier because there are no ‘chunks’ or lost flavour on your grating board–just more ‘bang for your buck’ in the amount of smoothly blended intensity of a delightful ginger flavour. I hope you find this as benefitial a tip as I have.

Another wonderful freezing tip is to freeze lemons, limes and oranges for later use. Again, buy in bulk when they are on sale (for an added cost benefit); wash and dry thoroughtly; then keep them on hand frozen in freezer bags–whole–for use whenever needed (their zest, at this stage, is useless though).

When limes, lemons, or oranges thaw, they release a considerable larger amount of juice than when they are fresh.
This is possible because when liquid freezes it expands. When the citrus juice in the fruit expands, it causes the juice ’sacks’ (membranes) to rupture, so that when the fruit thaws, it is literally ‘bursting with flavour’!

For a quick limeade, use: 1/2 lime juice and slices into 4 cups of cold water for a wonderfully refreshing thirst quencher.

A third freezing tip, is to put overripe bananas (as is) into the freezer. To use, cut the end off a thawed banana, then squeeze the mushed banana out like toothpaste. Use the frozen banana(s) in bread, muffins, milkshakes or other recipes. The texture changes when it is frozen, so you cannot use the banana as you would when fresh.

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