In this modern age, frozen food recipes have become an integral part of each and everyone’s life. As we saw with the recent 2021 pandemic, fresh foods have become scarce due to several lockdowns due to which the supply of fresh foods has become less. People started to put more and more fresh foods in their freezers and stock them up for future needs.
Fresh foods have a less consumable time and hence the quality of the fresh foods starts to degrade after the stipulated time. But the time for fresh foods can be extended for significant periods of time by locking them up in the freezer so that the growth of food degrading bacteria can be slowed or stopped.
What are Frozen Foods?
Frozen foods are cold ready-made foods such as vegetables or chicken along with their desired flavoured coatings which are kept in freezers at -20 degrees celsius so that their shelf lives of the food are increased significantly and can be used for extended periods of time. It can serve as ready-made food whenever we wish to use it. We can use it for cooking after keeping it out of the freezer for 10 to 20 minutes. Various edible foods such as vegetable nuggets, chicken legs, chicken wings, vegetable patties, hamburger patties can be frosted and can be cooked later.
Types of Frozen food:
Frozen foods can be broadly classified into two types depending on the place where the food is manufactured:
- Packaged Frozen Food
- Homemade Frozen Food
Packaged Frozen Food:
Packaged Frozen Food is a type of food where the necessary ingredients and flavour are added and packaged directly from food manufacturing units or industries where they reach the end consumer in a frozen manner so that the consumer will buy packaged frozen foods directly from the supermarkets and store the frozen food in refrigerators and can be used for later purpose. Also, these are called freezer to oven meals.
Some of the famous player in this segment are Venkys, Bellisio Foods and Dr Praeger’s frozen foods. Some of the famous Venkys non-vegetarian frozen food includes Venkys Chicken Franks, Venkys Chicken Pepper Salami, Venkys Chicken Meat Balls, chicken lollipop and chicken nuggets. These are ready-made frozen foods that are ready to cook and consume. Some of the frozen vegetarian packaged foods include Aloo Tikki, Samosa, french fries and vegetable patties.
Home made Frozen Food:
Homemade frozen foods are foods that are first prepared at home along with the necessary ingredients and flavours and are frozen by placing them in the freezer part of the refrigerator. Frozen Peas is a good example of homemade superchilled food. Also, some of the other examples of homemade frozen food include frozen chicken tandoori, frozen chicken 65, frozen hamburger patties. Each of the mentioned foods is prepared specially at home and made ready till the point before cooking and frozen afterwards.
Fresh food vs frozen food:
The main difference between fresh food and frozen food is that fresh food is readily available for cooking whereas frozen food is kept in the freezer for 1 or 2 days before it can be cooked. Apart from this difference, below are the further differences on fresh food vs frozen food.
|Fresh Food||Frozen Food|
|Available to cook instantaneously for cooking||Kept in a frozen state to avoid degradation|
|Can be bought directly from the market and cooked.||Bought from the store in a frozen format.|
|The temperature of the fresh food is usually 20 to 25-degree celsius||The temperature of the frozen food is usually -20 to -10 degree celsius.|
|Good for consumption within a day or a maximum of two days.||Good for consumption even after 10 to twenty days.|
|Usually cheaper when compared to frozen food.||Usually quite costlier when compared to fresh foods.|
Shelf life of a Super chilled / iced food:
The shelf life of frozen food depends upon the type of food and the water content of the food. The higher the water content of food, the lesser the shelf life of the food. This is because if the water content of the food is higher, the food content tends to have more moisture and higher moisture leads to the growth of bacteria.
Due to this factor, some foods have higher shelf life than others. For example, frozen peas have a much higher shelf life when compared to frozen chicken because peas have less water content than chicken and hence peas do not degrade faster when compared to chicken.
Frozen food list as well as their shelf life:
Some of the shelf lifetimes of common frozen foods / frozen food examples are listed in the below chart:
|Frozen Food Recipe Ingredient||Shelf Lifetime|
|Peas||3 to 4 months|
|chicken||2 to 3 weeks|
|Mutton||7 to 10 days|
|milk||3 to 4 days|
|nuggets(veg)||2 to 4 weeks|
|non-vegetarian nuggets||1 week|
|patties||3 to 4 weeks|
|Icecream||5 to 6 weeks|
How to Cook Frozen Foods?
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding cooking frozen foods. This post address the problems faced by our users while cooking food which was kept under freezing temperatures. One of the issues that many make while cooking frozen food is that microwaving or boiling or frying the food directly from the freezer causes the food to break or thaw while cooking.
Also, frying the food by directly putting the frozen food on the superheated oil might pose some safety issues as well. Hence it is recommended to cook the food after keeping it outside the freezer for half an hour to one hour. This allows the temperature of the food to increase naturally and aids in the process of defrosting.
Also if some people wish to increase the process of defrosting, it can be done by the boiling water method. The boiling water method spontaneously increases the defrosting process. Take a big bowl of water and heat it up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
Also, keep the frosted food in a separate bowl. This bowl will be used to place it on top of the boiling water later. Once the water is boiling hot, place the bowl of frost food above the water and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Also, it is important to know that, the bowl should not be closed with a lid, else it will cause excess humidification within the lead and will lead to excess moisturisation of the food.
Quick Frozen Food Recipes:
As part of this post, since we saw what was meant by frozen food, it is also equally important to cover some food recipes based on low-temperature foods. Using foods such as frozen corn, frozen berries it becomes easy to make various recipes using these ingredients.
Frozen Berry Salad:
Frozen Berry Salad is a famous dish that is easy to make as well as a healthy dish. This recipe is made using frozen berries and other ingredients. Also, ice cream can also be added as an extra as per individuals likings.
Some of the key ingredients used in this berry salad are finely chopped apples, frozen cranberry, strawberry, sugar, some vanilla extract, 1 cup of heavy cream or ice cream, 2 to 3 teaspoons of finely powdered sugar, and some walnut, almonds, cashew nuts if necessary.
Add all the above ingredients to a medium-sized bowl and stir them up for 1 to 2 minutes. Also, add the sugar and cream according to your likings. It is also recommended to add honey to the salad to increase the taste as well as the richness of the salad. Serve them fresh or keep them in the fridge and serve them cooled.
5 easy tips on frozen food recipes:
- Whenever some foods are to be stored for a long period and also if it is a water dry product, its better to store the chilled food in a vacuum-sealed bag instead of a metal bowl or ceramic bowls because this will cause frost to develop on the food which will add extra moisture to the dry food.
- Do not fry iced foods in oil directly from the freezer as the frost coating in the food when heated will add some water to the heated oil which will pop and spill oil which is quite dangerous. Hence keep the food outside for some time allowing it to defrost.
- Also when the frost from the food after keeping it outside for some time is gone, it is better to wash the food since the chilled food is sitting in the freezer for quite some time.
- When foods such as chicken or meat are frozen, the water from the meat causes it to clump together as a single lump of giant frozen meat. In order to avoid this add some oil to the meat before placing it in the freezer and oil does not allow the food to clump together.
- Also while handling super chilled foods use hand gloves in order to prevent frostbite on your hands, because sometimes palms get attached to the frost and might thaw your fingers.
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