Ask the Expert: How to Store and Freeze Food

Nutrition // Erica Grandjean // 12 November 2015

In the middle of a busy week, having some key foods in the freezer can be a godsend. But do you know what foods are good for freezing? And how long they can be frozen for?

We asked our 12WBT dietitian Erica Grandjean for the best freezer-friendly foods that retain their nutritional punch, and still taste great.

Freezer Friendly Foods

It may be time for a freezer cleanout at your place! We’ve all got a few ‘iffy’ food items in our freezers (some that may have been there for waaaay too long), so if you don’t know when it went it there, ditch it! And be sure to date your foods when you put them in the freezer.



These can purchased frozen, which is great if it’s not quite the right season for fresh berries. If you’re freezing fresh berries, do so in a single layer on a tray so they don’t freeze together. Once frozen, pop them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. 



These are awesome for smoothies, giving them a thicker, creamier texture. Peel first, then wrap tightly in cling wrap or store in airtight container.


Raw Meat


Double wrap with cling wrap and freeze in individual portions – this makes defrosting much easier (and safer). Fresh meat, such as beef steaks, chicken breast will last 6-12 months in the freezer. Seafood, bacon and deli meats are best used within 1 month of freezing. Thaw in the fridge.


Cooked Meat

Freeze in airtight containers or ziplock bags, making sure to remove as much air as possible. Store in individual portions (e.g. 100g chicken breast, etc.) to make thawing easier and faster! Thaw in fridge.



Slice it and it’s good to go! You can pop it straight in the toaster or leave a few slices in a ziplock bag on the bench to defrost…ready for a sandwich!


Cooked Rice

Freezing cooked rice saves so much time during the week. Freeze it in portions that you will eat (e.g. ½-1 cup) so that all you need to do is reheat in the microwave for 40-60 seconds.


Packaged Frozen Vegies


Saves loads of time and effort AND can help to reduce waste each week. Spinach, broccoli, carrots and green beans and peas are some of our faves! Check packet for cooking directions and use by date.


Freezable Recipe: Red Curry of Pumpkin & Green Beans

4 Serves

15 min prep time

30 min cooking

317 Cal / serve

This delicious vegetarian curry is high on taste and surprisingly low on calories. Roasting the pumpkin helps to intensify the sweet flavour, which contrasts with the tangy lime juice. This recipe serves 4, enough to feed the family or save for another day. Quick and easy to prepare, you can have this hearty dish prepared and cooked in under 45 minutes. This yummy curry contains pumpkin, beans, broccoli and kaffir lime leaves with a hint of basil and is perfect served with rice.


600g Pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
1g Olive Oil Spray
40g Brown Rice
1 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste (20g)
1 X 400g cans Reduced Fat Coconut Cream (400g)
200g Green Beans, cut into 3cm pieces
200g Broccoli, cut into florets
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves (1g), thinly shredded
1 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (20g)
1 Tablespoons Reduced Salt Soy Sauce (20g)
1 Tablespoons Lime Juice (20g)
1/2 Cup Basil Leaves (20g)


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange pumpkin onto tray and spray lightly with oil. Roast for 20 minutes, until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
  3. Place a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic (be careful as paste may spit). Add coconut cream and stir until well combined.
  4. Add pumpkin, beans, broccoli and kaffir lime leaves to pan. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in sugar, soy sauce and juice.
  5. Divide between bowls, top with basil leaves and serve with rice.

Mish Tip

If you can’t get kaffir lime leaves, add a teaspoon of finely grated lime rind with the lime juice.


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