What is it about autumn which starts you thinking about filling up the freezer? Perhaps it's a throwback to the times of plenty; harvest time and the bottling, curing, drying and preserving which would have gone on then. Whatever it is, at this time of year I dust off the slow cooker, start soaking pulses and buying big packs of beef mince.
In that vein, I thought I'd do a bit of a summary on recipes I know freeze brilliantly, those recipes where it's really worth making double and having a night off later!
1. Meatballs are great. They're a bit of a labour of love to make but set yourself an hour with your partner looking after your little one and make some for the freezer!
2. Bolognaise, obvious but still worth a mention. I make mine with chicken livers. Delicious from the freezer and great to make into lasagne or a quick version of cottage pie.
3. Dahl. Very simple and super cheap lentil dish.
4. Muffins, be they sugar free or savoury, they all freeze well. My favourite is these apple ones.
5. Beef stew. Anything slow cooked seems to freeze like a dream.
6. Pancakes. My favourite is banana pancakes. A bit of effort to make fresh just on how long they take to cook but then layer them up between layers of non stick baking paper so they separate from the freezer. Defrost at room temperature or in a microwave.
7. Soups, I made some tomato and bacon soup tonight, the leftovers are going in the freezer!
8. Tomato sauce for pasta. Can be just stirred through hot pasta or used as a base for other dishes like vegetarian lasagne or add in ingredients like chicken, ham or prawns.
9. Date cake. I didn't try to freeze this until recently but if you freeze in slices separated by non stick paper, it's great to take out a slice for my husband's lunch and it's defrosted by midday (it's also not got any added sugar but shh. Don't tell him that!)
10. Raw biscuits. My favourite are these cheesy biscuits. Freeze them raw and cook from frozen. So simple!
So with not much more effort you can fill your freezer with a myriad of dishes and treats to make your life easy! No need to reach for a preprepared jar!