How to Keep Frozen Veggies From Iceberging
You've got the perfect weeknight dinner recipe lined up—you have all the ingredients on hand, and it's only going to take 20 minutes to make. You get to the part that calls for adding 2/3 of a cup of frozen peas—and that's when you discover they are all stuck together in one giant iceberg-like clump.
Perhaps you try slamming the bag against the countertop or smashing it against the floor to break everything up—and now you have half an iceberg, a torn bag, and some some mashed frozen peas rolling around everywhere.
If this is you, fear not. There are a few easy peas-y solutions. Here's what to do to keep that bag from becoming a frozen mess:
Buy Frozen Veggies Last
When I go grocery shopping, I make sure that the last thing I do is head down the frozen foods aisle, and then I go directly to the checkout. I also check the bag I'm buying to ensure I am not starting out with anything that has already been frozen into a mass.
Use an Insulated Bag
My favorite thermal bag is the Costco 12 gallon insulated cooler bag. (You can also get a good one on Amazon.) It’s sturdy, does an excellent job of keeping things cool, is simple to zip foods into, and makes for easy shoulder-carrying when unloading groceries at home.
As an extra safety measure, I also place a frozen ice block, such as the Igloo reusable ice block, in my bag before I leave home. I am always quick to place the cold items in this bag at the checkout, or as I am loading groceries into my car, depending on how hectic the lines are in the store.
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At Home, Head Straight for the Freezer
When leaving the store with cold and frozen foods, I make a bee line for home. As I unload my car, frozen food always takes priority. My insulated bag is the first in the door. Even if I have a car full of groceries, I will go ahead and stop unloading the car to get all frozen foods into the freezer.
Get Veggies Out Right Before You Need Them
I keep my peas in the freezer almost 100% of their life. I pull out the bag when I need to measure out what I need for a recipe and immediately stick it back in the freezer.
I don’t have an ice pick, and I don’t like the thought of my peas blasting all over the kitchen floor as I try to break them up as I would a bag of ice. So, it is second nature to protect my peas as carefully as I protect my ice cream, and it makes food preparation much easier in the long run. Easy, freezie, peasy!