As a busy home manager and mom, my freezer is an essential tool for me!
I try to use as little “prepackaged” food as I can to avoid unhealthy additives like MSG (found in almost ALL canned soups and multiple other boxed/jarred/canned items) and various other preservatives and artificial flavorings. Yet many of my favorite, tried and true recipes use things like cream of chicken or mushroom soup, canned chicken broth, or jarred pasta sauce. Since I miss the convenience of just grabbing a can or jar to add to my recipe, I decided to make my own “convenience foods”.
Every six weeks or so I use my trusty stockpot to make big batches of both homemade pizza/pasta sauce and cream of “whatever” soup substitute, which I then package in about 2 cup portions in freezer containers and freeze.
Unlike storebought broth, which is full of sodium, MSG, and additives, homemade broth is delicious and full of wonderful vitamins and minerals! It’s truly a super food! ! I cook the broth down so long that there really isn’t much meat left, but I do use what’s there to make a batch of chicken salad or a quick casserole. I use the recipe found in Nourishing Traditions, but almost any basic cookbook will have a chicken stock recipe in it.
I also use my trusty stockpot to easily brown large batches of ground meat. I often do about 10 lbs at a time and then package it in 1 lb servings individually in quart size freezer bags. These stack neatly and compactly, even in a small freezer…I keep mine in my kitchen freezer. Then, when I’m preparing a meal, instead of having to brown my meat, I can quickly pull and thaw a couple of bags anytime a recipe calls for ground meat, saving me quite a bit of time in putting together my dish.