Did you know that every major supermarket sells frozen chopped onions for little more than their fresh equivalent? Nope? Well, you obviously haven’t met me socially then, because I talk of little else. That and Christmas spreadsheets. It’s not just that I am socially challenged, it’s more that I feel compelled to spread the word. People need to know. So when I heard that there was an online campaign to create more awareness about frozen food, you can imagine my joy. These people are my people.
Here is my party spiel: “You know that bit you never factor into cooking time, where you try to peel the papery skin off an onion with your thumbnail, getting it wedged between nail and flesh. Finally you start to chop, realise your knife is blunt, find another one and eventually you have some uneven wedges which you can start cooking? That bit doesn’t need to happen. Instead just go to your freezer, scoop a handful of pre-chopped onions out of a pack, and sling them in a pan. Job done. In seconds rather than minutes, hands untainted by onion juice.”
Admittedly it’s not the most scintillating anecdote, and some people’s eyes do glaze over, but on the whole I get a very positive response. Disbelief, surprise and gratitude are the most prominent, although it is always possible that the people I meet are just very polite.
If I detect a bit of additional interest (I don’t want to bang on, I’m not a total bore) I may broaden my oeuvre and elaborate on the joys of frozen berries. Cheaper than their fresh counterparts, they are picked and frozen within hours, meaning they are potentially more full of vitamins too. With a bag of summer berries in your freezer a healthy smoothie is never far away, nor is an indulgent desert of melted chocolate on frozen berries – your kids will love you forever. In fact yesterday I discovered frozen mango and whizzed up the deliciousness in the picture.
Mango, coconut and basil smoothie
150g mango cubes (frozen, obv)
Several sploshes of coconut water
Sprinkling of frozen basil
There are other great things you can buy frozen, a friend swears by Sainsbury’s frozen chopped herbs which mean wilt-gilt (the guilt induced by watching fresh herbs wilt in the fridge) is a thing of the past in her household. Grilled Mediterranean vegetables are another great find – just revive in your griddle and it’s as though you did the hard work of chopping, deseeding and grilling – they are yummy stuffed in a pitta with hummus.
There are lots more things to find in the frozen aisle, but I’m going to leave that voyage of culinary discovery to you. Plus, what happens if we meet at a party, and you already know all my conversational gambits?
I’m working with BritMums and Coolcookery.co.uk highlighting the versatility, economy and nutritional benefits of cooking with frozen food. All opinions are my own. For recipes and ideas visit http://bit.ly/coolcookery