Some foods fare much better than others in the freezer, and plenty of them will get completely ruined by freezing them. From changes in texture and taste to actual health concerns, freezing these foods can have plenty of unwanted consequences.
When you plan your meals, make sure that you don’t shop for the foods that should not be frozen hoping that you can keep them in the freezer for longer. Even freezing them for a day can lead to some unpleasant results.
1. High Water Content Vegetables
While there are plenty of vegetables that can be frozen and still keep their taste and texture intact, you should avoid putting any veggies with a high water content in the refrigerator. When you thaw them, you’ll usually end up with a mushy mess that can also have a different taste. Potatoes, onions, radishes, cucumbers, celery and peppers should never be frozen raw.
Hard cheeses may survive the freezing process with no big changes in texture, particularly if you plan on grating them or using them when you cook. However, most dairy products are among the foods that should not be frozen. Everything from soft cheeses and yogurt to milk and cottage cheese belongs in the fridge. While liquid dairy will curdle once thawed, soft cheeses will have unpleasant changes in texture.
If you plan on using frozen fruit to cook and mash them after thawing or blend them for a delicious smoothie, you can freeze a wide variety of them. However, don’t expect watermelon, apples and citrus fruits , from limes and oranges to grapefruit to survive the thawing process without big changes in texture.
Whether they’re raw and whole or hard boiled, eggs are also among the foods that should not be frozen. If you freeze fresh eggs, the shells will crack, and you’ll end up with a very unpleasant smell in your freezer. For hard boiled eggs, the whites will get rubbery when thawed. If you just plan on using them for cooking, freeze the raw white and yolks separately in airtight containers.
See also: Why Is Your Vegan Cooking So Bad?
5. Salad Greens
Lettuce, sprouts, and salad greens don’t belong in the freezer either if you hope they keep their texture after thawing them. You won’t just get limp and wilted salad greens, but they’ll also lose a lot of their taste as well. Keep your salad greens in the fridge instead of trying to freeze them.
6. Fried Foods
Any type of fried batter goes soggy once it’s thawed, but all things fried are among the foods that should not be frozen. From French fries to fried chicken, you’ll end up with a mushy mess. If you don’t mind the changes in texture, you can reheat frozen fried foods in the oven, but you might also notice some small changes in taste.
While bread can be frozen and thawed without big changes in texture or taste, crumb toppings are different. They’ll absorb a lot of moisture and turn soft or even soggy once returning to room temperature. You can freeze pies or casseroles, but only add the crumb toppings once they’re fully thawed to keep the crunch.
8. Food Emulsions
Mayonnaise and sauces are also among the foods that should not be frozen. Usually, food emulsions separate and curdle when thawed, becoming useless and gross. Sauces that contain flour or cornstarch are particularly sensitive to freezing, but you’ll also get the same effect if you try to freeze custard or frosting that’s made with egg whites.
Since liquids expand when they turn solid, you should never try to freeze sodas in bottles. Cans or plastic containers might expand and keep the frozen soda contained, which means that it will still have the CO2 when it goes back to a liquid. However, you’ll notice far fewer bubbles, and depending on the ingredients, changes in taste are possible as well.
10. Defrosted Food
Among the foods that should not be frozen, foods that have already been defrosted are the biggest health risk. Whether it’s meat or vegetables, freezing for a second time allows more bacteria growth and you’ll risk food poisoning. If you’ve already thawed it once, don’t put it back in the freezer, just cook it.