Muffin tins and ice cube trays are two of my hardest working kitchen gadgets. Being a former restaurant person, I’m big on portions. Not only for serving but for prep as well. A little “short order” style prep will make your life a lot easier, save you money and keep your family eating healthy and away from hitting the drive thru at lunch time (and breakfast). It’s just as easy to make a double batch of something and freeze half for later.
All different portion sizes are at your fingertips… ice cube trays, mini muffin, regular muffin and even “Texas” muffin pans.
Freeze portions, and when they’re solid turn them out and store in Ziploc freezer bags! When you don’t have enough mac & cheese for another entire family meal, put what’s left in a muffin tin and freeze it. When you have those two leftover slices of meatloaf, grab that mac & cheese and voila, lunch!
That pot of soup that you’ve been eating for a couple of meals, no problem. Kid’s lunches made easy!
Do you only make zucchini bread while the zucchini is in season? Use your food processor to do the prep for you, then package so it fits your favorite recipe.
Shred zucchini and drain, squeezing out excess moisture. You can toss it with a little sugar or salt to help draw out excess moisture. I put mine in cheesecloth and let it sit for about a half hour or so then it squeezes out quite easily.
Measure out shredded zucchini in ½ or 1-cup portions (or whatever measure is most appropriate to the recipes you follow).
Freeze the pre-measured portions into “pucks” on a sheetpan or into a oiled muffin tin of the appropriate size.
When the pucks are frozen solid, toss them into a zip-top freezer bag or other freezer safe container.
When you want to make some holiday zucchini bread, just pull out as many pucks as you need for your recipe and let thaw while you preheat the oven and assemble the rest of your ingredients.
(Be sure to check out the recipe for Zucchini fritters, they amazing!)
Lunches, kids meals and dinners are easy when you can grab only what you need… from homemade marinara sauce, or diced tomatoes from your favorite farmers market
To a little bit of pesto from your garden
To the half-cup of buttermilk that you only use when you make pancakes, but have to buy by the quart.
Even breakfast can be quick and easy…. Spray your muffin pan with your favorite oil
… then fill with eggs and cook at 350F until solid (approx 15 minutes). When cool, turn out and place in a freezer bag, ready to grab.
While your English muffin or bagel is toasting, pop one of these in the microwave.
Breakfast in 3 minutes, healthy (very frugal) and no added gas or time to sit in line at the drive through!
And when you’re not prepping, you can still feed the family!