Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Mashed Potatoes, Rice, Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

So our freezer is bare at the moment, void of any (decent) freezer meals.  I’m hoping to have a cooking day soon, but until then, I’ve been trying to schedule a few hours each week to put up a few things.

I had some potatoes that were on the brink of getting yucky, and decided to do a big batch of mashed potatoes to freeze.  I also had a bunch of brown rice, so I figured I may as well cook that and freeze it, as well. And since there were a couple of really brown bananas sitting on the counter, out came the Kitchen Aid to mix up a big batch of banana bread, too.

Nothing major to note when cooking any of these recipes.  You pretty much prepare them as you normally would…but I did have recipes on hand just to make sure I didn’t screw up any of the measurements.  The cookbook I used was “Don’t Panic – More Dinner’s in the Freezer,” which included lots of variations for mashed potatoes.  Jon’s a straight-up mashed kind of guy, so I kept them plain jane, but there are options out there that sounded super yum yum.

I ended up having about 4 pounds of potatoes on hand, which made about 6-7 cups of mashed potatoes.  I just prepared them as usual, which includes adding lots of milk, butter (about 1 stick), salt and pepper, then bagging it up.  I finally wised up and used a new method to make it easier to package hard-to-bag foods.  Usually I just try to balance the ziplock bag and hold it open while filling it up, be it with soup or BBQ pork chops or whatever I’m bagging.  This time, I grabbed a pitcher and placed the bag inside, which made filling it with mashed potatoes easy peasy.  Duh, Jen.  Not sure why it’s taken me two years of freezer cooking to do that, but I’m just glad I finally caught on.

The best part about making a huge bash of smooth, buttery mashed potatoes?  Licking the bowl afterward.  De-lish!

Cooking the rice was straight-forward, too – I think the only tip in the cookbook was to spray or drizzle it with oil before bagging it to keep it from sticking.

I also whipped up a few loaves of banana bread, with some chocolate chips and walnuts mixed in.  Dear banana bread – I love, love, love you.  It would have been totally easy to just leave all the loaves out and eat them up, but I exercised some self-control and froze them.

The thing I love about freezing food like mashed potatoes and rice is that you basically just turn them on and let them cook themselves.  Not much care and attention is needed, so you can turn them on and go about other tasks until they’re done. Plus, you can easily make huge batches.

So no main courses were frozen in this session, but these are definitely things that we eat often and will come in handy.



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