I want a little freezer stash of cooked brown rice, quinoa, maybe some farro, but don't want to ruin what I cook. Maybe some du Puy lentils, too. Would love some tips!
I would just put them in some ziploc freezer bags and throw them in the freezer! I've seen quite a few grocers that carry frozen, already-cooked rice, and they're just in plastic bags. I would date the bags, though, and maybe toss after 3-4 months. Thawing would be as simple as putting it in the fridge or out on the counter a few hours before you need it, or microwave on low in a microwave-safe bowl.
Ziplock freezer bags would work fine, just make sure to squeeze as much air as you can out of them. Similarly, freezer storage containers packed full would work as well. I swear by my vacuum sealer, though!
I have a food saver...but I really like the ziplock vacuum sealer. It's cheap about 5 bucks.
Good for little jobs like leftover rice and cheeses. I like it better than the Food Saver for cheeses as you can zip the bag shut and use the hand pump again without wasting an inch of bag. The seals aren't as strong so unlike my heat sealer it's just for short term stuff to me. You can put a piece of tape over the seal spot if the seal leaks...hey, it's 5 bucks.
@Sam1148 - what is a ziplock vacuum sealer and where are they for sale?
They are a little 'hand pump' like a mini-bycical pump.
The bags have a little quarter sized 'valve'. Integrated in the ziplock bag. You place the pump over the 'sealing spot'..and hand pump it. You still have the ziplock 'zip' seal at the top...so it's perfect for cheeses which you open and reseal and pump out the air without wasting 3 inches of the bag like you'd do with a foodsaver. And the fuss of resealing with the foodsaver (which I love for larger bulky items).
Tho, I do find the seal breaks easy..but it's only 5 bucks..with 3 starter bags..and bags are comparable to normal ziplock bags. If you're freezing large stews and such..put a piece of freezer tape over the 'valve spot' so it won't break...for cheeses..It's worth the 5 bucks.
They're in most supermarkets in the plastic wrap section. I perfect for cheeses IMHO.
I love my freezer stashes, too. I cook for one most nights, that would be me, and I routinely make twice as much of any grain - polenta, rices, quinoas, bulgur - as I need so that I've always got a little something up my sleeve to turn into something else quickly. I use wssmom's very same method - the low-tech ziplock bag (and wasn't that a Nobel-quality invention). Fill it, press out the air, zip it up, press the contents flat, stack in the freezer like envelopes just waiting to dispense good dinners. Oh, and label and date with your favorite-colored Sharpie. And remember, just because it's frozen, doesn't mean it lasts forever ; )
Thanks, all! I'd call this a consensus, so this week should see a nice little stack of grain envelops in the freezer. But I'll use the farro to make the summer farro salad that we can't get enough of...
I never do this as I never have enough freezer space, but I'm guessing that spreading the grains/lentils out on a sheet pan (as with fruit) to freeze before bagging would be more effective. Has anyone done this?