Let’s face it. When you have food allergies or intolerances you likely end up preparing a higher percentage of your food than other folks. They can pick up take-out from many restaurants or swing thru the grocery store deli line on the way home without reading all the ingredient lists. While this can be a drag, there are a few strategies that can make it less onerous.
One that I rely on often is making extra food and freezing it in portion size bags, baking two things in one day and freezing the product, and preparing what I call “planned overs.” Keep in mind that doubling a recipe for chili, soup or rice and beans does not double the prep time. I prefer to mark everything I put in the freezer with AF and what’s in the bag. I love a good surprise, but not when I’m hungry.
When I make a vat of chili, I scoop portions into small Ziploc bags, squeeze out all the air, label the baggie with a permanent marker and then place these bags in a large freezer Ziploc bag. If you do this a few times in a month, you’ll end up having a nice supply of frozen grab and go meals.
The refrigerator is the worst possible place to store gluten-free baked goods. Staling quickest in the refrigerator, so when you make bread, muffins, bagels, cookies or biscuits, be sure to freeze what you’re not going to eat within two days.
Small items: For small items such as muffins, cookies, scones, granola bars and biscuits once they are cooled to room temperature they can just go right into one large Ziploc freezer bag. I always slice the bagels before I freeze them to make toasting easier.
Large items: For baked goods like a loaf of bread, I wait for the loaf to cool. Once it’s at room temperature, I slice to the whole thing, place small squares of wax paper between the slices and place four slices of bread into small Ziploc bags. These baggies then go into a large freezer bag. This way, you can thaw two days worth of bread at one time.
And because I share recipes that I actually use, just about every recipe on this blog freezes well.
What strategies do you use at home to simplify allergen-free living and make meal planning easier?