If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of using plastic in your kitchen, you may be wondering how to freeze food without plastic. One popular alternative to plastic containers is glass jars, which are durable, reusable, and easy to clean. In this article, we’ll show you how to freeze food without plastic using glass jars, including tips for selecting the right jars, preparing your food for freezing, and safely storing your jars in the freezer.
Why Avoid Plastic?
Plastic is a ubiquitous material in our modern world, and it’s no surprise that it’s commonly used in food storage and preservation. However, plastic has some downsides that make it less than ideal for some people.
First and foremost, plastic is made from non-renewable fossil fuels and does not biodegrade. This means that plastic waste can persist in the environment for hundreds of years, polluting our oceans and harming wildlife. Additionally, many plastics contain chemicals that can leach into food and cause health problems, particularly when the plastic is heated or damaged.
For these reasons, many people are seeking alternatives to plastic in their kitchens. Glass jars are one of the best options for freezing food without plastic.
Choosing the Right Jars
Before you start freezing food in glass jars, you’ll need to choose the right jars for the job. Not all glass jars are created equal, and some are better suited to freezing than others.
First and foremost, you’ll want to choose jars that are made from tempered glass. Tempered glass is specially treated to be more durable and resistant to breakage, making it less likely to shatter in the freezer. Mason jars are a popular choice for freezing food in glass, but be sure to choose jars that are specifically labeled as freezer-safe.
You’ll also want to choose jars that have wide mouths, as this will make it easier to fill and empty the jars. Look for jars that have airtight lids, as this will help keep your food fresh and prevent freezer burn.
Preparing Your Food for Freezing
Before you start filling your glass jars with food, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare your food for freezing.
First, be sure to clean your jars thoroughly. Use warm, soapy water to wash the jars and lids, and rinse them well to remove any soap residue. You can also run the jars through the dishwasher if you prefer.
Next, you’ll need to prepare your food for freezing. Depending on the type of food you’re freezing, you may need to blanch it first. Blanching involves briefly boiling or steaming vegetables or fruits before freezing them. This can help preserve their color, texture, and flavor.
Some foods, like soups and stews, can be frozen as-is. Simply ladle them into your glass jars, leaving some space at the top for expansion. For other foods, like berries or chopped vegetables, you may want to spread them out on a baking sheet and freeze them first before transferring them to jars. This will prevent them from sticking together in the jar and make it easier to portion them out later.
Storing Your Jars in the Freezer
Once you’ve filled your glass jars with food, it’s time to store them in the freezer. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Leave some space at the top of the jar: When you’re filling your jars, be sure to leave at least an inch of space at the top. This will allow the food to expand as it freezes without breaking the jar.
- Label your jars: It’s important to label your jars with the contents and the date you froze them. This will help you keep track of what’s in your freezer and ensure that you use your food before it goes bad.
- Store your jars upright: When you’re placing your jars in the freezer, be sure to store them upright. This will prevent the food from spilling out and also make it easier to stack your jars.
- Use a tray or bin: To prevent your jars from rolling around in the freezer and breaking, you can store them in a tray or bin. This will also make it easier to take your jars out of the freezer when you need them.
- Avoid rapid temperature changes: Glass can crack or break if exposed to rapid temperature changes. To prevent this from happening, let your jars cool to room temperature before putting them in the freezer, and avoid placing hot jars in the freezer.
- Use caution when thawing: Glass jars can crack or break when exposed to rapid temperature changes, so it’s important to thaw your food slowly and carefully. You can thaw your jars in the refrigerator overnight or by placing them in a bowl of cold water. Avoid using hot water or the microwave, as this can cause the glass to break.
Freezing food without plastic is not only better for the environment, but it can also help you avoid harmful chemicals in your food. Glass jars are a great alternative to plastic containers for freezing food, as they are durable, reusable, and easy to clean. By following the tips in this article, you can safely and successfully freeze food without plastic using glass jars. Remember to choose tempered glass jars with wide mouths and airtight lids, prepare your food properly before freezing, and store your jars carefully in the freezer. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy the benefits of plastic-free food storage and preservation.
Larissa is the author of this blog and a vegan, digital nomad, and fully devoted to sustainability and zero-waste lifestyle.
I love to share my passions with others, so if you have any questions about what I do or just want to exchange experiences, feel free to message me!