Let me off the grid! A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Freezing Cooked Grains

I love grains, but they take so long to cook that I don't make them often. I stopped in at Trader Joe's last week and got to taste their frozen grain side dish.  It was very good, but the package only contained two servings, cost $2.99 and came in a mylar-ish bag that I didn't want to have to throw away.  So, after some internet research, I discovered that you can freeze cooked grains and then either microwave or put them in a pan with a little water and heat and they're as good as freshly cooked.  Why should I pay that much money for so little (plus yucky packaging), when I could make lots myself  for little money and my own reusable packaging?  I stocked my freezer this weekend.  Here's what I did:

First, I cooked several different kinds of grain (separately, because of course they all had different cooking times),  I used barley, brown rice, red rice and red quinoa because that's what I had.
I lightly greased my cupcake pans with coconut oil and packed each cup with the grain mixture.  I pressed it in with the bottom of a measuring cup so the grains would stick together.
Then I put them into the freezer.  Once they were frozen, I flipped the pans over onto a cookie sheet and popped the grain "cakes" out.
Put those little guys into a freezer bag and now I have individual serving sizes that I can pull out and heat whenever I need them. I love finding frugal ways of getting what I want!

This post has been linked to Homemade Mondays


Kari Spencer said...

Great idea! I will definitely incorporate this into our routine at The Micro Farm Project. So glad I saw this on the "Mostly Homemade" link party.

marilyn said...

Hmmm, never thought about the individual portion idea. Thanks. Julia, have you ever tried faro? One of my favorite grains. Use it like rice. It pops in your mouth!

Textile Recycler said...

I've been doing this for years. You can also forget using the coconut oi. You don't need it and can add the oil when you reheat if necessary. The grains will stick together anyway. I freeze in baggies in 1 & 2c portions. Label them and flatten them out so they stack in the freezer.. it's more compact and I know exactly what I have :)