What’s significant about five bags of cooked brown rice? It can save you 180 minutes of your precious time. Each bag of healthy brown rice takes 45 minutes to cook. If you cook two pounds all at once in the same big pot, cool and bag it for later, you’ll have a 45 minute head start on your dinner. In fact, you can have meals on the table in about 15-minutes if you’ve thawed your bags of rice ahead of time. That’s why it’s so important to have a weekly menu plan in place each week with freezer cooking. You can thaw items the night before by grabbing a bag or two from the freezer and tossing them straight into your thawing box in the refrigerator. This is second nature to me, just as putting away the leftovers. Once you get the hang of the freezer inventory (knowing what’s in your freezer) and taking time to menu plan from the inventory and then thawing according to the menu plan, it will be a snap to create fabulous freezer meals for your family.
So what do I do with five freezer bags of brown rice? We enjoy
Red Beans and Brown Rice (Beans also frozen)
Brown fried rice (a healthier version of white fried rice)
Asian Sesame Honey chicken over brown rice
I use my quart size bag of thawed brown rice for any recipe calling for rice;)
Here’s some tips for bagging and freezing brown rice:
- Don’t add more liquid than necessary; only the minimum amount directed
- Don’t stir it while it’s cooking; only fluff at the end.
- Simmer covered the full amount of time with broth or two tablespoons of oil (olive or canola)
- Cool completely before bagging. (Two hours room temperature and overnight in the fridge is best)
- Fill quart size freezer bags using a measuring cup and large glass mug or measuring cup to support. (I bag two cups)
- Label, date and freeze flat
- Thaw 24 hours to 48 hours
- Add a tablespoon or two of water and reheat in a microwave safe dish with lid on 70% power for about five minutes or until hot.