Coleslaw is one of the most common sides that can be paired with many main dishes. Likewise, it can even be eaten on its own as a snack. It has a crunchy texture and a tangy taste.
Many people enjoy eating coleslaw. For this reason, we tend to make more than the amount we can really consume. With this, many people have wondered what is the answer to this basic question - can you freeze coleslaw?
If you have ever wondered the same thing, read on and learn the truth about coleslaw and the method of freezing.
The Basics of Freezing Food
Freezing is considered one of the commonly preferred methods to prolong the shelf life of any food. However, there are some foods that do not respond well to this method compared to others. In that case, it will always be helpful to determine whether freezing works for a specific type of food.
This method of food preservation retards the growth of microorganisms and enzymes that are responsible for causing food spoilage.
When you freeze food, you should make sure that you’ll use the frozen food within six to nine months to ensure that the food is still with its best flavor and texture. Also, you should avoid storing more than three pounds of food per cubic foot of the capacity of your freezer. Otherwise, you will overload your freezer. Also, your freezer will not be able to maintain the recommended freezing temperature reading inside.
Can You Freeze Coleslaw?
Now that you know the basics about freezing food, let us answer the question – can you freeze coleslaw?
Yes, it is totally acceptable to freeze coleslaw. In fact, you can make a large batch of coleslaw today, take out ample amount for your consumption, and just freeze the rest for future use.
However, you should take note that there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when freezing coleslaw.
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is the ingredients. The ingredients incorporated in coleslaw will play an important role in determining whether it would be best to freeze it.
For instance, if you used mayonnaise-based ingredients, you should never attempt to freeze your coleslaw. The freezing temperature will cause the mayonnaise to separate, making the texture of the coleslaw rough and hard and the flavor bland.
If you want to freeze coleslaw, you should choose other dressings. That being said, vinegar is considered one of the most preferred choices.
At freezing point, the vinegar will not separate from the other ingredients incorporated in your coleslaw. Also, the texture, as well as the flavor, will not be affected by the method of freezing.
How Do You Freeze Coleslaw?
The key to maintaining the freshness of coleslaw is to make sure that you freeze it the right way. In fact, if you do that, your coleslaw will have great texture and flavor even after being frozen for several days.
Here are some tips and tricks on how this is done.
Separate the Dressing
Separating the dressing is essential if you are using mayonnaise-based ones. You may add the dressing once you are ready to eat your coleslaw right after it has thawed.
Use Airtight Sealed Containers
It is vital that you place your coleslaw in airtight sealed containers when you freeze. Using this type of containers will help prevent penetration of external elements into your food.
If you are freezing coleslaw without any dressing, you should make sure that it is dry and placed in a freezer-safe plastic bag. You also have to make sure that excess moisture is removed.
Label Your Frozen Food
In freezing coleslaw, it is important to place a label on the container. Make sure that label includes the date when you froze the food. By doing so, it will be easier for you to monitor the freshness of the coleslaw.
The Proper Way of Thawing Coleslaw
After freezing, you should not consume coleslaw right away. You have to let it thaw first.
Like the method of freezing, thawing coleslaw should also be done properly. Here are a few tips and tricks to properly thaw coleslaw.
- Do Not Leave It at Room Temperature. When thawing coleslaw, you should avoid leaving it at room temperature, as this will be prone to bacterial contamination and growth.
- Keep It in the Fridge Overnight. In thawing coleslaw, you should keep it in the fridge overnight. This way, the coleslaw will be thawed in a gradual manner.
- Add in Your Dressings. Once the coleslaw has thawed properly, you can add your favorite dressing or a little seasoning.
Ways to Determine Bad Coleslaw
Freezing coleslaw is never a guarantee that it will not be spoiled. That being said, it is important that you are able to identify whether your coleslaw has gone bad.
To do this, you should perform a quick inspection. If there are discolorations on the coleslaw or the appearance of mold, you should throw your coleslaw away. Also, if your coleslaw appears watery after thawing, you should discard it.
Smelling the coleslaw will also help identify if it has gone bad. If you are not sure, you can taste a small portion of the coleslaw and check if it tastes bad. You should never attempt to eat the entire portion if you are taste testing.
The Bottom Line
To answer the question – can you freeze coleslaw? Yes, you can. But, there are definitely several things that you need to take into account if you are freezing one.
The type of dressing incorporated will play an important role in determining if you can freeze your coleslaw. Also, there are proper ways that you should follow if you are going to freeze coleslaw like using airtight containers and the possibility of separating the dressing.
Lastly, frozen coleslaw must be properly thawed to avoid any possibility of bacterial contamination and spoilage.