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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Kitchen Secrets: Readers share the one food they always have in their freezer

Oven chips? No. Frozen peas? Yes.

Image: Shutterstock/Snowbelle

EVERY HOME COOK has their own kitchen hacks, cheats and traditions, and we want to know yours.

Each week as part of our Kitchen Secrets series, we ask readers to share their cooking tips and go-to-food and drink ideas. From the secret to quick-and-easy dinners, to the best way to scramble an egg, we set a new question every seven days.

This week, we asked readers to share what’s always stocked in their freezer, be it an ingredient they throw into multiple meals or a Tupperware full of batch-cooked pasta sauce ready for the week.  

What’s one ingredient/food we’ll always find in your freezer?

Do you have a foolproof scone recipe? Next week, we’ll be asking readers for tips on baking perfectly fluffy scones every time. Email us on food@thejournal.ie – and you could see your response in the magazine!

First up, it seems peas are a big hit:

I usually have two packets of frozen peas in my freezer. One is pulled out any time someone in the house gets a knock. It works great as an ice pack for sore muscles or bangs to the body from sport or playing in the garden. I refreeze them for this purpose. 

The second bag is for eating! Peas are usually frozen very quickly after picking, which helps to maintain nutrients. They are a great quick veg to add greens to any meal. I love to add them to a frittata with ricotta, make a purée with fresh mint, or make a tasty soup. 

- Fiona Staunton 

Frozen peas are the handiest freezer food. They’re so quick to cook from frozen, they can be prepped as a quick side dish with just butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, or they can be mashed slightly with butter, lemon and a handful of chopped mint or coriander for a fresh take on mushy peas. And of course, they can be popped into a range of dishes to give an extra veggie kick if you’re running low on fresh ingredients or are too exhausted to chop! They work great when added into dishes like pasta, stir fries, stews, soups and pies!  

- Lee-Ann Ronan 

Summer berries got a nod too:

I keep frozen raspberries on hand. Adding them to an apple crumble is a great way to turn an ordinary dessert into something sublime. Chop cooking apples and place in a pan over a medium heat, add the frozen berries and sugar, cook gently until soft.

To make the crumble rub in three ounces of butter into four ounces of flour and an ounce of ground almonds. Stir in two ounces of caster sugar.and a handful of flaked almonds. Press the mixture together so it resembles rubble, this will make the finished crumb taste even  better. Place the fruit in a buttered dish and tumble the crumble topping over it. Bake for 30 minute or until just golden. Serve with custard – I use ready-made from a carton. Life’s too short to make it from scratch.  

- Angela Nolan

shutterstock_1355746739 Source: Shutterstock/Geshas

Plus some fruit bowl staples:

I find the freezer really useful for bananas that have crossed over to the dark brown side. They can then be used in smoothies or muffins, but my favourite thing to make with them is banana bread.  

I keep the recipe pretty simple: two mashed bananas, one egg, a third of a cup of melted butter, one teaspoon vanilla extract, a half cup of sugar, one and a half cups flour and a teaspoon of baking soda. Walnuts, pecans or even chocolate chips are also delicious thrown into the mix. Bake at 180° for approx 50 mins (until a skewer comes out clean).  

- Donna Connolly

We have apple trees so for desserts and a sweet tooth, we always have a great stock of stewed apples. We are just finishing up last year’s batch before we prepare more from this year’s crop. It’s so handy to whip up a last minute dessert of apple crumble, or Eve’s pudding. 

- Olly Keegan

More: Readers share the one seasoning or spice they always reach for when cooking

More: Readers share their favourite omelette combinations

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