Everyone knows that the freezer is ideal for storing chilled treats, meats, and casseroles, but this useful kitchen appliance is great for keeping many other items too. Plus, a freezer, whether it’s a deep freezer or a freezer housed in the same appliance as a refrigerator, functions best when it’s really full, as the cold items help keep other items cold and maintain the low temperature.

Your freezer is one of the easiest ways to preserve some of the healthiest foods on the planet, provided it’s done the right way. Take advantage of it by storing some of these surprising foods you probably didn’t know you could freeze.

1. Nuts

Because of their high oil content, nuts can go rancid very quickly. In fact, after just two weeks at room temperature, the oils in many types of nuts can start to go bad, but if you freeze them it will slow their decline. Place what you’re going to use immediately in the refrigerator as repeatedly opening and closing a bag in the freezer introduces moisture and the potential for contamination. Store the rest in the freezer by wrapping them well in plastic, and then placing in a resealable freezer bag.

2. Herbs

You don’t want to place herbs directly into your freezer as they’ll become limp and lose some of their flavors, but there is a way to freeze them properly so that doesn’t happen. The trick is to use olive oil. Simply chop up fresh herbs like sage, oregano, thyme or rosemary and pack them into your ice cube trays about halfway full. Cover them with extra-virgin olive oil, leaving a little bit of room at the top for expansion. Wrap in plastic wrap and then freeze the ice trays overnight. Afterward, remove the cubes from the trays and store them in the freezer in resealable freezer bags. When you’re ready to use them, you can simply drop them directly into a soup, stew or frying pan.

3. Overripe Bananas

If your bananas have gotten overripe, don’t despair. They’re great to use in all sorts of recipes, like banana bread and are especially good for smoothies. In fact, the riper the banana, the sweeter tasting that smoothie will be. Just use a knife to slice the peel down one side, and then pop the banana out. Don’t freeze your bananas with the skins on as it’s way too difficult to peel them later when they become hard as a rock in the freezer. You can wrap them up in plastic wrap or place them in resealable bags by squeezing out as much air as possible and organizing them in a way that they don’t stick together. If you want to use them for smoothies, just take them straight from the freezer and blend them up. For use in baking things like banana bread, defrost them overnight in the fridge first, or thaw them for about an hour at room temperature.

4. Raw Eggs

So, you were lucky to score a few dozen local eggs, but it’s not anywhere near Easter and there’s no way you can use them all before they go bad. If you try to freeze eggs in their shells, the liquid will expand, which causes the shell to crack and create an incredibly yucky mess in your freezer. Instead, crack them into a bowl first, and then blend in just a pinch of salt, being careful not to whip too much air in as the yolks will clump when thawed if you do. Store them in an amount you normally use at one time in individual resealable bags – they’ll be good for up to a year.

5. Corn on the Cob

Ever dreamed of enjoying the sweet taste of corn on the cob in the middle of a gloomy winter? Plan it out right, and you can do just that. Fresh-picked corn, from a local farm or farmers’ market, can last as long as a year when it’s frozen the right way, husk and all. If you get it fresh, just place it immediately into freezer bags with the husk and silk intact, and when you defrost, it will be wonderfully succulent and fresh. If you buy it from a traditional supermarket, you’ll need to husk and blanch it first in order to prevent enzymes from forming to result in a loss of color and flavor. Blanch small ears of corn for 7 minutes, medium-size ears for 9 and large ears for 11 minutes.

Read more: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/surprising-foods-you-can-freeze/