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There are so many reasons why cooking your meals beats dining out.

It’s usually much healthier, cheaper, and can even strengthen your relationship when done with a partner. Whether you find it relaxing or a chore, the truth is, sometimes it’s difficult to simply find the time to cook. To help with your meal prep, cut back on time constraints by freezing fresh food to use later in the week. The following foods handle frosty temperatures perfectly, making homemade dinners a breeze.

The Most Genius Time-Saving Meal Prep Hack: Freeze These 11 Foods

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic adds a healthy and delicious kick to a ton of foods — it’s a stellar accompaniment to grilled meats or can be used in place of butter on your bread or vegetables (if you haven’t tried this yet, I suggest doing so immediately). The downside? It takes at least an hour to roast, but luckily it freezes beautifully. Roast in bulk, then use it in your home-cooked dishes all week.

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Stocks and Broth

Have excess stock or broth? Great — save it! Freeze them in silicone muffin molds or even ice cube trays. Pop one or two into your favorite recipes, or thaw multiple cubes for a quick bowl of homemade soup.

Spices and Herbs

We can all agree fresh garden herbs beat the dried and ground variety any day, but it can be tough to use the entire bundle before it goes bad. A little trick? Freeze your spices and herbs in olive oil, and you’ll have the fresh stuff at your disposal for weeks.

Tomato Sauce

Whether you use tomato sauce from the grocery store or make it yourself (and hats off to you if so!), most have a rather short shelf-life. Unless you’re cooking for a large dinner party, you’ll probably have leftover sauce once the pasta has been dressed. Freeze it in ice cube trays to easily whip up a quick dish later in the week.

Pesto

Pesto, while a delicious spread on sandwiches or in pasta dishes, can be tedious to make from scratch. If you freeze it in bulk, you’ll only need to break out the food processor once a month or so while still enjoying the nutty spread as frequently as you want.

Pureed Fruit

Your morning smoothie routine is about to get so much easier. Take your fresh fruit and puree it in a blender, then freeze it in ice cubes trays to use in smoothies or shakes for weeks to come.

Pureed Greens

What’s a healthy smoothie without a shot of fresh greens? If your greens are on the brink of spoiling, this is a fantastic way of preserving the nutrients for use later. Just like you puree and freeze your fruits, do the same with your greens — spinach, kale, chard, whatever you fancy.

Lemon Juice

If your lemons are approaching the end of their freshness, extract the juice and freeze it in ice cube trays. Now every time you want to cool down a scalding cup of tea, throw in a cube for flavor. You can even use the lemon cubes in lieu of ice in your water or iced tea.

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Caramelized (or Chopped) Onions

Hold the tears! Caramelized onions freeze beautifully, meaning you only need to go through the painstaking process of chopping and caramelizing your onions once in a blue moon. Get ready to be known for making the best homemade burgers in town. Bonus: the freezing method totally works with chopped onions, too.

Egg Whites

Eggs whites are a wonderful fluffing agent, but it can be a chore to separate them from the yolks. Instead, strain the whites in one sitting, then cover and freeze them to continue use in your cakes, omelettes, and more — just be sure to thaw overnight in the fridge before use.

Wine

I know what you’re thinking — who ever has leftover wine to freeze (or maybe that’s just me)? Preserve your cooking wine by putting the leftover liquid in the freezer, either in ice cubes trays or sandwich bags. Now, every time a recipes calls for a cup, you don’t have to waste the good stuff.

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