Shallots are a fantastic vegetable which can be purchased from major supermarkets and even grown in your garden.
The vegetable is commonly used in salad dressing and sauces. It adds a lot of nutritional value and flavour to otherwise relatively dull meals.
Shallots freeze best when chopped up into small pieces, washed and stored in freezer-safe bags or containers. You can freeze shallots whole, however, this results in freezer burn and takes up more space in your freezer.
Freezing whole shallots takes away little in the terms of nutritional value, however, it makes the vegetable last significantly longer.
If stored in the fridge, shallots will generally last around 10 days. However, if frozen they can last up to a year.
Tools & Equipment For Freezing Food
These are my tried and tested tools and equipment for freezing food.
Whether it’s fresh fruits or completely prepared meals these tools will make the process easier, and the food last longer and taste better!
Containers – We opt for glass containers as they are better for the environment, much higher quality and don’t stain like plastic, however they are an investment.
So if you’re short on money buy high-quality plastic containers in the meantime.
Just be sure that you buy your containers in a range of sizes as you’ll be using them to freeze and store a range of different foods.
Ziplock Bags – Invest in quality freezer bags and they’ll help keep out air, prevent frost and keep your food fresh for longer.
The majority of the high-quality ziplock bags come with a small area for you to write information about the food (i.e. what it is, when it was frozen and defrosting instructions) on the bag.
Ice Cube Trays – Ice cube trays can help you freeze more than just water. Instead, we use them for freezing small portions of food such as egg whites, tomato sauce, pesto etc.
Simply add the food to the tray, freeze and once frozen pop the food out and into a ziplock bag, then you can simply take one or two portions of food out and defrost as needed.
Foil Baking Containers – We use foil baking containers when we’re batch cooking frozen meals.
They are affordable, durable and come in a variety of sizes allowing you to portion out or put everything in one large container to be cooked at a later date.
If all that wasn’t enough, the majority of meals are safe to be cooked in the oven with the foil container. This reduces the amount of hassle, time and washing up you’ll have to do – winner!
How To Freeze Whole Shallots
Freezing shallots takes around 5 minutes. Slightly longer if you have a full bag to freeze.
Luckily, the process is relatively easy so even if you have a whole bag of shallots to freeze it’s simple to do.
To freeze your shallots you’ll need the following;
- A knife
- Freezer containers or bag
- Chopping board*
To begin, simply remove the skin from the shallots. Then rinse the shallots under running water. Once dry, you’ll want to chop the shallots into smaller pieces.
I recommend aiming for around 1 inch squared. You can do this by using a knife. However, if you have a bag to freeze or chop and freeze food regularly then it could be worth investing in a food chopper.
Cutting your shallots up instead of freezing them whole minimises the risk of freezer burn (thus holding more nutritional value) as well as reducing the amount of space the shallots take up in the freezer.
Using freezer-safe containers ensures the shallots remain in good condition while frozen. General storage bags without freezer-safe protection will result in freezer burn which can significantly impact the nutritional value and flavour of your shallots – I speak from experience.
- Freezer safe container
- Cut the skin off the shallots
- Rince the shallots under running water
- Chop the shallots into pieces (around 1 inch)
- Put shallot pieces into a freezer-safe storage bag
- Move freezer-safe storage bag to the freezer
You’ll want to remove as much excess air from the container as possible before sealing. Once sealed the freezer-safe container can be moved to the freezer for storage.
Consider writing on the container what’s inside and when it was frozen. It’s easy to forget what an item is or when it was frozen after a couple of months.
Simply adding this information makes referencing what you have significantly easier in the long run.
Personally, I do this using a sharpie permanent marker. However, you’ll want to use a dry erase pen if you’re storing the shallots in reusable containers as the sharpie market won’t come off when you come to store something else in the same container in a couple of weeks/months time.
How To Defrost Shallots
After storing the shallots in the freezer, the time comes when you need to use them.
Since the shallots will be frozen by now, you need to defrost them before cooking or using them in salads. Two ways go about defrosting the shallots.
The first way is to remove them out of the freezer some minutes before using them.
Let the icy shallots sit for some time and melt off the ice naturally.
This is the best way to defrost the shallots, although it takes time. The shallots defrost slowly and naturally without messing up their fresh condition.
If you don’t have the time to let the shallots defrost naturally, the other method is to use a microwave to defrost the shallots.
This method is faster and easier, although it could mess up the fresh condition of the shallots. They may end up becoming mushy because of the microwave heat.
Whichever method you decide to use may depend on how you want to use the shallots.
If they are for cooking, then using the microwave might be the best way.