Brooding On

Onion Timesaver

With everything we've got going at dinnertime (homework, soccer practice, dance, backyard chores), it's a little daunting sometimes to reach for a recipe and see "1 c. chopped onion" on that recipe list.  Uggghh.  Either I've got to deal with hand slicing and dicing or the cleanup involved with pulling out the food processor.  In the moment, it's tempting to just grab some dinner-in-a-box and get on with it.

That's why I'm glad my mom taught me how to save time by keeping prepped onions in the freezer. 

This week, the 3 lb. bag of onions was only $.97 at my local store.  Did I need onions this week?  No.  But, I couldn't pass up the deal, so I decided to chop and freeze them for later use.

Peel and quarter them.

Throw them in the food processor and pulse until the desired texture is reached.

Fill snack-sized baggies with 1/2 c. of chopped onion each.

My 3 lb. bag yielded 12   1/2. c. baggies.

Arrange the snack baggies so that they'll lie flat inside a freezer gallon bag.  And, stick them in the freezer. 

When that recipe for pinto beans calls for "1 m. onion, chopped," just grab a baggie from the freezer and dump the onion brick into the CrockPot.  That's exactly what I did this morning!

Now, this may sound like extra work, but if you were already getting out your food processor to chop an onion for tonight's dinner, it wouldn't be.  Instead of just chopping one onion, chop a few pounds worth and freeze the excess.  You're still only cleaning up that food processor once!

Of course this kind of thinking works for lots of things.  Got a bell pepper about to go bad in the fridge?  Chop it and throw it into a freezer baggie for later use.  Corn?  Celery? 

You get the picture.