Flour is a basic pantry staple in many households. It is made from grinding raw grain, beans, seeds, wheat, nuts, and other food items into powder. Flour is used in preparing several dishes and baked food.
The health benefit of flour depends on what food item it was made from. Flour can be a great source of bodybuilding nutrients like protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.
Flour stays a long duration before it gets spoiled. Its packages come with an expiration date and it is most times closer than expected. This can reduce the number of ways in which you can use your flour. Over time, flour can lose its quality if it is left unpreserved due to environmental effects and its expiry date. Is there a way of preserving flour to extend its shelf life?
Can you freeze flour? Yes, you can. The shelf life of flour can be extended for up to 48 months when you freeze it. The harsh cold temperature would not affect the texture of flour greatly if you properly store it. You can easily scoop the amount of flour that you need from the freezer whenever you need it.
Flour is a staple ingredient that is used in making several dishes like bread, cookies, peanut butter blossom, doughnut, and crepes.
What Kind of Flour Freezes Best?
The texture of flour is an important item that should be checked while freezing. The components of food items where your flour was gotten would determine how well it will do well under cold storage.
Nut flour, like hemp and almond, will stay fresh and safe for consumption in the freezer for about a year. Whole grain flour becomes bad quicker. It has a very short shelf life and would only last up to 3-6 months.
Refined flours like all-purpose and pastry last longest in the freezer. They will keep fresh in cold temperatures for up to 2 years before going bad.
How to Freeze Flour
Prolonging the shelf life of flour by freezing is a very simple thing to do. The process is stress-free and you would be done with its processing in a matter of minutes. Do not freeze flour in their store-bought paper packaging. The paper packaging easily attracts moisture and can make your flour go bad quickly.
You would need an airtight bag or Ziploc bag, marker, and a reasonable freezer temperature to freeze your flour.
Step 1: Portioning Your Flour
Transfer your flour from its store-bought packaging into an airtight container or Ziploc bag. An airtight container is most advisable for freezing flour because it best prevents moisture from getting into it.
You do not need to place your flour in separate air-tight containers for faster thawing. The absence of moisture in flour makes it freeze well and turn solid. You can simply freeze it in a big airtight bag that will allow you to take the desired portion you want to consume at any time.
Step 2: Storage
Freezing flour in a Ziploc bag will reduce the risk of cold temperature affecting its texture. Before sealing your Ziploc bag, make sure the space left on top of the bag is kept to the minimum. The lesser the air in the bag, the better your flour will freeze. Press your flour-filled Ziploc bag well to remove excess air from the bag before freezing.
Step 3: Freeze the Flour
Freeze your flour at a regulated temperature to get the best freeze experience. Make sure that no moisture content or air finds its way into your bag before placing it in the freezer.
Label the airtight container with your marker to know the content of the bag, date of freeze, and the amount of flour in the bag. Allow your flour to freeze at a constant temperature of about 40°F – 70°F to get the best quality.
Do not place your flour close to food items with a strong odor. Though an airtight container should be able to prevent your flour from absorbing the odor of other food items in the freezer, it is advisable to keep it away from them. You would reduce the risk of getting your container bags punctured when you place them far from other food items.
How to Defrost Frozen Flour
Before you proceed with cooking and baking with your frozen flour, you must bring it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw. Bring out the flour from your freezer an hour before when you want to use It to make sure it is ready for use when you mix it with other food items.
Take your frozen flour out of the freezer and scoop the quantity you would need. Allow it to thaw at room temperature for about 2-3 hours to make it ready for use.
Do not bring the whole airtight bag out of the freezer for a long time before deciding the quantity you want to scoop. Constant freezing and thawing of flour can reduce its quality and make it go bad quickly.
Does Freezing Flour Kill Weevils?
Flour contains a small amount of oil. This hastens its spoilage when exposed to air. Exposing flour to air can lead to the growth of weevils and other insect eggs in it.
Freezing your flour for about 48 hours will help kill the microorganism that might be lurking in the bag, thereby, extending its shelf life.
How to Recognize Spoiled Flour
You should always check your flour before usage and freeze. You will avoid consuming spoiled flour by doing this. The primary way of checking for spoiled flour is through its smell, color, and texture.Flour does not have an odor if it is in good condition. When it gives off a pale and rancid smell, it is a sign that it has gone bad and should be discarded. Make sure you throw away any flour that is discolored and has developed lumps.