In a perfect world, we would always have the time and resources to plan out our meals in advance, shop for fresh, locally produced food in our neighborhood supermarket, and then package up leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day. However, the “real world” is often quite different as we frequently find ourselves dashing from work, to school, to family and community commitments with barely enough time to think ahead. So, when life hands you a jam-packed schedule, and you’re tempted to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at the drive-thru, turn to healthy frozen foods instead for a quick, easy and healthy bite to eat!
Five Essential Frozen Foods
Here are some foods we think are great to keep in your freezer. Not only will they keep their freshness and nutritional value for a longer period of time, but they’ll also come to the rescue when you need to put a meal together in minutes. The next time you’re at the grocery store, buy some of these items to always have on hand when you need them.
Frozen Foods: Seafood
There are so many healthy, frozen fish options including shrimp, salmon and scallops that can be quickly grilled or steamed for an easy dinner. Avoid creamy sauces or fried batters for a lower calorie and fat count. Ask what sustainably raised seafood and fish options are available, so you can be certain your fish is free of toxic chemicals such as mercury or pesticide run-offs.
Frozen Foods: Vegetables
The nutritional value of frozen vegetables is the same or greater than their counterparts in the produce aisle, because they are picked at the peak of ripeness. The only time a vegetable’s nutrition is negatively impacted is when we overcook them. As a rule, stir-frying or lightly steaming frozen veggies is the best way to retain as much of the good flavor and beneficial nutrients as possible. With frozen vegetables, it’s easy to grab as much as you need and keep the rest in the freezer for a later meal. This way, you can easily add your favorite veggies to any meal you prepare such as omelettes, soups, or pasta.
Frozen Foods: Fruits
Make breakfast the best meal of the day when you add some of your favorite frozen fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, peaches or raspberries to your smoothie, yogurt or granola. Skip the varieties with added syrups or sugars and go for the healthier, all-natural, lower-calorie choice.
Frozen Foods: Breads and Grains
Whether your favorite kind of bread is an artisanal sourdough or a gluten-free, sprouted grain variety, keeping extra servings of your favorite bread in the freezer helps with meal preparation. The same holds true for your favorite grains such as brown rice or quinoa. Grains often require more cooking time when you’re preparing them “from scratch” but the frozen counterparts only require a few minutes of reheating on either the stovetop or the microwave. Be on the lookout for varieties without lots of added oil or salt for a healthier choice.
Frozen Foods: Soups and Broths
Frozen bone broth or stock can be used not only for soup, but to add flavor to rice and grain dishes, enhancing sauteed vegetables, meat or fish, or used on its own for a savory hot beverage (a great alternative to sugary hot chocolate). Making your own broth and freezing it is the best way to ensure that it contains all the ingredients you like (without any of the ones you don’t), but many grocery stores now carry USDA Organic, low-sodium, or Non-GMO Project Verified soup options in their freezer or meat sections.
We hope these five categories help to inspire you the next time you need to put together a meal in short time. Here at Tommy’s Superfoods, we make sure our flash frozen vegetables are quick and easy to prepare, packed with good nutrition, and so delicious that you’ll want to eat them even when your schedule isn’t so crazy!