As a mom and registered dietitian, I try to have a well-stocked kitchen filled with nutritious foods at all times. From a fridge packed with fresh meats, eggs, and produce to a pantry containing whole grains, canned artichokes, and dried lentils, I try and keep a slew of healthy staples in my arsenal to help make dinnertime a breeze.
Thankfully, my freezer stash comes to the rescue more than not as well! Frozen food is typically just as nutritious as fresh options, and the shelf-life is much longer. Because of this, I can always have produce, meat, and cooked grains at my disposal at all times.
Over the years, I have found my favorite frozen foods that are always put to good use in my home. Among the sea of frozen food options, here are my top 5 favorites.
- Frozen pitted cherries
Cherries are one of my family’s favorite foods. Keeping pitted frozen cherries allows us to enjoy these sweet fruits year-round in smoothies, short rib recipes, and even on their own as an icy and satisfying antioxidant-packed snack. Bonus? The fact that the cherries are pitted before they are frozen makes it even easier to enjoy these classic berries on the ready.
- Frozen spinach
Spinach is a natural addition to many dishes, including pastas, dips, and soups. Leaning on frozen spinach allows me to always have access to an ingredient to add to my dishes to give them a nutritional boost.
- Frozen sweet corn
Sweet corn is another seasonal food that my family adores. And fortunately, we can enjoy this low-fat and saturated fat-free food year-round, thanks to the freezing process. This corn is a fantastic addition to seafood dishes, added to tacos, or eaten on its own as a satisfying side dish.
- Frozen Avocado Slices
Avocados have certainly been having a moment, thanks to the popularity of the beloved avocado toast. While most people think of eating fresh avocados, this fruit freezes surprisingly well, allowing people to preserve this fiber-packed produce choice to use before it gets too ripe. Adding some frozen chunks to smoothies or including some masked defrosted avocado to baked good recipes can give dishes a nutrient boost along with a creamy mouthfeel.
- Frozen Garlic
Frozen garlic cloves can be kept in the freezer for months, as long as they are peeled and stored in an air-tight container. Having frozen garlic available at all times is a lifesaver when you need some major flavoring for your dishes STAT, and you want to avoid depending on the salt shaker.
Garlic is a sodium-free and fat-free produce option that, once thawed, can be roasted and added to hummus, sauce, salsa, and many other recipes that call for that unique flavor.
Frozen Produce Is a Staple In My Freezer.
For busy families who like to live a healthy lifestyle, keeping a stash of frozen produce in the freezer can be a lifesaver. Like fresh produce, frozen options pack vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and in some cases, healthy fat, into a delicious package. So, whether you add a cup of frozen veggies to your soup or you include a serving of frozen fruit to your smoothie, know that leaning on frozen produce can be one of the best things you can do to support your overall health – and happiness – for you and your family.