March is National Nutrition Month! To celebrate and help you up your nutrition game this month we are focusing on your freezer! Yes, in 2022 the freezer is the new pantry! We’re not talking about TV Dinners, we’re focusing on simple freezer staples that make your life healthier and easier! Frozen foods allow for nutritious meals any time and because of the low temperature there is no need for additives or preservatives to keep food fresh. Whether it’s been a busy week with no time to shop or you’re just back from vacation and the fridge is empty – your freezer is your friend. Save time and money by stocking your freezer smart, and crush your nutrition goals along the way!
What to load up on:
- Frozen fruits & veggies – Just as nutritionally dense, they don’t go bad, cook up quick and are often cheaper than fresh!
- Meal kits – like Daily Harvest allow for healthy, balanced meals in a flash with super foods to boost! No effort on your part, just heat or blend and eat!
- Lean protein – frozen fish, shrimp, turkey burgers and even pizzas make balanced meals doable any day of the week! Tell your ice packs to move over and make room for some frozen friends!
- Whole grains – frozen rice and quinoa exist and cook up perfectly every time! Fiber in the freezer, yes please!
How to shop for it:
- Look at the ingredients list. Some frozen foods are already seasoned with salt and oil. Pick steamed or blanched frozen fruits, vegetables, and grains to avoid unwanted additions to your meals and snacks.
- Label it. Keeping foods frozen longer than six months can lead to freezer burn. Be mindful of packaging or purchasing dates and make them visible in order to better plan for meals.
- Appearance is everything. Look for fresh-frozen fruits and vegetables that have been properly stored. They should feel firm, not limp. If they are wet or sweating, thawing is taking place.
What we keep in our freezers:
- Broccoli florets – Already washed and cut into bite size pieces. What could be better?
- Frozen peas – Add to any boiling pasta at the end of cooking, and get some veggies in without dirtying another pot!
- Dark Sweet Cherries – less expensive than fresh and packed with antioxidants and fiber. A perfect addition to smoothies or desserts!
- Berries – part of the dirty dozen list, which means organic is best. Organic frozen fruit is more affordable than fresh, so stock up! Also available if off-peak seasons!
- Edamame – a great plant based protein that is filled with fiber. This easy-to-prepare green veggie is a great nutrient-packed snack option.
- Riced cauliflower – With a texture similar to rice, riced cauliflower is a nutritious way to add texture, volume and nutrition to any dish without the excess carbs.
- Frozen Shrimp – A lean protein source that cooks up in seconds. We defrost under running water, toss with pesto and add to pasta or veggies in less than 10 minutes flat!
- Ice Pops – Delicious, low calorie desserts with clean ingredients that make the whole family happy. We recommend 100 calories or less as a general rule of thumb.