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Freezer meals and foods are notoriously thought of as “unhealthier” options compared to fresh. The truth is, many frozen items are actually just as nutritions (if not more!) than their fresh counterparts. Yes, there are some items that are preserved with more sodium, additives, sugar, and artificial flavors, but many are frozen at their peak freshness, so contain the same vitamins and minerals as fresh options.
A major win for stocking up on frozen foods is the time saved in prepping meals and snacks, and they fit into every budget! Who doesn’t love a healthy convenience like that? Check out this list of 10 fun, healthy RD-approved freezer items that can help save you time and money:
- Steam-in-the-Bag Veggies: Stock up on your favorite frozen veggies to save both time and money. There are even bags you can steam in the microwave, saving you the stress of washing extra dishes. Pop one in the microwave for a quick veggie side. It’s easy to toss into pasta or other one pot meals as well, like this easy Tortellini Primavera dish!
- Smoothie Packs: Putting together a quick smoothie couldn’t get any easier! Smoothie packs are becoming more popular in the frozen department, and rightfully so. Many are packed with veggies and fruits that combine flavor and textures well without the stress of creating your own concoction. Plus, there are tons of fun new flavors like these Pitaya Dragonfruit Smoothie Packs or Sambazon Acai Superfruit Packs. Check your local store for options!
- Hearty Protein Bowls: If you often find yourself consumed by a busy day and only have about 10-20 minutes for lunch, stock up on these nutritious and filling meals. Protein bowls are becoming more popular and have many flavors to try. Healthy Choice, Tattooed Chef, Real Good, and Smart Made are a few good brands to try that are packed with plenty of protein and veggies to fuel your day!
- Spiralized Veggies: If you’re trying to add more fiber-rich veggies to your diet, try these pre-spiralized veggies! Green Giant has plenty of options, including zucchini, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, or sweet potato spirals. Add to your favorite pasta or salad dish, or try new ideas like this Pesto Zucchini Noodle recipe. Eating more veggies will seem so simple with this idea!
- Chopped Onions: Raise your hand if you dislike cutting onions because it makes you cry every time? Don’t worry, I’m raising my hand too. Cue in frozen pre-chopped onions! Toss these into any dish and save yourself the hassle of chopping onions. Many recipes use onions, which are extremely nutritious and full of flavor, antioxidants, and a cancer-fighting phytonutrient called quercetin.
- Pizza Crust: Save some time prepping your own pizza crust and head to the freezer aisle! You can find pizza crust made of cauliflower, broccoli, and even chickpeas, all of which contribute to higher fiber intake. Green Giant, Banza, Stonefire, and Cappello’s are a few fiber-rich brands to try. Top your pizza with your favorite sauce, protein, and veggies, or opt for a pre-made pizza altogether if desired! You can have pizza made in 10 minutes or less - the perfect meal for a busy family or pizza-lover. Try this Broccoli Rabe & Chicken White Pizza!
- Greek Yogurt Bars: Who doesn’t love a frozen fudge pop every once in a while? Greek yogurt bars are becoming more popular, with their fun flavors and protein-rich recipes. Get your sweet fix with flavors like Cookie Dough, Chocolate Strawberry, or Pistachio while filling up on more protein and less sugar.
- High Protein Breakfasts: If you’re like most people, mornings are hectic and often too busy to get in a protein and fiber-rich meal. Prevent the mid-morning crash by stocking up on some healthy frozen breakfast items. Egg Bites, Protein Waffles, Breakfast Burritos, or a Vegan Tofu Scramble may be just what you need to start the day!
- Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas: Craving a sweet snack? These Tru Fru banana, peanut butter, and dark chocolate covered bananas are perfect for a satisfying snack. They even have Strawberry or Raspberry flavors too. Reap the health benefits of high antioxidant dark chocolate and fiber-rich fruit!
- Beans & Whole Grains: If you’re not up for cooking beans or whole grains from scratch (it can take a few hours), then frozen might be up your alley! Save time and stock up on items such as Cascadian Farms Black Beans or Bird’s Eye Steamable Brown Rice, or Path of Life Quinoa & Kale. Toss them into this hearty Kale & Sweet Potato Bowl.
Frozen foods are the perfect time-savers, and are often comparable to fresh! Make your life easier if you don’t have enough time to cook and try some of these options. You’ll be surprised at just how healthy you can eat from the frozen aisles!