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Frozen Foods Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

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Who hasn’t heard “fresh is best” a few hundred occasions? Of course, recent foods are healthy and delicious. But should you’ve ever tossed a crisper filled with wilted produce or raced to get dinner on the table in minutes, you in all probability already know that recent doesn’t all the time minimize it.

That’s why so many nutritionists are frozen food fanatics. “I’m all about convenience and shortcuts in the kitchen, so the freezer aisle is a must when I shop for food,” says Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, host of Liz’s Healthy Table podcast. “Sure, you’ll find ice cream, pepperoni pizzas, and breakfast sausage, but there are loads of healthy items that make getting nutrition-packed meals on the table a lot easier.”

Which frozen meals do nutritionists lean on in a pinch? Here, their must-haves:

Falafel. “I always have easy-to-cook or pre-cooked proteins like falafel in my freezer so I can quickly assemble a meal,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, MS, RDN, proprietor of MNC Nutrition, LLC. “Since falafel is made with chickpeas, it’s rich in plant protein and fiber, which are key for heart health and help keep blood pressure stable.” For a speedy lunch or dinner, attempt it tossed into a salad. Look for brands that record chickpeas as the first ingredient and rely on heart-friendly unsaturated fats like canola oil.

Riced Cauliflower. “Having a bag of frozen cauliflower rice on hand to toss into fried rice or other grain dishes is a great way to boost vegetables and lighten things up at the same time,” says  Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD, writer of PREP: The Essential College Cookbook. “I also love cauliflower crust pizza, so having riced cauliflower handy makes it easy to whip up a crust.” If do-it-yourself crust sounds too formidable, frozen cauliflower crust will get the job executed too.

Crushed garlic and ginger. “Even though I’m a big fan of family meals, cooking dinner for the family night after night takes time, which is why I’m also a fan of ingredient shortcuts,” says Weiss. “When a recipe calls for crushed fresh garlic or ginger, or both, I just pop a frozen cube from the tray instead of taking the time to chop. They’re super convenient and taste just as good as fresh.”

Bacon. Some of probably the most freezer-friendly foods don’t start out in the freezer. “Bacon might not seem like the healthiest option, but a little bit adds a magical, smokey flavor to healthy foods like pasta sauce, veggie sautees, and salads,” says Morford. “I like to keep it in the freezer so I can pull off a slice or two without cooking up a whole pound.” To avoid nitrates, search for manufacturers labeled “uncured.”

Potatoes. With greater than 60 totally different disease-preventing phytonutrients and nutritional vitamins, spuds are woefully underrated. “Whether it’s sweet potato fries, shredded potatoes, or tater tots, I always have some sort of frozen potato on hand,” says Cohn. “They’re super versatile as a side dish, cooked into a quiche, or as the base for an appetizer.” If you really need to up your tater recreation look for roasted candy potato “toasts”. A single slice can deliver almost a whole day’s vitamin A. They’re particularly scrumptious topped with a schmear of peanut butter or ricotta.

Quinoa. “Quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook, but sometimes I don’t have 15 minutes, which is why I often turn to frozen quinoa,” says Weiss. “It’s ready in three to four minutes and it’s perfect for quick weeknight Buddha bowls or a simple gluten-free side dish.” Unlike sodium-spiked ready-to-serve quinoa, frozen quinoa typically incorporates one easy ingredient: quinoa. Compare labels to know for positive.

If you’ve been avoiding the freezer aisle, it could be time to embrace it. With the correct technique, it might upgrade your eating regimen and make your life an entire lot simpler within the process.

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