March is a an exciting month! Not only are we entering spring and coming closer to summer, but March is National Nutrition Month as well as National Frozen Food Month.
With this year’s National Nutrition Month theme being “Enjoy The Taste Of Eating Right,” it’s important to recognize how easy it is to stock the freezer with healthy, tasty choices.
The freezer is a healthy appetite’s best friend. There are so many terrific frozen food options available, relieving you of the pressure of expiration dates, and even the need to plan meals in advance.
Your freezer comes handy when you want to wing a meal, whip up something quick, or for those emergency situations where you didn’t intend to dine at home, yet find yourself in your kitchen unexpectedly hungry and looking for food – and fast!
While I tend to shop at a local produce market a few times a week, I spend an equal amount of time shopping for my freezer to ensure it’s full of frozen vegetables and other key items. Eating a nutrient-dense diet need not rely only on eating fresh produce and made-from-scratch meals each day; healthy, unprocessed options are also available in the frozen food aisle of every supermarket.
Whip up a quick meal
A quick, nutrient-dense meal can easily come together when you grab a bag of veggies and a package of brown rice; all you need is a protein source. Veggie burgers and other meatless products are terrific freezer options when you need a protein source because they take little time to prepare when compared to meat and poultry.
While you have to be mindful of the sodium content and added ingredients of some frozen foods, many brands, such as Amy’s Organic, Dr. Praeger’s and Gardein, offer a wide variety of frozen foods and prepared meals with fine nutritional content and low sodium.
Don’t forget the leftovers
Another great way to make sure your freezer is stocked with healthy, fresh foods is to think ahead for leftovers when you’re cooking. The next time you make a batch of chili, quinoa, lentils, vegetable lasagna or a chicken dish, simply portion out a few servings and place in your freezer for a later date. You will thank yourself!
Sweeten the deal
When it comes to snacks and desserts, fresh fruit is at the top of my list. However, frozen fruit, especially during the winter months when I can’t stock the kitchen with fresh berries and summer fruits, really saves the day. I always have a bag of blueberries, cherries, raspberries and frozen bananas in my freezer for smoothies, snacks and desserts.
With so many options from the freezer, it’s always easy to throw together a quick, nutrient-dense meal at home!
What foods do you stock your freezer with?