When you’re shopping for food that will last a while, the first items that come to mind are probably canned. Frozen foods don’t get quite the same recognition, but in fact, they can last just as long, if not longer, than many of the canned or dried options out there (given you have a well-functioning freezer). Here you’ll find tips for buying healthy, freezable food so that there’s always something nutritious on hand – and as a bonus, learn how freezing can help minimize food waste.
Freezing is one of the most important methods of food preservation used today. The freezing process is used across every food group, for items like fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, and berries (1) (2). During freezing, the growth of bacteria, chemical reactions, and cellular metabolic reactions in food are all delayed (2)(3). Additionally, the texture, nutrition, and taste are better preserved than by any other method (2).
Did you know that frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones? They’re often much cheaper, too. Fresh fruits and vegetables are typically picked before they’re ripe and then matured during transport and storage, whereas frozen vegetables are picked at peak ripeness – which is also when they are their most nutritious (2). The nutrients in frozen foods like fish, chicken, and other meats are nearly the same as fresh, with only a few small differences (3).
As always, when you buy processed food, make sure to check the nutrition label and try to find items without any added sodium or sugar.
Frozen food can be a lifesaver when you can’t get to the supermarket (or just don’t feel up for it). Make an easy soup using frozen vegetables, vegetable stock, and some frozen herbs. Or, for another simple meal, cook frozen fish fillets and serve alongside pureed frozen peas and roasted broccoli. Frozen vegetables are also a fantastic addition to stews and salads, or just as a side for your favorite main dish.
Frozen spinach is the perfect ingredient to boost your morning smoothie. Just add spinach, frozen mango, frozen banana, and any plant-based milk to a blender and mix. Top it all off with some frozen berries, or just eat as is. Frozen berries can also be used as a topping for your oatmeal, porridge, yogurt, or in a fruit salad. If you buy imported berries, heat them up first to make sure they’re free of potential viruses (4).
There are tons of foods and meals that are perfect for freezing. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
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