Like most individuals, your freezer may act solely as a storage unit for a box of baking soda and an old bottle of vodka. Most of my clients overlook the concept of utilizing the old” ice box “as a way to conveniently store healthy food for months at a time. Almost any food can be frozen while preserving the taste and nutritional value. Avoid the guilty feeling of throwing away the limp, untouched broccoli floret and be sure to stock up on the items below to aid in healthy eating and save money.
1) Frozen Vegetables. Veggies are full of fiber, water, vitamins and minerals. They fill you up for very few calories. As represented by the My Plate Symbol from the USDA, it is recommended that we make up half of our meals with fruits and vegetables. It is probably not a shock that most Americans, with their growing waist lines, typically fall well below that recommendation. Keep your favorite bagged veggies on hand to ensure a serving will accompany your dinner in just seconds.
2) Frozen Fruit. I recommend that people incorporate two fruit servings into their diet each day and make up the remaining “fruit and veggie” quota with vegetable options. Fruits are a great source of fiber and can even provide cancer fighting antioxidants. Frozen fruit may offer a larger variety in various seasons. Frozen Fruit is a great addition to non-fat Greek yogurt or homemade smoothies.
3) Fish. Frozen fish can taste just as fresh as the “catch of the day”. I encourage clients to eat fish twice each week for a lean protein option or as a way to get in some essential fatty acids. .
4) “Frozen Meals”. Designate a day during the week to do a little cooking and prep work. Pre- portion and freeze some lentil soup or turkey chili and defrost when time is tight, but eating healthy is a must.
5) Low Fat Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt. This frozen treat offers a variety of minerals essential for bone and cardiovascular health and may help in keeping cravings at bay. Of course size does matter, so limit servings to ½ cup.
Remember safety first. Never defrost food at room temperature. There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave using the defrost setting.
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