Do you store health foods in the freezer? This can make eating healthy quick, easy, and convenient.
The following is a list of 10 healthy foods that you can freeze and have ready at a moments notice.
1. Tomato Sauce: contains lycopene and glutathione, two powerful antioxidants that fight disease and boost your immunity. Tomato sauce is easy and versatile, as it goes well on lean meats, seafood, and vegetables. Simply pour sauce into freezer bags and leave a little room at the top for expansion. Then when needed, just microwave and add to your favorite foods.
2. Ripe Bananas: when you have an overly-ripe banana, don’t throw it out. Simply peel and store it in the freezer for the next time you make a protein shake. Frozen bananas are also great in oatmeal or yogurt. Try this home-made protein bar recipe that calls for one ripe banana!
3. Veggie Burgers: when in a rush, it's quick and easy to throw them in a toaster for a few minutes. Then just crumble them up inside a lettuce wrap or on salads. Whenever we go to a BBQ, we’ll take frozen veggie burgers just in case there isn’t a lean meat option available.
4. Edamame: pop a bag in the microwave for 5 minutes and you have a quick and easy snack or appetizer. Edamame is also great on salads! One cup of edamame (with shells) has 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber!
5. Soups and Stews: it’s a Sunday tradition in our house to make a large batch of vegetable soup for the week. Here’s one of my favorite recipes. We keep half a batch in the fridge and the remaining half in the freezer for later in the week. It’s so easy to heat in the microwave and then add your favorite protein source (cottage cheese, diced chicken, Greek yogurt, etc) for a well-balanced, healthy meal.
6. Herbs: chop up fresh sage, rosemary, oregano, and/or thyme. Pack in ice cube trays (about 1/2 full), pour a little balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil over each and freeze overnight. Remove cubes from trays and store in freezer in freezer bags. When ready to use, thaw in a pan on low heat for stir-frys or add to soups.
7. Berries: are loaded with nutrients and freeze really well. Simply place berries on a baking sheet, freeze overnight, then store them in freezer bags in the freezer. Then just toss them into oatmeal, yogurt, protein shakes or smoothies, or add them to this protein muffin recipe.
8. Cooked brown rice or quinoa: Cook as you normally would, let cool, then store in freezer bags in the freezer. When ready to serve, pour into a bowl and microwave for a couple of minutes. You can then add to soups or salads or serve as a side-dish for a great source of fiber. Try this delicious quinoa recipe!
9. Root vegetables: have the lowest water content and therefor freeze the best (veggies high in water tend to be mooshy out of the freezer). Yams, beets, parsnips, and radishes work well, are packed with nutrients, and are easy to add to soups, stews, and casseroles.
10. Grapes: wash and dry them, place them on a baking sheet, and then freeze for a few hours. Enjoy right away or store in the freezer in resealable plastic bags. One cup of grapes provides more than a quarter of the daily recommended values of vitamins K and C!
A Few Food-Freezing Tips:
- Freeze in smaller portions, so it’s easier to defrost the amount you need at that particular time. For example, you can make a large batch of home-made tomato sauce and keep it in several smaller bags – about the amount you’d need per meal. You don't want to defrost sauce to feed ten people when you’re only serving four.
- Make sure you wrap foods properly or put them in sealed bags or containers; otherwise your food can get freezer-burn.
- Use containers and resealable freezer bags that were designed specifically for the freezer. Make sure there is no excess air in bags.
- If you are storing sauces or soup (or anything liquid), allow for room at the top of the bag or container for expansion.
- A full freezer is more economical. Cold air doesn't need to circulate as much, so less power is needed. If you have lots of free space in your freezer, add water to plastic bottles and use them to fill the gaps.
- Freezing doesn't kill bacteria. If you are unsure of how long something has been frozen or are a bit wary of something once defrosted, don’t take any chances.
I hope you found this article helpful!