When you think about eating fresh, wholesome foods, fruits and vegetables likely come to mind first. No doubt, they’re star players in a feel-good, mindful diet. But the leafy salad greens and glossy apples you keep in your refrigerator are only part of the equation. In fact, your freezer can provide a wealth of health, too — and can make eating well even easier than you might imagine. For me, it’s a treasure trove of food I can feel good about and keep within arm’s reach.
Mindful eating is all about filling your plate with foods that fuel you. Making the most of your freezer can help you do just that without sacrificing a ton of time and energy at the grocery store and in the kitchen. There are so many delicious, nutritious options in the freezer aisle these days, like Healthy Choice meals. They’re full of nutritious, fresh-tasting ingredients and gourmet flavors — meaning you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner.
To help you start the New Year off in a more fulfilling way, here are my four no-fail freezer favorites to have on hand.
We all have days when even turning on the oven is too much work. That’s why Healthy Choice Power Bowls are some of the smartest things you can keep in your freezer. Each bowl is chef-created and globally inspired, so mealtime is never boring. For example, the Chicken Marinara Bowl swaps in riced cauliflower, perfect for a low-carb lifestyle with 5g net cards that doesn’t skimp on taste or satisfaction. The delicious combination of ingredients keeps you energized, whether it’s tender meat, plant-based protein, colorful vegetables, or whole grains. No matter the variety, they take just minutes to heat in the microwave. Done and done.
Chopping fresh vegetables for dinner can feel like another to-do you don’t want after a long day. Instead, lean into a frozen meal like Healthy Choice Power Bowls Spicy Black Bean & Chicken Bowl, which has frozen veggies already included, especially with riced cauliflower as the base.. You can also buy bags of frozen veggies—many come pre-cut, so the work is already done for you. Like frozen fruit, they’re flash-frozen at peak ripeness, so they’re as nutrient-rich as fresh, in-season vegetables. One favorite of mine is frozen broccoli florets, which you can simply place on a sheet pan, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a hot oven just like you would fresh florets. You can do the same with frozen cauliflower florets, asparagus spears, sliced carrots, and green beans.
While it’s hard to beat the taste of sweet summertime berries, frozen berries come pretty darn close. Skip the overpriced packages of fresh berries that are readily available at the grocery store out of season. They’re shipped in from all over the world, which means they not only lack flavor but lose some of their nutrition in transit. Instead, keep bags of frozen berries in your freezer. These are picked at peak ripeness and then flash frozen, so they not only taste like summer year round, but they’re also loaded with good nutrition. Sprinkle frozen blueberries and raspberries directly from the freezer onto yogurt and oatmeal. They’ll thaw quickly on hot oats and lend a refreshing twist to yogurt. Or, toss them into the blender to whip up a quick smoothie.
Whole grains are fiber-rich and nutrient-dense, which means they fill you up and keep you satisfied. However, whole grains like brown rice and farro take a lot more time to cook than white rice. Luckily, you can buy a pre-made option like Healthy Choice Power Bowls Adobo Chicken, which has the right blend of wholesome grains like rice and red quinoa pre-mixed within the bowl. You can also buy pre-cooked grains in the freezer aisle. All you need to do is follow the reheating instructions and you can have a grain side in a matter of minutes.