The 10 Frozen Foods This Nutritionist Always Buys at Costco
Within the last year, Costco has become one of my favorite places to shop — especially when I’m looking to save money on healthy and organic foods. Surprisingly one of the best ways to do just that, I’ve found, is to shop the frozen food section at Costco. It’s actually the area I head to first!
See, Costco has an excellent selection of bulk frozen veggies, fruit, and even some specialty items that I like to look for any time I go. I’m able to stock my freezer for almost an entire month this way, which has done wonders on my budget and my ability to save on high-quality, healthy foods.
As you’ll see below, many of the items I buy at Costco are made by their private-label brand, Kirkland Signature — and not just because they’re the cheaper option. Kirkland is almost always better than the name-brand competitor (or just as good) and has become my go-to brand to seek out whenever I go.
Here are the 10 frozen foods that are always in my Costco cart!
1. Wild Blueberries
I’ve been in love with wild blueberries ever since I discovered them; they’re sweeter, better-tasting, and touted to be higher in nutritional content than regular blueberries. Costco is one of the only places in my area that carries these amazing little berries — without charging and arm and a leg. And the warehouse store actually has two brands to choose from. I can get a four- or five-pound bag of organic wild blueberries for just $9.99. Once home, I put them in my smoothies, on top of oatmeal and whole-grain breakfast cereal, and in so many baked goods!
2. Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries
Although Kirkland’s regular strawberries come in a six-pound bag and cost the same price, I always go for their organic four-pound bag of strawberries instead. Conventional strawberries are consistently one of the top foods that contain the most pesticides. So I’d rather spend the same amount of money and get the smaller, organic bag. Luckily, Kirkland’s organic strawberries are always massive in size, so I feel like I’m getting a lot for my money. They’re perfect right out of the freezer (as a snack), but I also love them in smoothies and homemade jam.
3. Kirkland Signature Golden Sweet Pineapple Chunks
The first time I opened this massive five-pound bag of frozen pineapple I knew I’d be hooked. The frozen “Golden Sweet Pineapple Chunks,” as Costco calls it, is the sweetest, best-tasting frozen pineapple I’ve ever had; it tastes so close to what a fresh one tastes like. Plus, it’s so affordable! I love to eat frozen pineapple as a snack, before a meal (I believe it helps with digestion), and it’s one of my go-to fruits for putting in a smoothie. One cup contains 100 percent of our daily vitamin C needs, too.
4. Sunrise Growers Organic Sweet Mango Chunks
I have to be honest: I hate fresh mango, but for whatever (odd) reason, I love frozen mango. Costco carries a four-pound bag of organic mango that’s always less than $10, and sometimes as low as $7. Like pineapple, mango is incredibly high in vitamin C; it also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant our bodies use to form vitamin A for healthy immunity and optimal skin health. Frozen mango is really tasty when blended with frozen strawberries, pineapple, some greens, and coconut yogurt — or eaten alone as a snack right out of the freezer. (Are you seeing a trend here?)
5. Sambazon Organic Açaí Smoothie Packs
Açaí is a nutrient-packed, low-sugar berry that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and a great source of fiber and amino acids. These packs are always in my freezer for smoothies or smoothie bowls. Just run a pack under a little warm water for a few seconds, snap it in half with your hands once it’s softened a bit, then cut open the pack and pop it in a blender to use however you want. Try it with frozen blueberries, frozen banana, some greens, and any liquid base you like (I love light vanilla soy milk for some plant protein.).
6. Petite Asparagus Spears
Frozen asparagus is the best, in my opinion, because you can cook it just like you can fresh asparagus and don’t have to mess with keeping it in water in the fridge (or worry about using it before it goes bad). Costco’s four-pound bag of frozen asparagus is the best price on asparagus I’ve found anywhere per pound — including Walmart. Plus, even though it’s not labeled as organic, it’s grown with zero pesticides. High in vitamin B6, fiber, vitamin C, and even protein (four grams per cup), asparagus is wonderful on the grill or sautéed in a little water or veggie broth with some lemon in a skillet.
7. Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Vegetable Blend
When I’m looking to mix things up, I like to get Kirkland’s four-pound bag of frozen stir-fry veggies. It’s a tasty (and easy!) way to get in a variety of healthy veggies at a low price. This stir-fry blend contains an array of non-starchy veggies that can be paired with pretty much anything you can imagine — they’re even good plain!
8. Green Giant Riced Cauliflower
Into the whole rice cauliflower trend? I’m not, but I love any excuse to sneak in a veggie — and this massive four-pound bag is my favorite way to eat more cauliflower, considering I normally go for broccoli. I don’t use this as a replacement for rice; instead, I put some into smoothies (just 1/4 cup and you can’t even taste it), soups, or stews, or I’ll even sauté or steam some in a pan with a little water with other veggies and some seasonings. It means less chopping on my part and it saves me some money, as this bag lasts me a solid two months.
9. Sambazon SuperFruit Açaí Bites
These chocolate-covered bites (made with Sambazon açaí and real dark chocolate!) are my favorite guilt-free treats. They’re super low in sugar and fat, and are dairy-free and organic. They’re definitely worth trying if you haven’t already — they’re so creamy and taste like a true treat!
10. Organic Dark Sweet Cherries
Finally, this four-pound bag of dark sweet cherries is always, always in my freezer. Cherries are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits of all, denoted by their dark, beautiful color. Pro tip: Add two teaspoons cocoa powder to your next smoothie with frozen dark cherries for a healthy dessert-like treat that adds a few more antioxidants into your day.
What are your favorite frozen foods to buy at Costco?