If that row of rainbow veggies is any indication, frozen vegetables are ready to be celebrated. And over the past few weeks, we've done exactly that (even Queen Elsa chimed in!). Our deep dive into the freezer aisle revealed just how transformative frozen veggies can be — both in how much time they save and the instant nutrition they provide.
Here, we're rounding up our biggest deep-freeze learnings in hopes that you, too, will stock a rainbow-filled freezer.
1. Frozen carrots are more than just a side dish.
No amount of butter or salt can save mushy microwaved baby carrots from the freezer. Luckily, you never have to prepare them that way again. Nowadays, you can find frozen carrots in all sorts of shapes and sizes (think: crinkled coins and slices) that can be blended into soups, baked into muffins, or tossed into stir-fries.
Read more: 7 Ways to Make a Meal Out of Frozen Carrots
2. Frozen cauliflower is the secret to healthier comfort food.
These unassuming florets are tiny nutritional powerhouses, ready to replace potatoes in a mash, heavy cream in mac and cheese, or dairy in a smoothie. Keep a bag in your freezer for smart swaps like these.
3. Frozen peas can give new life to leftovers.
Leftovers, whether they're takeout or homemade, are always a hard sell — even a once-vibrant dish seems lackluster the next day. That's where vibrant green peas come into play. Toss them in straight from the freezer to whatever you're heating up (from leftover Chinese food to homemade mac and cheese) and they'll instantly add a pop of nutrients and color.
Read more: 10 Ways to Make a Meal Out of Frozen Peas.
4. Frozen hash browns aren't just for breakfast anymore.
Eating hash browns without eggs may feel wrong at first, but trust us when we tell you there's a whole world of hash brown possibilities. Try using them as a binder for gluten-free crab cakes, or crisping them into breadcrumbs to add crunch to soups and casseroles.
5. Frozen corn is often even sweeter than fresh.
Even during corn's peak season, we often turn to bags of the frozen stuff. That's because frozen corn kernels are picked and flash-frozen when they're at their ripest, locking in the sweet corn flavor — whereas an ear at the grocery store may have been traveling for days. Plus, the frozen bag saves you from shucking and slicing.
Read more: 7 Ways to Make a Meal Out of Frozen Corn
6. A bag of frozen spinach is always better than a box.
If you've ever whacked a box of frozen spinach against the counter in an effort to break up the icy block, you know the deal: Boxed spinach clumps into one giant mass in the freezer. Frozen spinach in a bag, however, stays loose — meaning you can pour out just what you need for your recipe, and return the rest to the freezer.
Read more: 10 Ways to Make a Meal Out of Frozen Spinach
7. Frozen artichokes are just as good as fresh — without all the fuss.
Unlike canned or jarred artichokes, which are often submerged in oil, frozen artichokes taste shockingly similar to fresh — minus the scraping and peeling. Just like spinach, you'll want to opt for the bag over the box.