If the only reason you go down the freezer aisle is to buy ice cream, I'm here to tell you that there's a whole lot of healthy goodness to be found in that chilly aisle. Stock up on it and you can instantly boost the wholesomeness of the meals you're churning out in your kitchen.
Here are four ways the freezer aisle can help you eat better.
1. Have vegetables at your fingertips at all times.
As long as they're not in a sauce or salted, frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh. That's because they're frozen at the peak of ripeness. Keep a few bags in your freezer at all times and you have an affordable substitute for fresh veggies that are there for you 365 days a year.
That really leaves you without an excuse for adding vegetables to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Toss thawed and drained frozen spinach into a frittata, roast frozen broccoli for grain bowls, and use a mixed bag of frozen vegetables to make an easy chicken pot pie.
2. Never be without fruit.
Again, as long as they're not frozen with sugar, bags of frozen fruit are equally as nutritious as fresh. And having some in your freezer is a great way to enjoy the sweetest out-of-season fruit all year long (buy fresh blueberries in January and they're awful and overpriced — not so for frozen blueberries!).
3. Eat more fish and seafood.
Fresh fish often gets skipped because it usually needs to be cooked the same day — and during the week we often don't have time to run to the store on the way home from work to pick it up. But storing it in your freezer means you'll automatically eat more fish for dinner.
Frozen shrimp can be transformed into multiple meals and can either be quickly thawed or cooked from frozen — it's also more affordable than fresh. Same goes for salmon and other fillets like tilapia and cod.
4. Make healthy meals come together faster.
There are a whole lot of little conveniences hiding in the freezer aisle that can help get a healthy meal on your table faster. Things like frozen brown rice and quinoa can help add whole grains to your lunch or dinner plate in an instant, while frozen whole-wheat waffles and chicken breakfast sausages can be quick morning staples.
What do you buy from the freezer aisle that helps you eat more healthfully?