The 7 New Trendy and Healthy Foods You Should Be Buying in the Frozen Food Section
If your goal is to eat better this year (without breaking your budget), the frozen food section is one of the top places you should be browsing. Many health-conscious people shy away from frozen foods out of fear that they’re not healthy. And, yeah, there lots of potato skins and mac and cheese balls behind those glass doors. But there are also lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains without unnecessary extra stuff, and nutritious meals. If you know what to look for, the frozen section can be one of the tickets to eating better, wasting less, and spending less money.
So what exactly should you look for? These are some of my top picks that I’ve seen so far in 2019.
1. Fruit-Based, Non-Dairy Ice Cream Alternatives
Ice cream alternatives are nothing new; many are made with coconut milk, soy, almond milk, cashew milk, and even pea protein, but for a more nutritious option, try the new ice cream alternatives made out of real fruit instead! There are many brands out now featuring bases made from bananas, avocados, berries, peaches, mangoes, and more.
One top pick is the new Outshine Non-Dairy Strawberry Banana frozen blend, which is available at mainstream stores including Target. This pick is non-fat and non-GMO, it’s dairy-free (and vegan), and is only 80 calories per serving — with no artificial ingredients. Made with real strawberries and bananas, it’s a great way to work more fruit into your diet and a less processed treat than other ice cream alternatives.
2. Plant-Based Buddha Bowls
There are several brands now cashing in on the popularity of those homemade, plant-based Buddha bowls you see all over Instagram. I’ve recently spotted several brands launching high-quality, plant-based Buddha bowls made with kale, chickpeas, cauliflower, butternut squash, whole grain rice or quinoa, and a variety of other nutrient-dense veggies.
These are a great way to work more plant-based protein and whole grains into your diet if you’re short on time but don’t want to sacrifice your health. Two good options made without GMO ingredients that have high ratings include the Curry Tiger Bowl by Sweet Earth (available at Target) and the Buddha Bowl by a new brand called The Tattooed Chef (available at Walmart and other regular supermarkets).
3. Pre-Made Smoothie Cups and Smoothie Packs
Smoothies are a great way to work more fruits and veggies into your diet, but we all have days where we’re short on time and don’t want to pull out all the ingredients. Enter: pre-made frozen smoothie cups and smoothie packs! These are popping up everywhere and have greens, veggies, and nutrient-dense fruits, which you can blend up with non-dairy milk or water.
4. Frozen Pumpkin Cubes
Fun fact: Walmart was the third store I visited this week that offered frozen steam-able pumpkin cubes! As a bonafide pumpkin lover, I was elated to see this — especially this time of year. You can do anything with frozen pumpkin: steam it in a hearty side dish like any other veggie, or, for a more creative option, blend it into your next smoothie with some mango and banana.
Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, C, and fiber with benefits similar to butternut squash. It’s also a good source of iron, is less starchy than potatoes, and is packed with antioxidants of many kinds. Look out for this with the other frozen veggies and give it a try!
5. Spiralized Veggies
Looking for a healthier alternative to regular pasta? Spiralized veggies are now all over the frozen food section of any grocery store you go to. You can find everything from spiralized zucchini and carrots to beets, butternut squash, and even sweet potatoes. Green Giant is a good brand to look out for, with affordable options that have high ratings.
6. Frozen Avocado Slices
Avocado is a top source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and it’s rich in potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and fiber. And it’s popping up in the freezer section more and more now, which is especially good for smoothie lovers (because it’s low in sugar and gives smoothies that rich, creamy texture without having to rely on dairy). Add a few slices of these Welch’s frozen avocado chunks to your next green smoothie and you’ll love the creamy texture it gives without changing the flavor whatsoever!
7. Unsweetened Açai Purée
Açai has been trendy for years now, but up until somewhat recently, it’s only been available at elite health food stores or Whole Foods. Now you can find various brands of açai purée packets at all the supermarkets including Publix, Walmart, Target, and even Costco and Trader Joe’s.
Açai is a great source of antioxidants, omega-3 fats, fiber, and it’s a unique fruit in the fact it is low in sugar. With a rich chocolate-y, blueberry-like flavor, this superfood is wonderful to add to any smoothie you make. Look for unsweetened options without added sugar by brands such a Sambazon and Amafruits.
Have you tried any of these new frozen food options? What’d you think?