10 Healthy Frozen Foods You Can Feel Good About Buying
A Healthier Side to Frozen Food
Most frozen food gets a bad rap of being made with a laundry list of additives and preservatives. But when you don't have time to get to the market, having healthy food in the freezer can be a lifesaver. Luckily, frozen food companies have been introducing new products that are made with fewer ingredients—and ingredients you can recognize. Plus, there are some frozen-food veterans that you may have passed by over the years. Celebrate National Frozen Food Month with these 10 expert-picked buys that you can feel good about. (Don't forget to pick up these 10 Packaged Foods That Are Surprisingly Healthy!)
Evol—that spells "love" backwards—recently released a line of food cups which include Scramble Cups (like egg white, veggie, & cheese), Fajita Cups (like sriracha queso grilled chicken), and Veggie Cups (like truffle parmesan roasted cauliflower). The cups cost you only about 170-200 calories, and each have about 10 to 15 percent of the daily recommended amount of sodium (pretty low by frozen-dinner standards). These cups are perfect on busy days or to take to work. To defrost, microwave for a few minutes and enjoy!
Keep a bag of frozen strawberries, mango, tart cherries, blueberries, peaches, or pineapple in the freezer so you can whip up a delicious breakfast or post-workout smoothie in a flash. Yes, frozen fruit can be costly—buy in larger bags or try the frozen food aisle at your wholesale warehouse club. Frozen fruit can also be defrosted and used in a variety of dishes like homemade healthy muffins, parfaits, as well as in frostings, or sauces (but make sure to choose a brand with no added sugar—fruit has plenty of natural sweetness!). (Psst... We love these 10 Healthy Recipes for Freezer Meals.)
Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars
If you're looking for a healthy snack or dessert, Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars—at only 80-130 calories each—are a smart option to satisfy your sweet tooth. The bars are gluten-free and contain about 5-6 grams of protein, as well as 15 percent of your daily recommended amount of calcium. Indulge guilt-free in flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Sea Salt Caramel. Yum!
It's always a good idea to have a very lean protein on hand. Look for wild versus farmed when possible, or brands that follow sustainable practices. Toss frozen shrimp in soups, cook in quesadillas, or make a shrimp and rice dish.
If you're looking for a healthier fry in a flash, these aptly named Veggie Fries, made with beans and vegetables, are super tasty and contain a reasonable amount of sodium. Flavors include carrot, broccoli, chickpea and red pepper, and kale and tuscan herb. The frozen "fries" are sold in a variety of grocery stores around the country like Whole Foods, Wegmans, Harmons, The Fresh Market, and Lowes Foods. (Want to DIY? Try these 10 Healthy Chip Recipes.)
Instead of working over a hot stove waiting for those whole grains to cook, you can save time and grab a bag of pre-cooked frozen grains instead. Gretchen's Grains sells organic brown rice, quinoa, and wheat berries. Mix with beans, lentils, or cooked vegetables, or add to soups and stews.
Luvo Frozen Dinners
If you're short on time or sticking to a budget, you shouldn't have to sacrifice flavor or nutritiona. Luvo uses antibiotic-free meat and poultry and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible. Meals include Chicken and Harissa Chickpeas, Kale Ricotta Ravioli, and Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. (Or try these Fantastic Freezer Meals to Make Your Life Easier.)
With Americans struggling to meet their recommended 2-3 cups of daily veggies, frozen vegetables are an important—efficient—option. Flavored frozen vegetables have always been on the "not healthy" list, but Tommy's Superfoods has developed a line of seasoned vegetables packed with flavor and made with lots of interesting spices. Even better: The sodium level is reasonable, clocking in at about 12-18 percent of your recommended daily amount per serving. Blends include Seasoned Vegetable Medley (with broccoli, peas, and carrots) and Seasoned Super Greens (with kale, spinach, collard greens, and mushrooms).
Whole Grain Pizza Dough
Whole grain pizza dough is an easy, wholesome way to get a meal on the table in no time. Top with shredded part-skim mozzarella, whatever veggies are on hand, and leftover grilled chicken for a well-balanced dinner. To add even more nutrition and fiber, serve with a side salad or cup of soup. (Or use it for one of these 10 Healthy Pizza Recipes.)
Amy's Organic Burritos and Wraps
Amy's Kitchen sells 15 varieties of burritos and wraps, which are a grumbling stomach's savior when you're on the go or at work and need a quick, filling bite. The products are organic, vegetarian, and some come in gluten-free options; top them with rice and beans, guacamole, or spicy hummus. Flavors include Southwestern Burrito, Breakfast Burrito, and Indian Samosa Wrap.