Frozen foods often have a pretty negative rep, often thought to be laden in sodium, fats, and other unwanted ingredients.
But frozen foods have some pretty cool benefits when purchased and prepped with health in mind.
Keep these healthy choices stocked in the freezer for the ultimate convenience, freshness, and nutrition!
25 Best Frozen Foods to Stock Up On
From whole grains to fruits and everything else in between, keep stocked with these best frozen meals and snacks.
1. Cooked Rice
Rice is a nutritious whole grain that pairs with many dishes but can take a bit of time to prepare.
Batch cook brown rice and keep stocked in the freezer for an easy-to-grab side or filling.
2. Cooked Beans
From kidney to black beans, beans are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients. They are extremely versatile, including being thrown into burrito bowls and soups.
Like rice, though, dried beans can be timely to prepare. Ease meal prep and make an extra batch of beans next time you prepare them.
3. Tomato Paste
Whereas tomato paste is a commonly used ingredient in recipes, only a small portion is often used.
Instead of throwing out the can and its contents, transfer the paste into a sealable container and freeze.
Don't let those spinach leaves wilt in the fridge! While you may not be able to serve as a fresh salad, frozen spinach can be added to smoothies, dips, and casseroles.
Lock in nutrients and freshness by rinsing and blanching the leaves. Air or pat dry freezing the leaves in an airtight container.
Frozen grapes are a refreshing, nutritious treat during those warm summer days.
Start by washing, drying, and de-stemming seedless grapes. Allow the grapes to dry on a baking sheet then freeze.
Once frozen, store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag until ready to enjoy. The frozen grapes also make a fun ice cube to keep wine chilled!
6. Ripe Bananas
If not so keen on eating ripe bananas, pop them in the freezer rather than tossing out. Besides, the fruit offers natural sweetness to smoothies and banana bread!
Peel the banana prior to freezing. Slicing into smaller pieces likewise helps make the banana more manageable.
Have a bounty of apples on hand from apple picking? Prepare a nutritious batch of homemade applesauce to freeze!
When ready to enjoy wholesome nutrients, allow to thaw or serve warm as desired.
8. Smoothie Bags
Rid up aging produce and offer considerable convenience by preparing smoothie packs. Include veggies and fruits, including spinach, berries, and bananas.
Blend with a protein source, such as protein powder and Greek yogurt, for a convenient meal replacement or post-workout option. Add other mix-ins as desired, including cinnamon and flaxseed.
Have a gallon of milk approaching expiration? Instead of letting time spoil the milk, pour the remainder into a plastic, airtight container.
When ready to use, allow to thaw in the fridge for a few hours.
Being a dairy product, yogurt can spoil much like milk. And, luckily, it can also be frozen much like milk.
Simply transfer yogurt from the fridge to the freezer. Not only can doing so prolong its shelf life, but transforms that creamy afternoon snack into a frozen yogurt.
Add fresh berries, chopped nuts, shaved dark chocolate, and other favorite toppings!
Skip out on all the added sugars found in most popsicles sold at the grocery store. Prepare homemade popsicles to keep on hand when that sweet tooth emerges.
Blend together frozen fruit, yogurt, and other desired mix-ins. This may include berries, plain greek yogurt, and handful of chopped nuts.
Pour mixture into popsicle mold or Dixie cups, freeze, and enjoy!
12. Broth Scraps
Instead of tossing out those bones from roasted chicken, turkey, etc., freeze them to make a homemade broth.
The same goes for veggies, including carrots, onions, and celery stalks.
13. Homemade Broth
Prepare the broth and have some leftover? Freeze that nutrient and flavor-rich liquid for future use. This may include homemade chicken noodle soup or boiling rice.
It is important to cool the leftovers as quickly as possible, though. This lessens the risk of any bacterial growth while also ensuring a fresher broth for longer periods of time.
Store the broth in the freezer for up to a year in an airtight container.
Being a great source of plant-based protein and healthy fat, nuts are excellent to keep on hand for healthy snacking.
But due to their higher fat content, nuts can go rancid quickly. If stocking for over three months, move the nuts to the freezer for safekeeping.
Burgers and other meats freeze well for future enjoyment, whether it be cooked ahead of time or frozen fresh.
If cooked in advance, allow them to cool then wrap tightly before freezing. Simply reheat before eating.
If the meat is raw, form into burger patties then allow to thaw before cooking.
Fish and seafood offer not only grams of protein, but healthy fat.
Like meat, be sure to wrap the fish tightly before freezing. Also gradually thaw in the fridge or under cool water.
Recipe call for just the whites or yolks? Instead of pitching the other half, store in the freezer for later use.
Likewise freeze whole eggs as needed, just be sure to crack from the shelf and transfer to a tight container.
If a loaf of bread is nearing expiration, pop it in the freezer.
Simply grab frozen slices from the freezer and pop in the toaster oven. Or, thaw in the refrigerator overnight for breakfast the next morning!
You can also repurpose bread to make breadcrumbs.
Like bread, tortillas are also a useful food to keep stocked with.
Pro tip: Choose a whole grain tortilla for maximum nutrients!
21. Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast burritos are a grab n' go breakfast but may be tarnished with gobs of cheese and greasy slices of bacon.
For a nutritious and convenient breakfast option, prepare a healthier alternative with scrambled egg, veggies, and a sprinkle of cheese wrapped in a whole grain tortilla.
Make a batch before the week, wrap individually in a paper towel, and freeze in a large Ziploc bag. When ready to enjoy, heat in the microwave for about 60 to 90 seconds.
22. Homemade Soup, Stew, and Chili
To retain the freshness, allow these products to first cool completely at room temperature then transfer to a sealed container.
For even reheating, thaw in the fridge the night prior to using. Reheat over low and stir frequently to avoid curdling.
23. Homemade Pizzas
When preparing homemade pizzas, make double or triple or create solely for meal prep purposes.
One busy weekday night or one weekend in, pop out the pizzas for a quick, convenient meal without calling for the pizza delivery man!
24. Fresh Herbs
Did your personal garden produce a bounty of herbs? Or perhaps that recipe only called for a few sprigs after purchasing a batch.
Instead of letting them wilt, freeze herbs for later use in stews, soups and casseroles.
Simply chop the herbs, place in ice cube trays, and top with water or olive oil. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag.
25. Healthy Frozen Meals
Microwave meals stocked in the frozen food aisle tend to be laden in unwanted ingredients. Such meals are often devoid of adequate nutrients and flavor, too.
This is where the nation's leading weight loss meal delivery service comes into major play. And stocking with healthy frozen meals delivery offers ultimate convenience and guarantees freshness.
Nutrition plans are also custom made with men and women options available. Various plans likewise help accommodate health conditions and preferences as well.
For instance, bistroMD's heart-healthy frozen entrees contain less than 600 milligrams (mg) of sodium and less than 3.5 grams of saturated fat per serving. Other plans include diabetic, gluten-free, menopause, and vegetarian.
Truly, having healthy and convenient meals on hand is especially important when confined at home. And not to mention, the reduced stress knowing all meals are prepared with the freshest ingredients with your overall health top of mind!