Many people freak out when they think about stocking their freezer but to foodies and home cooks, it’s a normal thing to have freezer meals and their freezer stocked with “ready-made,” food.
Let's be honest. Cooking dinner every evening is a schlep and many of us get tired even just thinking about it. So to be able to just go to your freezer and pick out dinner is the solution.
Below, dietitian and spokesperson of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Shani Cohen shares the healthier freezer-friendly meals that we should be stocking up on.
One of the biggest reasons for skipping breakfast in the morning is not having enough time. Frozen fruits provide the opportunity for a well-balanced breakfast smoothie option.
Frozen fruit tends to be flash-frozen at peak nutritional value, ensuring you lock in most of your nutrients right at the start of your day. Unlike the fresh variety, you can find them all year round.
Keeping frozen pre-chopped vegetables in the fridge is one way of making sure you can always create healthy meals on a budget. They are great to use to make home-made soups, mix with grains, or simply sauté with some olive oil and herbs. As with frozen fruit, frozen vegetables are a great way to get the products you love no matter the season.
Buying frozen proteins is a great way to save time and money on meal preparation. I particularly encourage my patients to buy frozen fish and seafood. Frozen fish can be of better value than fresh as it is less wasteful for home cooks who can just pull out the amount they need from the freezer.
Depending on the choice of your seafood, you can steam, bake, pan-fry, or braai it to create a tasty meal.
There are plenty of plant-based options for vegetarians and vegans too, as well as those looking to incorporate more plant-based proteins in their diet. Frozen edamame is a great plant protein source, and is so easy to use in dishes like stir-fry, curries, and salads.
Plant-based burger patties and sausages are now more popular than ever and have the added benefit of having a high fibre and iron content in addition to their protein content.
Frozen potato wedges and chips
Oven-baked frozen potato wedges and chips can be a better choice than deep-fried. It is important to note, however, that frozen oven-baked fries can still be deep-fried at the factory.
However, keeping a frozen bag of wedges or chips can help with portion control – you can take out a moderate-sized portion and tuck the rest back in the freezer. Baked chips can also be higher in salt, so remember not to add more salt once they are cooked.