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7 Frozen Foods That Should Always Be in Your Freezer

posted: 08/26/15
by: Mara Betsch
frozen vegetables
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Frozen foods have a bad reputation -- either they're bland items that get pushed to the back of your freezer or unhealthy meals laden with fatty sauces. But there are plenty of options that are neither and can actually be an important building block in a delicious, quick-cooking dinner. Make sure your freezer is stocked with these versatile options.

1. Cooked rice

Rice is a great fiber-rich staple and is especially popular in gluten-free households. The only problem is that it takes a solid 45 minutes to cook. Trader Joe's and other grocery stores make pre-cooked frozen rice that heats up in just three minutes. Use it in stir fries, with chicken or as a filler for healthy burritos.

2. Chicken breasts

This perfect protein source only lasts one to two days in the fridge, so throw this in the freezer to keep it A-OK until you're ready to use it. Thawing it the fridge during the day means you've got a quick protein ready to eat at dinner time.

3. Chopped spinach

Though the fresh stuff may wilt in a day, keeping this nutrient-rich veggie on hand will allow you to throw it into pastas, frittatas, and other dishes to boost the nutritional value.

4. Berries

Cheaper than their fresh counterparts, these vitamin-rich fruits are great to have on hand to add to yogurt, cereals and muffins, or as the main ingredient in smoothies.

5. Fish

Fish is good for the heart, and we're always being told to eat more. Buying frozen options will encourage you to cook this protein more often, and after takes 8 to 10 hours to thaw, so just stick in the fridge at breakfast.

6. Potatoes

Who doesn't love potatoes? But by the time you scrub them, slice them and bake them, you'll have a very, very hangry family. Buy frozen potatoes (without any extra salt or butter!) to have an easy side at your fingertips.

7. Out-of-season veggies

Craving corn in January or butternut squash in July? Store these in your freezer, which will save you time from trying to find these items in your grocery store, and chances are, the food was flash frozen and will be more delicious the fresh option you hunt for in the store.

But the key to making these frozen items taste good is keeping fresh herbs, spices, garlic, vinegars and citrus fruits on hand for adding low-cal flavor. Happy cooking!