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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fresh Meals Using Frozen Foods

Of all convenience products, frozen foods may be the most versatile.

Frozen foods have been a fantastically popular part of most home kitchens ever since they were first introduced to grocery stores back in 1930. Think past pizzas and TV dinners: the freezer case of your local supermarket is your ticket to variety, convenience and healthful eating.

Fresher than Fresh

Even when your schedule is hectic, basic frozen ingredients such as vegetables, fruits and meats can help you get a fresh, tasty and nutritious meal on the table.
If you feel like you're compromising on quality or nutrition--or that you're "cheating" by using frozen items--think again: frozen fruits and vegetables are often more nutritious than their fresh counterparts.
  • Food intended for freezing always gets processed and quickly frozen within hours of being picked, whereas fresh produce from the grocery store is usually picked while it's unripe so that it can withstand shipping.
  • Fresh produce may sit in storage or on the shelves for days, weeks, or even months before you buy it.
  • Nutrients in fresh foods deplete the longer they sit on the shelf, whereas freezing preserves the majority of nutrients in foods, even when frozen for an extended period of time.
  • As an added bonus, all the washing, trimming and chopping has been done for you!

Eat Your Vegetables

Use frozen vegetables and/or meats in any recipe that calls for fresh or canned. Good candidates include
  • Casseroles or lasagna
  • Soup, stew, chili or Stroganoff
  • Pot pies
  • Stir-fries
  • Pasta dishes
  • Baked potato toppings
  • Burritos, tacos, wraps or pitas
  • Dips or spreads
  • Side dishes, seasoned with your favorite herbs or spices, sprinkled with cheese or nuts, or just plain
  • Bread dough or cornbread batter