The freezer. It is, in many cases, home to unhealthy foods. Ice cream, processed dinners, frozen waffles…
But the freezer can actually be one of your biggest aids in healthy eating! It can help you save food, save time, and preserve important nutrients.
Have you ever had fruit going bad that you were about to toss? Are you afraid to buy frozen fruits and vegetables? Did you ever make too much food and have leftovers go bad? Below are some answers to these issues and how you can prevent food waste.
- Sometimes we don’t buy fresh fruit because we have to eat it quickly or it will go bad. If this is a problem for you buy fresh fruit that freezes easily such as bananas (peeled first), grapes, strawberries and blueberries. Bananas and grapes taste great as frozen treats, or you can add any of these fruits to smoothies.
- If you are concerned that frozen fruits and vegetables don’t pack the same nutrition as fresh produce think again. Frozen produce may actually have more nutrients than fresh. When fresh produce travels to grocery stores and sits out for a while it can lose its nutrient content over time. Frozen fruits and vegetables hold on to nutrients for longer and are healthy options. Just check the ingredients and make sure that nothing is added such as salt or butter.
- Leftovers. They are they first thing I recommend making when changing healthy habits. Usually the last thing we want to do when we get home from work is make dinner. Batch cooking is a great way to save time during the work-week by cooking a lot of food on one day and saving leftovers. All you have to do is take it out of the fridge, heat, and eat! Home cooked food typically stays good for 4 days in the fridge so freeze any leftovers beyond that.
Over the years I have started freezing everything to prevent food from going bad and reducing food waste. Most food can be frozen so instead of tossing it, pack it up in some tupperware and save it for a later date.
Now the big questions is frozen meals. While I don’t typically recommend them, they can be good options once in a while if you are short on time. If you are opting for frozen meals try for the healthier options such as Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice. Keep in mind that these meals are only 200-300 calories while a usual dinner might be closer to 500 calories. Round out these frozen meals with extra veggies, fresh fruit, or a low fat dairy option. Have It Your Weigh.