Shopping for Frozen Foods
If you've ever put up your own food, you know that frozen fruits and vegetables are a healthful choice, especially as an off-season option for meeting your daily produce requirement. Thanks to flash freezing (freezing very quickly at very cold temperatures at peak ripeness—a process food manufactures use), the frozen foods at your local market maintain their optimum color, nutrition, and taste.
Perhaps the best thing about frozen foods, though, is their convenience. (Let's face it—even the most avid cook wants a quick and easy meal solution now and then!) No need to sacrifice creativity in the kitchen, either. Just customize that frozen pizza with your favorite toppings (leftover broccoli, asparagus or cooked chicken breast perhaps?) or add your signature spice blend to a frozen pasta dish.
When making your frozen food selections, label reading can help guide you to healthier choices. Nutrition labels are a good place to start, but also look for natural ingredients, and remember that, in general, the fewer ingredients in processed frozen foods the better. Visit your local co-op to find an array of top-notch, healthful frozen appetizers, entrees, pizzas, fruits and vegetables, fish, and meats. Many organic options are available in the frozen aisles, too!
For best results and maximum nutrition, follow the directions on frozen food packaging for thawing (if necessary) and cooking.
And if you're thinking about freezing your own fresh foods, you'll be interested in our article on Preserving the Harvest.