6 foods you should always keep in your freezer

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 08 March 2023.
Tagged: frozenfoods, health, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, nutrition

6 foods you should always keep in your freezer
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I love frozen foods and use my freezer all the time. Luckily, I have a big freezer! I like having one or two dinners pre-packaged and in the freezer for convenience. The rest is ready for when I want to use it, such as peas or berries.

Frozen foods have a long shelf life and are always on hand. And there’s no need for preservatives! The rapid freezing process ensures no flavour or nutritional value is lost, making frozen foods a healthy, convenient and cost-effective alternative to fresh.

1. Frozen berries

I love a pack of mixed berries or blueberries in the freezer. The fruit has been quickly frozen. At times, they’re cheaper than buying fresh, especially when the fruit is out of season. You can find many of these without sugar. It is like nature’s perfect, portable snack – convenient, healthy and delicious. And they work in mocktails, too!⁠

2. Frozen leftovers

These can be a godsend when you’re rushed mid-week. Think leftover Bol sauce, beef or lamb curry, cooked brown rice, cooked lentils (a can seems to go on forever), and uncooked mince balls. To go with the leftovers, maybe you can cook up a serve of pasta or potatoes, and some vegetables or a salad.

3. Frozen meals

By frozen meals, I mean ready-prepared meals-in-one, such as by McCain, Lean Cuisine or Lite ‘n’ Easy. Meals you only have to microwave for 3–4 minutes before they’re ready to eat. They’re convenient AND balanced – they have some protein, some starchy carb and some non-starchy vegetables. Frozen meals can be a healthier and more convenient alternative to certain fast foods.

4. Frozen sorbets (and gelato)

For desserts, sorbets are always available from your freezer – just remember to remove from the freezer 5–10 minutes before serving to soften. They’re good to add to smoothies. It’s like having ice cream in your freezer – only healthier! Yes, sorbet contains sugar but you can make it at home from fruit purees without any sugar at all – just the fruit with its natural sugars (e.g. mango, strawberries or canned drained pineapple). Good brands include Weis (it has a great mango sorbet with a natural mango flavour) and Gelativo.

Mango Sorbet

 5.  Frozen peas (and corn)

This is a no-brainer. All that time podding those peas (I know you need them for some recipes, but not all). Frozen peas and corn are cheap and easy to store in the freezer. Use them when you run out of fresh. They contribute to your five-a-day serves. Yes, they have some – not zero – vitamin C, folate and thiamin. Just don’t overcook them!

6. Frozen stock

Stock takes up a bit of room but it’s useful. Frozen stock or broth is a basic kitchen ingredient you can add to soups, risottos and gravy. Leave it out to thaw before using. Bought stocks can be loaded with salt (sodium), so much so that they’re almost inedible!

It’s easy to make your own if you have a meat bone: Click here to see how.

The Bottom Line

If you have room, use your freezer. It’s time we accepted the time-saving merits of frozen foods, such as frozen berries, fish fillets, corn and sorbet. So, next time you only have 15 minutes to whip up dinner, look in your freezer FIRST! You’ll be serving up a healthy meal in no time at all!