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Redefine Fast Food with Frozen Fruits and Veggies

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, July 28, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

Despite big dreams, I have a very small garden. Sadly, I just don’t have time to grow and harvest my own veggies and fruit. (Some days I barely have time to wash, peel and chop them!) I can’t rely on strawberries, rhubarb and yet-to-be identified leafy greens alone to feed my family. I’ve admitted defeat but luckily, not all is lost…it’s just frozen. For simple meal solutions, I turn to my freezer.

Keeping frozen fruits and veggies stocked in the freezer is
a great way to ensure that my family is getting the highest quality produce year round. Picked and quickly frozen at peak ripeness, the nutrients in these frozen goods are locked in— providing essentially the same health benefits as fresh. Not only are they budget friendly, they’re also extremely convenient since I can use what I need and freeze the rest for next time.

Tips for Buying Frozen Fruits and Veggies

If you’re new to using frozen fruits and vegetables, it’s good to know that they come in many forms and varieties including:

Organic – frozen organic fruit and vegetables meet all USDA organic standards

Mixes/Medleys/Blends – frozen mixes provide all of the veggies or fruit needed for one meal.

Good things I look for:

Whole Trade® – Get the goods and do good. EARTH™ University frozen bananas and pineapples support the workers and their communities and environment. Plus, sales benefit EARTH, a non-profit university in Costa Rica dedicated to educating students in entrepreneurship and sustainable agriculture.

Chopped/Purées/Chunks/ Slices – These mean less prep for smoothies, sauces, soups and casseroles!

Now Enjoy! Here are a few ideas for time-saving meals with frozen fruits and veggies from sun up to sun down.

Blend chopped frozen spinach or kale with fruit and almond milk, soymilk or yogurt and frozen fruit for smoothies

Fold a blend of frozen vegetables into an omelet, hash or scramble or add to pasta sauces and casseroles

Make quick puréed soups with your choice of frozen vegetable, seasonings, boxed broth and a splash of cream or your choice of unsweetened nondairy beverage

Toss frozen vegetables with whole grains for a quick side dish

Enjoy frozen fruit or vegetables with a squeeze of citrus and fresh herbs

Entertaining the idea of having company over for the games this fall? Frozen fruits and veggies offer great short cuts for hosts in a hurry too. Try Slow Cooker White Chili and Creamy Spinach Dip.

Easy, Pea-sy: Dinner on the Double

Comfort food is more comfortable for the cook with our scrumptious, ready-to-cook 365 Everyday Value® Frozen Vegetable Blends. Five varieties make it easy to create simple and delicious meals all week long in just a few steps. Stock your freezer, and you're just minutes away from a satisfying meal.

A blend of sugar snap peas, yellow squash, corn and carrots make a tasty side dish, pilaf or stir fry and a good source of vitamin A to boot. Reach for our all-purpose Four Seasons Blend, a year-round winner.

If green peas, carrots, kale and corn appeal to you, pick Harvest Blend. Take advantage of the easy steam-in bag or create all our own with your stovetop or oven with this colorful mix. Not only convenient, it's also an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of fiber.

The Garden Blend dishes up broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas making an easy side or stir fry solution. You can even toss the steam-in bag into your microwave. This convenience crunch is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

The Soup and Stew Blend is a hardy combination of spinach, asparagus, mushrooms and red potatoes that matches with many styles of broths, stocks and other soup or stew bases.

Beans and Greens Blendkidney beans, great Northern beans and kale – makes a speedy, one-dish skillet meal with little to no prep work. (Simply sauté with minced garlic and season with a little lemon, sea salt and black pepper or red pepper flakes for a kick.) Soups, stews and casseroles are also made easier.

What do you whip up with frozen fruits and veggies? I’d love to know.

 


 

Category: Food & Recipes, Grocery

 

11 Comments

Comments

LAZARO, O. CAMARILLO, III says ...
THANK YOU ALL FOR THE INFORMATION. AIRBORNE
07/29/2012 10:37:32 PM CDT
Amanda says ...
I'll eat frozen veggies during winter, but during summer I prefer them fresh...however I always have frozen fruit on hand to make smoothies!
07/28/2012 9:24:03 AM CDT
watkins products guy says ...
sweet tips!
07/28/2012 1:58:45 PM CDT
Aimee says ...
Toss a bag of frozen broccoli florets onto a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt and toss. Place in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes for the most delicious broccoli ever!
07/30/2012 11:58:27 AM CDT
Maria says ...
I use frozed strawberries and other fruits instead of ice cubes in water in the summer. They impart a slight bit of flavor and make drinks cool, too!
07/30/2012 11:45:22 AM CDT
Rachel Mascarella says ...
I use the southwest blend of frozen veggies all the time. I'd love to see a mirepoix blend!
11/17/2012 8:01:47 PM CST
spiro says ...
The frozen vegetables come in plastic bags and I usually tear the corner and use them a little at a time and mix several different bags that I stir fry. My wife is tired of the torn plastic bags that sit in the freezer and then spill. What is the best way to store the frozen vegetables once they are open?
01/01/2014 10:06:46 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SPIRO - You can always dump the bag of veggies in to a ziploc for easy access. Make sure that you release the air before you store them.
01/01/2014 12:12:40 PM CST
Robert Kellum says ...
We've been using the 365 frozen blueberries and strawberries for our smoothies in the morning. I realize they're not organic. Can you tell me though how they are farmed..to what extent they are grown conventionally with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc. Because it's Whole Foods, I want to believe that they're perhaps a step above conventional. Thanks for your help...
01/29/2014 11:40:42 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ROBERT - If you're looking to avoid the use of harsh pesticides on the berries, I would suggest looking for our 365 organic options since organics have more pesticide regulation than conventional items.
01/30/2014 11:54:08 AM CST
Shannon Hensley says ...
I just want to know where my food comes from what frozen veg. and fruits are grown and processed in the usa
05/09/2014 8:25:11 AM CDT