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 opens in a new tab and Creamy Spinach Dip opens in a new tab.
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 opens in a new tab, a year-round winner.If green peas, carrots, kale and corn appeal to you, pick Harvest Blend opens in a new tab. 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 opens in a new tab 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 opens in a new tab 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.
– kidney 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.