If you have a hectic lifestyle, you are probably used to cheating on several things at once. For many people, this means that cooking often ends at the bottom of the to-do list.
Lack of enough time to regularly prepare home-cooked meals can be a hindrance to healthy eating.
Fortunately, nowadays you can find many healthy frozen foods that can help you enjoy a nutritious, affordable meal, which is prepared very quickly and easily.
In this list I have included some of my freezer products along with other healthy and affordable frozen food choices.
Frozen vegetables and fruits are the most common refrigeration supply companies – and for good reason.
They are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and have a longer shelf life than fresh produce. Moreover, they are sometimes cheaper than their fresh counterparts – especially when it comes to off-season products.
Moreover, research has consistently shown that frozen fruits and vegetables do not have a lower nutritional quality than fresh ones. In fact, in some cases, freezing can even improve nutritional quality (
Try mixing a handful of frozen berries into a smoothie for an antioxidant-rich snack or frying some mixed vegetables for a nutritious lunch or dinner.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are a healthy and affordable way to increase your daily intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Falafel is a Middle Eastern dish popular among vegans and vegetarians. Made from chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), which are a rich source of plant-based protein and fiber (
Just a 2 ounce (56 gram) serving of about three small falafel noodles can add 12 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber to your meal. These nutrients help control appetite and manage blood sugar (
Since it is prepared, frozen falafel is also very easy to prepare and can be ready in less than 10 minutes. However, it is traditionally fried before it rises, so, as with other fried foods, you may not want to eat it on a daily basis.
You can taste the falafel itself with a side of tzatziki or humus or add it to a number of dishes. I mostly add it to salads and bowls.
Frozen falafel is a simple and convenient way to improve the nutritional quality of your meal.
Another frozen food you will always find in my freezer is edamame, unripe soybeans that you boil or simmer for a few minutes while still in their green beans.
Being a soy product, edamame is also rich in plant-based protein, fiber and isoflavones – compounds that may be behind most of the health benefits of soy.
Research has linked soy isoflavones to beneficial effects in many aspects of health, including (
- heart health
- weight control
- certain types of cancer
- type 2 diabetes
- menopausal symptoms
As with falafel, you can enjoy edamame as a side dish or as part of a salad or bowl. Personally, I tend to enjoy it while watching movies or as a midnight snack when I am working late.
Edamame is another plant-based food, rich in protein and fiber that makes for a quick snack, nutritious or side dish.
As a person who does not like to cook, I find that having a couple of sources of animal-based frozen protein actually cheats on me. If you are looking to reduce your intake of red meat, turkey meatballs may work for you too.
Like chicken, turkey has a high quality protein content, which means it contains all the essential amino acids. It also contains very little fat, especially if you do not eat skin, as is the case with meatballs (
The most convenient aspect of frozen turkey meatballs is that they do not even need to be thawed before cooking. Instead, you can simply put them in the oven, microwave, air frying pan or a skillet in the pan and cook them according to the instructions.
Lastly, keep in mind that meatballs are not meant to be eaten with spaghetti alone. Try to have them with a side of rice and vegetables for a balanced meal.
Frozen turkey meatballs are another chicken meat that you can prepare in no time without breaking the bank.
Like turkey meatballs, chicken or fish noodles are convenient and easy alternatives to red meat. They also tend to cost less than red meat products.
Both chicken and fish are excellent sources of high quality protein. Chicken is also a good source of B vitamins, iron and selenium (
When it comes to fish fillets, their nutritional characteristics depend on the type of fish.
For example, salmon and tuna burgers are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and usually do not bake, which is often the case with cod. Also, salmon and tuna noodles tend to be cheaper than those fish fillets (
Chicken and fish patties are an easy way to add protein to your meals. Patties with salmon and tuna also tend to be more affordable than fillets.
You may be aware of the popularity of cauliflower among low carb substitute products. Still, it is popular for good reasons.
In addition to reducing the number of carbohydrates in your plate, cauliflower rice – which is actually shredded cauliflower – will easily increase the fiber, vitamin and mineral content of your meal.
Adding high-fiber foods to your diet can improve your gut health and help reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight and cancer (
The best part is that you can enjoy cauliflower rice, just like eating regular rice. You can use it to make fried rice or stuffed vegetables or add it to smoothies and burritos. The possibilities are truly endless.
Cauliflower rice is a frozen product with great nutritional value and versatility. You can use it in many of the same dishes as regular rice, but it has fewer carbohydrates and can increase the fiber, vitamin and mineral content in your meal.
If you are not a fan of cauliflower rice, then frozen brown rice can do the trick for you.
Frozen brown rice saves you the process of consuming rice, but still provides a lot of nutrients.
In addition to packing more fiber than white rice, brown rice contains phenolic compounds. These beneficial plant compounds act as antioxidants to fight free radicals and prevent damage to your cells (
As with cauliflower rice, you can work brown rice into countless dishes, including salads, bowls, chips and porridge, or you can just serve it as a side dish to your meal.
Frozen brown rice can be a nutritious, low-cost ingredient you did not know you were missing out on. You can prepare it almost for any dish.
Veggie pizza crusts can give the pizza night a nutritional boost.
Regular frozen pizza is a highly processed food that research has linked to a higher risk of heart disease. In contrast, frozen pizza crusts can actually help you increase your daily intake of vegetables (
Replacing your usual frozen pizza for a green crust will help you pack more vegetables in your day.
This can also give you a chance to collect supplements that are healthier than processed meat in a typical frozen pizza.
While cauliflower crusts are probably the most popular type of premade vegetarian pizza crust, there are other options to choose from, such as zucchini and broccoli.
Frozen pizza-veggie pores are a healthy way to continue to enjoy pizza night.
This list would not be complete without some sweet but healthy frozen treats. Greek yogurt bars are a nutritious way to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Greek yogurt is naturally rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and sugar, so it is a healthier alternative to ice cream (
Being a fermented milk product, Greek yogurt is a source of probiotics. These are friendly bacteria that have many health benefits, including (
- providing beneficial stimulation to your immune system
- prevention and treatment of diarrhea
- helping digest lactose
You may be wondering if freezing destroys the good bacteria in yogurt. Both older and more recent studies suggest that frozen fermented milk products may still contain some live cultures of beneficial bacteria (
Keep in mind that some Greek yogurt products contain high amounts of added sugars, which can increase the risk of weight gain, dental cavities and type 2 diabetes (
Therefore, be sure to check the nutrition facts and ingredient lists before you buy and choose the versions with the lowest added sugar number. Also try to find in the container versions that say “living cultures”.
Alternatively, you can make a homemade version of a Greek yogurt dessert with this Greek yogurt bark recipe.
Greek yogurt bars are a healthy ice cream substitute that will allow you to enjoy the benefits of probiotics while enjoying a sweet cure.
If you are looking for a healthy, milk-free frozen treatment, then ice openings are a great option.
Some types are loaded with sugar. However, some brands manage to maintain a relatively low sugar content and provide a refreshing dessert for less than 50 calories per serving.
Making your own ice cream at home is also very easy. Simply mix your favorite fresh or frozen fruit with water and freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray.
The sugars that occur naturally in the fruit will take care of your sweet desire without having to add sugar, honey or syrup.
Ice creates a healthy, refreshing and milk-free treatment. Just be careful about their sugar content.
Healthy eating does not have to be complicated or expensive.
The frozen food route in your supermarket can offer you a wide range of nutritional options, convenient and affordable to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
However, remember to check the nutrition information of the products as you would with any other processed food. This will help ensure that you choose the healthiest options.