In my blog on Foods I Always Keep in my Fridge, I mentioned the importance of having your house stocked up with healthy wholefoods to help you maintain a healthy diet, and the freezer is no exception! These are five foods I ALWAYS make sure to have a supply of in my freezer.
In the U.K. it’s hard to buy fresh berries all year round as they only come in to season here throughout the summer. Whilst we have fresh berries from other countries, I don’t like to buy them out of season when they have been imported from all over the world. Fruit doesn’t naturally keep for that long, so to avoid nasty pesticides and preservatives I always buy frozen berries. Not only are they healthier in that sense, they are also cheaper and keep for longer. I always have a couple of bags of mixed frozen fruits and blueberries in the freezer, and use them in smoothies and porridge.
Additional note: some people argue that frozen berries aren’t as healthy as fresh, but this isn’t entirely true. None of the macro-nutrients are affected in freezing, and some of the vitamins/minerals are actually better preserved in frozen form. This is because they are frozen from the time they are ripe therefore you eat them when they are ripe, as opposed to fresh berries which are often picked early so they won’t spoil during the long shipping and storage process.
* Don’t forget, when berries are in-season in your country, you can go pick them fresh and freeze them yourself. This is of course the most eco-friendly option and helps to support your local providers.
In my weekly shop I always buy around 2-3 big bags of spinach and kale. I keep a bag or two of kale in my fridge for cooking, and then put the rest along with the spinach in the freezer. They can stay in there for ages and you can chuck them in your smoothies or in soups/stews/curries and they will melt as you cook. This is such a great way of making sure you get your leafy greens into you along with those super important nutrients.
Peas are an excellent source of protein and just so happen to go well with so many dishes. I usually have a big bag of frozen peas, along with some broad beans or soya beans, and just chuck them into dishes whenever I fancy. There’s no need to cook them beforehand, you can simply chuck them into whatever it is you are cooking and they will defrost in the heat. This is a great way to get some added protein in to a dish.
VEGETARIAN mince/sausages/chicken pieces
Since moving onto a primarily plant-based diet, I like to have a stock of vegetarian meat alternatives in the freezer. Whilst I prefer to eat predominantly wholefoods and plants, it is nice to have the option of some vegetarian sausages or chicken pieces now and then. I like to have the sausages with some potatoes and beans as a good old comfort meal, I use the vegetarian mince in chilli or bolognese and the chicken pieces I occasionally add to vegetable dishes and soups. Whilst they make good alternatives, please bear in mind that these foods are heavily processed and are best not consumed every day.
This was one of the best pieces of advice I ever got when it comes to cooking: keep chopped onion, garlic, ginger and fresh herbs in the freezer. This makes cooking so much quicker and means you don’t have to worry about onions and fresh garlic starting to spoil.
All you need to do is buy them fresh and spend half an hour or so chopping them all and putting them into bags, or you can now buy already chopped frozen onion (I know, what a world we live in). You can then just grab a handful and use it in cooking as you would normally. It sounds like a simple tip but it really makes a difference and saves the fiddly stuff when you’re trying to cook something quick but delicious. I use the ginger in stir-fries but it’s great in smoothies too. You can also do the same with fresh herbs if you don’t want to use the whole bag when you buy it.
So I hope that helps any of you who might be wondering how to get some more veggies/nutrients into your diet or how to add a touch more flavour to a quick meal. If you want to see more food talk, check out my nutrition section or my Instagram, where I also post lots of diet tips and recipes. You can also have a look through my fitness and lifestyle posts on my blog.
Thank you so much for your continued support.
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