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Leave space in your freezer for these 7 items.
I had a fridge failure last week and lost everything. I had to resort to the caravan fridge with a freezer barely bigger than a shoe box.
This got me thinking about how others stock their freezers.
How could I maximise the nutritional value in a small space?
How can you use your freezer to lose weight and keep it off?
How can a smartly filled freezer benefit anyone with an unpredictable schedule and menu?
Today’s home freezers deliver convenience and, if you are not careful, bulge with much more fake-food than a healthy body deserves.
Make room in your freezer for these seven key convenience items.
No rocket science here. More of a reminder.
Don’t be shy of commercial frozen straight-forward 100% vegetables: greens (edamame, beans, spinach, kale, peas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, broad beans, sugarsnap peas), yellow-orange (carrot, corn), whites (onion, cauliflower).
Note: I don’t mean commercial pseudo-vegetables such as chips and wedges, sauced up and mashed up potatoes, patties and the like.
Frozen vegetables are more nutritious than sad wilted produce found at supermarkets or buried at the bottom of home fridges. Aging, bruising and exposure to the elements of heat and air cause vitamin levels to drop in fresh produce.
What else is great about frozen vegetables? They
Treat frozen vegetables gently and don’t overcook them, especially the green vegetables.
Overcooking ruins the texture, depletes vitamins and, if cooked in excess water, leaches out additional minerals and vitamins.
With a new black box installed, my fridge is working again now and a peek inside the freezer today reveals peas, beans, spinach and edamame. As much as I love fresh vegetables, I can’t always get good quality produce because the supermarket chains are my source. The nearest fresh fruit and vegetable merchant is nearly two hours highway drive away.
Freezing protects the amounts of sensitive nutrient present including vitamin C, folate, vitamin A and all minerals found in fruit and vegetable.
Banana*, pineapple, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, mango, pomegranate arils, and pure fruit smoothie blends (with kiwi fruit, beetroot and other interesting combos).
Frozen fruit extends the season for highly perishable produce.
Frozen fruit adds nutrition and flavour but the texture of frozen fruit is squishier than fresh so be ready for that difference.
Frozen fruit is not just for smoothies and muffins. How to use frozen fruit?
* Frozen bananas may have 1% or less vitamin C added as this acts as an anti-browning (anti-oxidant) and stabiliser agent.
Bring on winter. Home made soup is so much tastier than salty packet and canned soups.
Make it as impulse convenient as packet dried cup soups by freezing up single serves. How to do it?
When the cold weather kicks in, leftover pumpkin, potato and leek, lentil and and vegetable soups sit ready in our freezer for lunch and dinner. At reheating, the soups are finished off with yoghurt or tinned down with stock, milk or water if needed.
4. Flat-frozen single serve home-cooked meals
Okay, you could buy dinners for one from the supermarket freezer but these don’t suit everyone’s nutrition needs.
Flat-frozen home-cooked meals are:
It is easy to do. Flat freezing single serves makes for a faster defrost.
Tip: Check the capacity of the small zip-bag before you start. It is surprising how much fits into a small bag. You may know how many scoops or ladles fill your usual bowl or you may prefer to sit the bag in a bowl to judge. You then know how many extra serves you have made and can fill the bags evenly from the leftovers.
5. Single serve vacuum sealed salmon (or other fish) portions
I’ll admit that I am not a huge home-cooked fish fan.
I like eating fish but don’t like the smell when it is cooking or the lingering smell of freshly caught fish in the fridge.
Frozen salmon is a winner for me. It gets parcel wrapped (foil or baking paper) for kitchen cooking or laid on the BBQ’s flat plate outside. Nutritionally, frozen fish contains the same nutrient as its fresh counterpart.
Why frozen salmon?
It is clear I don’t mean fish that is crumbed or battered.
6. Ice cubes set with herbs, aromatics, or citrus juice
Herbs add flavour and nutrition. New research shows the mere addition of herbs or spices to vegetables increases vegetable acceptance and intake. Why bother when you could use fresh aromatics, herbs and juices? It comes back to nutrition with convenience and less waste.
7. Re-pack raw meats into single and family sized serves
Whether is it steaks, chops, chicken cuts, vegetarian burgers, what you buy from the butcher, deli or supermarket might not quite be the best portion for you.
Make space in your freezer for these essentials.
They make great nutrition easy and help keep you meet your health and weight loss goals.