College is hectic and sometimes keeping a full fridge is impossible. Instead of dining out every time you’re out of ideas or fresh food, try resorting to frozen food ingredients to craft easy meals. Buying frozen foods can help save time and money – plus, some frozen foods may be more nutritious and sustainable than fresh food alternatives.
Here are 4 frozen foods to toss in your grocery cart:
- Frozen Fruit
Most people complain that fruits and vegetables are too expensive, so here’s a foolproof remedy! Try buying frozen fruit for making smoothies or acai bowls before heading to class in the morning. You can easily pack in 4-6 servings (2-3 cups) of fruit into one smoothie, as you should aim for 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies each day. Some great choices are frozen cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple and mango!
- Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables are great for stir-fry meals, soups, casseroles, and veggie medleys. Frozen broccoli, baby potatoes, peas and spinach are tasty picks for dinnertime. Thankfully, most frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen during their peak nutritional content window to make them a reliable source of nutrition.
- Frozen Seafood
Frozen fish such as salmon, tilapia, cod, and barramundi are all delicious options for meals. On top of saving money, frozen seafood is often a more sustainable choice since it doesn’t have to be shipped as quickly from the processing plant, which results in a reduced carbon footprint. Did you know that 50% of all seafood in the USA is wasted annually? One of the major reasons for this is perishability. Packing in the recommended 8 ounces of seafood weekly can easily and affordably be done by grabbing some frozen seafood at the grocery store!
- Frozen Poultry
Buying frozen chicken and turkey is sometimes more expensive in certain parts of the country. Usually buying fresh poultry is better in order to avoid fillers, unnecessary sodium, and preservatives that are found in frozen options. Try buying extra fresh poultry and freezing some for later use!
Next time you find yourself in a bind to make a nutritious meal, you can rely on frozen food to save the day. Buying frozen foods is a practical way to save money, have flexible and accessible meal ingredients, and support global sustainability!
Jackie Parker is currently a junior nutritional sciences student on the dietetics track at Texas A&M University.