To be fair, most freezer sections can have an abundance of tasteless, empty calorie foods with a long laundry list of ingredients. T.V dinners, frozen rolls, biscuits, breakfast meats and sandwiches are just a few residents who seem to be giving the whole neighborhood a bad reputation as unappetizing, and unhealthy.  We believe this reputation the freezer section has received, is neither fair nor an accurate representation of what actually occupies the entire category. There are many hidden gems behind those 10 degree walls. We are here to harbor the truth and debunk the myths that all freezer section food is bad for you.

Far too often, the freezer section is overlooked and passed by. Patrons rather spend time in its cousin section-fresh produce.

The Freezer section is where our delightfully, nutritious, and convenient Millet Tots reside. With only a few simple ingredients, they are nothing like some of their frozen french fry and chicken wing neighbors.  But we are not alone behind these frozen walls when it comes to nutrient-dense, and convenient food that is also cost effective. After reading this article, you’ll find yourself layering up for the freezer isle, because the section is going to be your new best friend.

Top 3 reasons why the freezer section deserves a better reputation:

1)More bang for your buck-it’s no secret that fresh produce is almost always more expensive than frozen or canned.  While some people prefer the taste of fresh over frozen, it is easy to make a nutritious flavor packed meal using frozen ingredients.  Frozen food also lasts much longer than fresh produce, so the waste is reduced. Fresh produce goes bad sometimes within days. Did you know, “By one government tally, about 60m tonnes of produce worth about $160bn (£119bn), is wasted by retailers and consumers every year -one third of all foodstuffs.”(Goldenberg).  For a quick, inexpensive tasty meal that is also packed with veggies, and protein, try this fried “rice” veggie stir fry seen in Figure1. Vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free too! Simply start by sautéing the onions until golden brown, and add all other ingredients in gradually. Add tamari, garlic, pepper and chili powder to taste. Cook until the veggies are soft- and you’ve got dinner!

Ingredients in total- $11.16 cents & you can create multiple meals! Find other healthy, frozen family meals here

2)Always having a diversity of fruits and vegetables ready on deck-Who doesn’t love some juicy peaches or decadent cherries year round?  You might be thinking, no one in their right mind would buy a peach in December, the price is going to be way higher than in the summer and the quality of the fruit is probably lower because its out of season. and who wants those canned fruits that are soaked in sugar?  Frozen fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than fresh produce, last much longer and are packaged at their peak ripeness! So whenever you’re ready you have perfectly ripe produce. Most frozen fruits and vegetables are usually pre chopped and washed- saving time and hassle of chopping produce then cleaning up a mess.  

3)No loss in nutrition here-There really isn’t any difference in nutritional value- contrary to popular belief- Many believe that if they buy frozen foods, they are losing all the nutrients. This is partly true. In the case of an onion, buying frozen onion rings as opposed to a raw onion, you will find many of the nutrient-dense qualities at a loss. But in most cases, frozen products can be just as healthy as fresh products!  Table 1 compares some of the nutritional information from 100 grams of frozen spinach and 100 grams of fresh spinach. This is because freezing produce can preserve the vitamins and minerals over time. For us, the freezer is nature’s pause button.

Table 1:

Nutritional information100 grams of frozen spinach 100 grams of fresh spinach
Calories45 calories6.9 calories
Vitamin A11725IU; 234% DV9376IU- 188%
Vitamin C5.5mg- 5%DV28.1mg-47%DV
Vitamin E2.9mg- 14%2mg- 10% DV
Phosphorus49mg-5% DC49mg- 5%DV
Calcium129mg-13%DV99mg- 10%DV
Zinc0.6mg- 4%DV0.5mg-4%DV

 

Figure 1

Vegan, Gluten-free, freezer friendly Tot Pot Pie

1-Box Italian herb Millet Tots

1/2 cup of onion (frozen or fresh)

¾ Cup-Almond Milk (or Milk alternative)

1 cup of frozen spinach

1 cup of frozen peas and carrots

1 cup of frozen broccoli

1 can of butter beans

½ Cup Celery

½ Cup Carrot

½  Cup White Sweet Potato

½ Cup of Veg Stock

¼ cup-Rice Flour

1 clove raw garlic

1-sprig of Sage

1-sprig of Thyme

Salt, pepper, paprika to fit

1)Preheat oven to 375F. Bring your skillet to a medium high heat and add vegan butter. Add onions. Sift rice flour into your onions. Add almond milk and stir to thicken. Add vegetable broth, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and paprika.

Add frozen vegetables and beans and mix on a medium heat (don’t worry if the vegetables don’t cook through all the way in this step- they will cook fully in the oven! Top with RollinGreens Italian Herb Millet Tots. Place dish in the oven for 17-20 minutes at 375F. Watch so it doesn’t burn.

Turn oven to broil on high for another 2-5 minutes, until Millet Tots are golden brown

Cool and enjoy!

Browse more millet tot recipes as one of the best health frozen foods. 

CITATION

Goldenberg, S. (2016, July 13). Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/us-food-waste-ugly fruit-vegetables-perfect