You’ve got your dinner all planned… it’s going to be delicious and hearty, with all the nutrients you need to feel energized and full and satisfied. What a great day!
Then it happens… the last meeting of the day goes on and on and on, or the traffic is crazy, or your son informs you his shoes have a hole and you must go tonight to twelve stores searching for the perfect new pair.
Or maybe it’s one of those weeks when that trip to the grocery store just NEVER happened.
Dinner is just another thing on your list you don’t have time to prepare. What do you do? Hit the drive-thru? Throw a frozen pizza in the oven?
Not if your freezer is stocked (with real food goodies)! You can heat up a real food meal in no-time.
You’d be surprised at what you can freeze! You won’t find many boxes in my freezer, but you will find a lot of mason jars full of homemade food. Here are some of my staples:
- Frozen fruit. Essential for smoothies and when the fresh strawberries suddenly have mold. Bags of peeled, sliced bananas are always in my freezer, as well as frozen berries and the occasional watermelon or pineapple. Freeze your fresh fruit when it ripens faster than you can eat it.
- Frozen veggies. I like fresh so much better, but frozen is better than nothing! It’s often cheaper, and perfect for soups and side dishes when you need to round out a meal. I always buy artichokes frozen, and I usually have frozen organic corn too.
- Cooked chicken, beans and fish. Of course you can freeze your meat un-cooked, but how simple is a quick meal when the chicken is already cooked? Unthaw and eat. Fantastic.
- Cooked grains. Yup, I even freeze brown rice. Make more than you need and freeze it in a glass container. Super simple to re-heat. You don’t need to buy the stuff that’s done for you in the freezer section. Make your own!
- Homemade waffles, pancakes and muffins. (I haven’t found a frozen variety that I love. Even the organic versions usually have ingredients that bother me.) Right now my freezer is bare because I don’t make as much of this stuff in the summer. But you can bet the freezer will be stocked during the school year! Healthy muffins are such an easy snack to send to school or throw in the lunch box. Unless it’s a special occasion, I don’t make pancakes and waffles fresh for breakfast (although we do often have breakfast-for-dinner in the winter). So, I make a lot when I do make them and my kids can pull them out when they want.
- Smoothies. Who doesn’t love a smoothie for breakfast or an afternoon snack? Okay, maybe not everyone, but this is definitely my breakfast of choice. If you know you have an early morning or your fridge is bare, pull a smoothie out of the freezer the night before and you’ll be good to go in the morning!
- Fresh bread, tortillas and English muffins. When you buy good-quality breads or sprouted grain products, they don’t stay fresh that long. Thankfully they aren’t full of preservatives! So, your best bet is to store them in the freezer and take out what you need for a few days at a time. Unless of course you have three kids like mine who can go through food in record time.
- Raw nuts and seeds. If you aren’t eating them soon, store them in the freezer for longer shelf-life. I hate to let these go rancid and go to waste, they are expensive!
- Fresh herbs. Make pesto in ice cube trays and reserve your fresh summer herbs for soups and stews in the winter.
- Any other homemade meal. I’m talking pizza (homemade), tomato sauce, soup, casserole. I’ve frozen just about everything! I will never go back to the Lean Cuisine days. It’s so easy to have your own healthy stash!
I realize that ice cream and pizza are glaring omissions from my list. I honestly don’t keep them in the house. Guess what? If ice cream isn’t there, you will reserve it as a treat (your 10%), not an every day or even every week food.
Could you pull something from your freezer and be satisfied with your meal? Maybe you have plenty of good food in the freezer but still hit the drive thru. It’s okay, I get it, I’ve been there. I can help. Contact me to schedule a free call to find out how I can help you meet your goals.
Please share your favorite freezer finds below!