Mostly, the frozen food aisles at the local store should be approached with more caution than last week’s mystery meat at the back of the fridge. Treats packed with sky-high amounts of sugar, entrees with double cheeseburgers packed full of calories and fat, you can easily get burnt if you pack your grocery cart full of the wrong icy picks.
There are a few of the healthiest items hidden behind those glass doors with some impressive nutritional benefits, not to mention some serious time-saving potential in the kitchen. You have to know what to look for among the nutrient-lacking junk, the list here should help you with nutrient-rich six-pack building food.
Here are six heroes that go beyond those hot pockets.
Brown rice trumps white rice when it comes to nutrition, providing extra vitamins, minerals and appetite-suppressing fiber. After a long day at the office or a killer workout, you may not have the energy, time or patience to rustle up a pot of slow-cook brown rice.
This is why packages of frozen, pre-cooked brown rice are a godsend when it comes to getting healthy meals on the table in time, most brands just take a couple of minutes in the microwave.
Prepare packed brown rice according to instructions then toss with sliced, cooked rotisserie chicken, some frozen prepared vegetables like broccoli and corn and a few splashes of soy sauce.
When it comes to fish, fresh is considered much more protein packed than its frozen counterpart but barramundi is one fish sold in frozen form that you should consider.
Barramundi is a white-fleshed, freshwater fish native to Australia that has been recently introduced to the American market by Massachusetts-based Australis Aquaculture as a great alternative to salmon, snapper and tilapia.
Like salmon, barramundi contains lot sof muscle-friendly protein and omega-3 fats which have many health and physique benefits. As a nice bonus, nasty contaminant levels such as mercury and PCB’s are not detectable in farm-raised barramundi, the fish are also raised in manner that utilizes a vegetarian based diet and has low environmental impact.
Barramundi is also not at all fishy and is more buttery in it’s taste, oh and many fish at the ‘fresh’ fish counter has previously been frozen, usually at sea or a processing plant before being thawed ready for the customer.
Season thawed barramundi fish fillets with salt and pepper. Grill fillets for 3 minutes per side or just until opaque on the thickest side. Toss together chopped avocado, chopped orange, diced red bell pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced scallion and fresh lime juice together in a bowl, serve grilled barramundi and avocado-orange salsa.
From core-carving benefits to increased nutrient intake, there are many reasons why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day but with today’s fast-paced lifestyle it can be hard to set time aside for a balanced daybreak meal. This is why frozen waffles are so good as they can serve as a foundation of a great first meal of the day, making it less tempting to grab a calorie-filled muffin from the local coffee shop.
Waffles can provide a source of energizing morning carbs but you also want to make sure you select the brand that uses whole grains for a more nutrient-dense, lower-glycemic product. Just take a look on the back of the box and make sure that the first ingredients are things like whole-wheat flour or brown rice flour and don’t douse it in corn syrup pretending to be the real stuff taken from maple trees.
Abandon the sweet stuff, awaken with a freshly prepared frozen waffle topped with sliced avocado, sunny side up egg and a dash or so of hot sauce.
As with fish, there is no need to be ‘fresh obsessed’ when it comes to vegetables. Frozen vegetables can actually be more nutritious than fresh. Spinach and similar are usually frozen immediately when they are harvested at peak ripeness so don’t suffer with the same nutritional losses that can happen with fresh produce on the long trip from the farm to the store.
Frozen spinach can also be a more budget friendly option than what is sold fresh in plastic clamshells. Research from scientists in Sweden has concluded that the consumption of nitrate, a chemical found in the leafy green is able to increase muscle strength by increasing protein levels involved with muscle contraction, so start putting more frozen spinach in soups, scrambled eggs, dips and even smoothies.
Up your smoothie game by blending together 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 scoop of plain or vanilla protein powder, 1 green apple, 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, 1 table-spoon of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder and 1 cup of frozen spinach.
Few fruits say summer quite like cherries, many local varieties are no longer out there and there won’t be anything even close in the fresh aisle and so it is time to embrace the frozen variety.
The rapid freezing process of cherries seals in their flavor and nutritional bounty which includes antioxidants, vitamin C and K, calcium and magnesium. If you can find them, frozen tart (sour) cherries are even more beneficial to fitness minded individuals, these fruits are said to bolster workout recovery by reducing muscle damage and inflammation.
The high polyphenol content of tart cherries wreaks havoc on inflammatory pathways which can play a role in the onset of many chronic diseases, make sure the cherries are not packed with any sweeteners.
In small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard and salt and pepper according to taste. Toss together salad greens, sliced prosciutto, sliced pecans and a handful of thawed frozen cherries, drizzle vinaigrette on top too.
Not many foods will blow you up quite like french fries can but you can still have fries and enjoy them, use your oven to cook some frozen sweet potato fries. With only 5g of fat per serving and much less sodium than something from the drive-through, sweet and savory sweet potato fries are a figure friendly food.
Sweet potato’s also have a decent amount of beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A and improves immune health so you can spend more time exercising rather than in bed with a cold.
You can do a healthy version of the fast food combo by preparing sweet potato fries and serving alongside a chicken or beef burger with some vegetable toppings, hold that doughy bun though.
These really are the healthiest frozen foods currently on offer and you can also find an amazing program to help burn fat here called Fat Diminisher.
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