The Benefits of Frozen Foods

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f you have a hectic lifestyle, you’re probably used to juggling several things at a time. For many people, this means cooking often ends up at the bottom of the to-do list. Not having enough time to regularly prepare home-cooked meals can be a setback to healthy eating. When it comes to preparing and serving a quick meal, nothing beats the convenience of Heartland’s frozen foods. 

We’re often encouraged to choose the food we eat based on ‘freshness’. However, it’s a common myth that all fresh foods are more nutritious and tasty than frozen foods. Numerous studies comparing fresh and frozen vegetables found no difference in nutritional content both having the same vitamins and minerals. Freezing is nature’s way of preserving food, and humans have been freezing food for millennia.

If your food was nutritious before it was frozen, it will still be nutritious after it’s thawed. You can’t go wrong with plain, frozen fruits, vegetables, meats, chicken, and fish. Freezing doesn’t affect the calorie count, the fiber content, or the mineral content of a food. In fact, the freezing process can prolong how nutritious foods are!

Freezing also won’t change the macros in your food (protein, carbs, and fat). The fluid content can change, however, which is often apparent when you thaw your food (you might see a puddle of liquid as the water drains away).

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f you have a hectic lifestyle, you’re probably used to juggling several things at a time. For many people, this means cooking often ends up at the bottom of the to-do list. Not having enough time to regularly prepare home-cooked meals can be a setback to healthy eating. When it comes to preparing and serving a quick meal, nothing beats the convenience of Heartland’s frozen foods. 

We’re often encouraged to choose the food we eat based on ‘freshness’. However, it’s a common myth that all fresh foods are more nutritious and tasty than frozen foods. Numerous studies comparing fresh and frozen vegetables found no difference in nutritional content both having the same vitamins and minerals. Freezing is nature’s way of preserving food, and humans have been freezing food for millennia.

If your food was nutritious before it was frozen, it will still be nutritious after it’s thawed. You can’t go wrong with plain, frozen fruits, vegetables, meats, chicken, and fish. Freezing doesn’t affect the calorie count, the fiber content, or the mineral content of a food. In fact, the freezing process can prolong how nutritious foods are!

Freezing also won’t change the macros in your food (protein, carbs, and fat). The fluid content can change, however, which is often apparent when you thaw your food (you might see a puddle of liquid as the water drains away).

Frozen vegetables and fruits are common go-to’s for stocking the freezer — and for good reason. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber and have a longer shelf life than fresh produce. Additionally, they’re sometimes cheaper than their fresh counterparts — especially when it comes to produce that’s out of season. 

  • Try blending a handful of frozen berries into a smoothie for an antioxidant-rich snack 
  • For a healthy snack, mix frozen berries with plain Greek yogurt and spread on a cookie sheet. Freeze for 2 hours, drizzle with dark chocolate and break apart into chunks. Keep frozen.  Bonus: Greek yogurt is high in protein, low in sugar and carbs and a source of probiotic.
  • Making a homemade veggie pizza will help you pack more veggies into your day!
  • Stir-frying some mixed vegetables for a nutritious lunch or dinner. 

Both chicken and fish are excellent sources of high quality protein and heart-healthy fats. Chicken is also a good source of B vitamins, iron, and selenium. Fish like salmon and tuna are rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are usually not breaded.

  • Adding grilled chicken or salmon to a salad is an easy way to add protein to your lunch or dinner.  
  • Using ground turkey to make meatballs and freezing them is perfect for busy weeknights as you don’t even need to thaw them, just cook them right on the stove top and add a hearty marinara sauce for a delicious spaghetti dinner. 
  • Cook frozen chicken thighs cooked along with coconut milk, coconut butter and sweet potatoes for a creamy Instant Pot stew. Delicious as is or served over cauliflower rice  

With well over 300+ menu items, Heartland Foods is able to provide plenty of healthy, frozen foods that can help you enjoy a nutritious, affordable meal that’s very quick and easy to prepare!

A few more frozen insights:

  • Nearly 90% of the U.S. population do not meet the recommended intake of vegetables (2½ cups for those eating 2,000 calories a day). Flash-frozen vegetables such as edamame, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn, peas, lima beans, green beans, chopped spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots can easily be kept on hand year-around for use in entrée recipes, soups or side dishes.
  • Research demonstrates that a diet rich in fruit containing vitamins A and C supports immune health. Frozen fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, peaches, mangoes and cherries are often packaged without added sugars and can be used in blended smoothie drinks, as oatmeal toppers or as part of better-for-you dessert recipes.
  • The current Dietary Guidelines* recommend choosing lean cuts of meat, poultry or other plant-based meat alternatives, and eating two or more servings of seafood per week. The good news is that these recommended foods can all easily be found right in your freezer.

*2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as part of a long-range health-and-wellness education campaign. The newest guidelines, released in December 2020, encourage Americans to “Make Every Bite Count”by choosing nutrient-dense foods often and staying within calorie limits.

Instant Pot Taco Meat ~  Recipe 

 The easiest way to do weeknight dinner! No thawing the meat, no extra pots — just throw it in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, cook and season! 

   Ground beef combines with homemade seasoning for a perfect family dinner on a busy weeknight. This taco filling is perfect for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or taco salads and bowls! Bonus: It’s also great for prepping ahead!  I’ll admit, when I first heard about people cooking frozen ground beef in their Instant Pots, I wasn’t convinced. I mean, how can that even work? Whether you prefer Creekstone Farms Black Angus beef or Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed Grass-fed beef, try it for yourself and be amazed! 

Take Notes: the variety of toppings and mix-in’s (like mangoes, peppers, and radish) makes it possible to eat this weekly, without getting bored!