Frozen foods often hold a bad reputation as being unhealthy, un-fresh, and lacking the proper nutrients compared to their non-frozen food counterparts. Truthfully, low-quality TV dinners and popsicles usually come to mind. But what if I told you that not all frozen foods are bad and can actually be quite healthy?
Don’t believe me? Then let’s get started!
6. Stouffer’s Fit Kitchen Beef with Broccoli
If you’re craving Asian food for lunch, Stouffer’s offers their signature Fit Kitchen Beef and Broccoli frozen meal for one. It’s constructed with a brown rice a quinoa blend with broccoli chunks and strips of steak drenched in a sweet Asian sauce. This is comfort food at its finest.
- No artificial flavors
- 21 grams of protein
Calories: 370 (1 serving)
5. Kashi Blueberry Waffles
Many have something sweet for breakfast: coffee with sugar, a bowl of cereal, or a pastry. Afterward, you’re probably thinking of busting out your go-to weight loss exercises, but with Kashi’s blueberry waffles, you’ll be getting a healthier version of one of your favorite breakfasts jam-packed with fiber and whole grains.
- Non-GMO Project verified
- 23 grams of whole grains per serving
- Real blueberries
- 7 different whole grains + sesame
- 7 grams of fiber per serving
Calories: 140 (1 serving: 2 waffles)
4. Lean Cuisine Spa Collection Butternut Squash Ravioli
For something perfectly silky, creamy, and delicious, go for Lean Cuisine’s Spa Collection Butternut Squash Ravioli. It’s ideal for autumn or anytime you want the best butternut dish on the planet featuring squash-stuffed raviolis covered in creamy sauce mixed in with carrots, red bell peppers, and snap peas for the ultimate healthy meal.
- No artificial colors
- No artificial flavors
- 1 cup of vegetables
- No artificial preservatives
Calories: 260 (1 serving)
3. Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust
For some, the thought of anything with carbs has them reaching for their weight loss pills. If you must avoid carbs, but you’re craving pizza, consider Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust. The best part is, you can apply whatever sauce and toppings you’d like. It’s hard to find a quality gluten-free crust, but Trader’s Joes has done it.
- Gluten free
Calories: 80 (1 serving: 1/6 of crust)
2. Saffron Road Chicken Tikka Masala
Not everyone has a palette for Indian food, but truth be told that Indian cuisine has some of the healthiest herbs and spices. Saffron Road has wonderful Indian dishes ? especially their flavorful chicken tikka masala featuring white chicken in tomato sauce with tandoori spices and a side of steaming-hot basmati rice.
- Gluten free
- No antibiotics
- Halal-certified white chicken
- Medium heat
Calories: 300 (1 serving)
1. Amy’s Gluten Free, Dairy Free Vegetable Lasagna
When you have multiple allergies, food intolerances, and/or a specific diet, finding healthy dishes that aren’t merely composed of raw vegetables can be hard. But with Amy’s vegetable lasagna, you get a beautiful, flavorful Italian dish with warm mozzarella cheese and creamy tomato sauce.
- Gluten free
- Tree nut free
- Corn free
- Low sodium
- Kosher DE
- Kosher D
Calories: 330 (1 serving)
Frozen Foods Q & A:
Is frozen food really healthy?
Frozen food can be healthy, that is if the ingredients are healthy. Yet, many would rather opt for weight loss pills like PhenQ than touch frozen meals because of the misconceptions and bad reputation frozen foods have.
One important thing to note is that statistics show that 90 percent of Americans don’t consume enough vegetables and 80 percent don’t consume enough fruit based on the recommended daily amount. It’s believed frozen foods can help combat these negative statistics as fresh fruits and vegetables have a very short shelf life.
Is frozen food as nutritious as fresh food?
Interestingly, studies have shown that frozen is as safe and as healthy as consuming fresh food. The only true difference, according to such research, is that the cells in frozen food are slower, and bacteria is slower to multiply in frozen foods than in fresh foods, meaning that frozen food can last longer before needing to be thrown out.
Research has even shown that frozen food may be equal to or have greater benefits than fresh food ? especially when it comes to the retainment of vitamins such as vitamin C and E.
What is the effect of always eating frozen food?
There is not yet enough research to show the long-term effects of only or mostly consuming frozen foods. However, based on previous research, it could be presumed that individuals who eat frozen food are no less healthy, or may even be “healthier,” than those who eat all or mostly fresh foods.
Even for those who use a microwave to heat up / cook their frozen foods, research has shown that there is little difference in the nutritional value of foods when heated via a microwave that via another source (e.g., oven, stovetop).
How good is frozen food for health?
As mentioned, frozen food is no worse than non-frozen food or may even be healthier in some cases. Depending on the ingredients provided in either forms of food— frozen or fresh— this is the main concern one should be focusing on when it comes to the quality of their diet.
Nevertheless, as we previously mentioned, individuals who consume frozen foods and those who consume mainly fresh foods are believed to have a comparable level of nutrition. With a plethora of healthier frozen options on the market, the level of nutrition provided from frozen and fresh foods will have an even slimmer gap.
When is it good to buy frozen food?
Purchasing frozen food— especially full meals—is an excellent option for many reasons, including the following:
- For those who don’t eat fresh fruits and vegetables often (Frozen foods stay fresher for months longer than fresh)
- Going the frozen route eliminates a significant amount of food waste.
- When you’re stocking up on food for the home but aren’t good or quick at planning meals ahead of time
- For picky eaters who rarely know what they want and when they want it
- For those who frequently travel / are rarely home to cook and eat
- When you and your family need a quick, tasty, and put-together meal without a significant amount of time or energy, put into making such
- For those trying to cut out fast food and going out to eat
- For individuals who aren’t the best cooks and prefer just to heat something up, something that is healthy and nutritious and considered an actual meal without all the added effort
After discovering that there are in fact quality meals out there that are frozen, hopefully you’ll have changed your mind about frozen foods on a broad scale. Best of all, frozen foods are quick and easy to serve.
However, if microwave-cooking is the reason why you don’t opt for frozen foods often, most frozen meals can either be thawed, heated on the stovetop, or cooked in the oven for a healthier alternative. But let it be known that research has found nutritional value of microwaved foods to be not much different from other cooking options.
No doubt, there is a healthy frozen option for everyone out there to suit a variety of flavor palettes, preferences, and health needs—even if you just opt for frozen peas and carrots rather than a frozen, premade dish. While you’re out shopping for healthy frozen meals, scope out what other dish options the above brands offer.