Friday, April 6, 2012

Food Wars - "Freeze It Buster!"

So how did you do last week with the "battle of the grocery store"? I hope you enjoyed a great victory! =) 

Today I want to share a few tips for using your freezer effectively in the ongoing fight to eat healthy. 

1) Buy organic frozen vegetables. 
Most grocery stores now carry at least a few kinds of organic frozen veggies. At our store we can get peas, broccoli, and sometimes green beans. It's good to have these in your freezer so that if you run out of fresh produce, you'll still have something healthy and green to add to your meals. =) 

2) Freeze extra meal servings.
When you cook a healthy meal, make some extra and stick it in the freezer for those nights when you just don't feel like cooking (and might be tempted to order pizza or something). =) My mom often makes a big pot of vegetable soup for me. Then we put it into pint jars and freeze them so I have several individual meals of soup all ready. 

3) Cook and freeze healthy meat so you'll have it on hand (unless you're vegetarian of course). =) 
My mom buys several pounds of organic hamburger, then cooks it all up and sticks it in the freezer. Same with organic chicken (she usually stir-fries it). Then I have it ready when we make various meals, or I can warm up an individual serving for a quick protein snack. 

4) Freeze healthy "breads" and snacks.
Most days I eat a sorghum flour/tapioca flour biscuit, a blueberry pancake made with non-gluten flour, Irish Soda Bread (see here for the recipe), or other alternative "breads." On different days, my mom makes a big batch of each of them, and puts them in the freezer. All I have to do is warm one up in the oven for a few minutes. Or if we're out and about for several hours, I can take one with me and eat it when I need a snack (instead of unhealthy crackers, chips, etc.).

5) Freeze broths, sauces, etc.
My mom boils chicken to make chicken broth, then we freeze it in jars to use later. (This is a better alternative than canned chicken broth.)
If you make your own tomato sauce or other sauces, you can freeze them also.  

When trying to eat as much home-cooked food as possible and avoid processed, preservative-laden foods, the freezer is a wonderful ally! Basically anything healthy that you cook and eat (besides fresh produce) can be stored in the freezer. Then you have it on hand and it keeps much longer.

Years ago my allergist told me not to eat anything that had been in the fridge longer than 24 hours (it begins to grow mold). Because of my extreme mold sensitivity, I wasn't supposed to eat any "leftovers." This restriction started me in the habit of using my freezer for everything! And I'm really glad it did! =)

How do you use your freezer to help your family eat healthy?

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