I'm a Dietitian & This Is The One Frozen Food I Never Leave the Store Without
Welcome to Thrifty. A weekly column where associate nutrition editor and registered dietitian, Jessica Ball, keeps it real on how to grocery shop on a budget, make healthy meals for one or two and make earth-friendly choices without overhauling your entire life.
My freezer is more often than not packed to the brim. The contents can range from leftovers to homemade chicken stock (in my opinion, you can never have enough deli cups) to an assortment of frozen foods from the store. I love utilizing my freezer for a lot of reasons. It helps me make big batches of healthy meals and ingredients that I can freeze for later use. Plus, frozen foods help save me time and money when cooking, and last significantly longer than their fresh counterparts. While there are many items in the freezer aisles that are consistently on my list, there is one frozen food that I can't leave the store without: frozen berries.
Since I don't have to worry about them going bad, I usually rely on Costco for my frozen berries (I love the Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend). But when I can't make it to Costco, most grocery stores have frozen blueberries that I can sub in. I like choosing smaller frozen berries because I think they are a little more versatile. I use berries to top my oatmeal, add them to smoothies, to make yogurt parfaits and even to make jam in a pinch. Our Chia Berry Jam has just two ingredients and comes together in less than 10 minutes to give any slice of toast a fiber boost.
Berries are one of the most nutritious, antioxidant-packed foods around, and they boast up to 8 grams of fiber per cup serving. But fresh berries can get expensive and they go bad quickly. Frozen berries last much longer, so I don't have to worry about them going bad, which helps me avoid wasting food. Plus, they are usually a fraction of the price of fresh berries and come in larger packages so I can enjoy them for longer.
While there are several frozen foods in heavy rotation, frozen berries are one of the foods I rely on the most. They help me make healthy meals and snacks on a budget, last longer than their fresh counterparts and are delicious additions to the day.