What’s In Your Freezer?


Photo by Lorelle Del Matto


March is National Frozen Food Month, a reminder of the convenience, cost-saving and nutrient content of frozen food. Most of us need to eat more produce and frozen versions can make it happen.

It’s a myth that fresh is most nutritious. Research shows that produce that’s picked at the peak of ripeness and flash-frozen shortly after harvest can be equal to or even more nutritious than those lost in a crisper drawer for a week or two (1).

Here’s an endorsement from Chris Morocco, Senior Food Editor of Bon Appetit magazine (2):

“I’ve got no patience for unnecessary prep, which is why I’m a fan of frozen spinach. Each 10-ounce block represents 20 minutes that I won’t be washing, blanching, shocking and squeezing out a sinkful of fresh spinach that cooks down to nothing…Plus it turns out that frozen vegetables are often more nutritious than fresh because they’re picked at the peak ripeness when nutrient levels are highest, usually partly cook, and frozen before they can degrade.”

Whole frozen green beans one of my faves when my fridge is empty or I don’t have time to purchase, peel and prep. Toss them (still frozen) with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them on an oiled, foil-lined rimmed baking sheet at 400 degrees until they’re tender and the edges are tinged browned.

Do you get two to three servings of fruit each day? Bags of frozen, unsweetened berries come to the rescue, especial in the winter. Drop them in a blender for smoothie drinks or bowl, use them in baking or simmer with sweet spices and a sweetener to fold into yogurt or spoon over ice cream.

Batch cook and freeze your favorite entrees so you can stay on top of healthful meals time-crunched. My freezer almost always contains  Chili and Tomato Sauce for a quick a quick pasta meal.

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Check out Cooking Light’s article on how to properly freeze foods and get recommendations on those that are freezer-friendly and freezer-unfriendly (3).  Link to their 17 Best Freezable Recipes (4). Foods to Freeze by dietitian Dana Angelo White is another resource on the Food Network (5).

And then there’s the question of how long foods can be frozen for best quality.   Answers can be found on the USDA’s Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart (5) or via their Foodkeeper Application which offers freezer and other storage guidelines, cooking tips and more (6).


  1. Shopping The Frozen Food Aisle, American Frozen Foods Institute
  2. Bon Appetit magazine, March, 2017.
  3. Cooking Light – how to properly freeze food – freezer friendly and unfriendly foods.
  4. Cooking Light’s 17 Best freezable Recipes
  5. Foods to Freeze by dietitian Dana Angelo White, Food Network  
  6. USDA Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart
  7. Foodkeeper, USDA

© 2017 Lorelle Del Matto

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.

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