submitted by Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD, ShopRite Yardley
March is National Frozen Food month; a great time to stock your freezer with smart and healthy staples.
Below are tips for filling your freezer in a way that can help you save time, money, and effort in the kitchen.
*Start with a clean freezer.
If your freezer is stocked full of boxes and bags that are overflowing, now is a good time to reorganize. It’s also a good opportunity to take everything out so you can clean and wipe out your freezer before restocking things.
*Identify your realistic freezer needs.
It’s best to think about what you actually need. If you enjoy making smoothies, stocking up on a variety of frozen fruits and berries might be a good start. If you’re looking to add more vegetables to meals, getting some frozen mixed or riced veggies may also make sense. If you know you’ll need some frozen meals in the near future, put these on your list.
*Plan your freezer organization.
Decide what freezer organization makes the most sense for you. You might have frozen fruit on the top, frozen vegetables in the door, and boxed meals on the bottom. It might also be helpful to use plastic organizing bins to further divide your freezer space.
*Freeze versatile staple foods.
Your freezer is also a good place to store certain staple foods.
For instance, phyllo dough or puff pastry, tofu, nuts, lean meats, tortillas, loaves of bread, cooked rice, homemade pizza dough, or cookie dough are examples of food that can be stored for a long length of time and be defrosted at a moment’s notice.
For more ideas for stocking your fridge and freezer, visit your local in-store ShopRite dietitian or head over to ShopRite.com.