5 Ways You Can Take The Blah Factor Out Of Frozen food
Frozen dinners may sound less than appealing, but the grab-and-go alternative can actually provide you with a slew of health benefits.
These foods are more prevalent than ever, with organic lines like Amys and natural, ingredient-driven dishes from Kashi.
Whats more, you can eat 95 percent of your weekly food intake simply from frozen items, with the average spending being less than$ 9per day on your diet, according to new research.
Pretty sweet, right?
When shopping, make sure to select snacks that have certain components, says Lauren Popeck, RD, dietitian at Orlando Health.
They should be 500 calories or less per serving, have three to four grams of saturated fat or less, have no more than 600 milligrams of sodium and ideally include lean protein, veggies and whole grains like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, she adds.
( Plus, follow these tips-offto start eating clean .)
But if your frozen dinner is a bit lackluster, weve get great news: You can up the nutrition, savor and looking of frozen foods by simply having a few tips-off and tricks up your sleeve.
Here are five ways to upgrade your frozen foods tonight 😛 TAGEND
1. Get a healthy pop of flavor from herbs.
Lots of frozen dinners get a bad rep for being bland, butadding healthy-but-flavorful veggies and herbs( such as onion and garlic ), can help.
( Here’s how to add flavor in 10 calories or less .)
Onions and garlic both have sulfur compounds that boost our immune systems, tells Liz Weinandy, RD and outpatient dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Chop up some and add them to the frozen dinner about halfway through cook, or saut them in a little bit of olive oil and add them to the dinner once it’s cooked through, she adds.
Pro tip: ” Crush or mince the garlic finely, allowing it to sit exposed to the air 10 minutes before cook or adding to the dinner. The air exposure defines off a chain reaction to activate the sulfur compound allicin, ” tells Weinandy.
Other herbs that offer flavor with little to no calories? Popeck likes cilantro, basil and parsley, which are all excellent sources of the antioxidant vitamin A.
All the better for seeing you, my dear. Vitamin A promotes better eye health, in addition to boosting immune function.
2. Try stirring in some Greek yogurt.
To up the savory factor of an Indian or Mexican dinner, Weinandy operates for an easy hacker: Add a quick stir of Greek yogurt into beans, rice or sauces.
Think of it as a healthier sour cream, simply lower in fat and packed with probiotics.
Plus, adding plain Greek yogurt to a dinner will up the protein and calcium content of your dish, inducing it more satisfying.
To ensure ideal texture, make sure to add it at the end of heating a snack, she says.
3. Addin valuable greens.
A strategic sidemedley of steamed veggies will add coloring( nutrients ), plus a whole lot offiber to satiate you.
( Here’s how to know if you’re getting enough fiber in your diet .)
Only 4percent of all Americans get the recommended quantity of veggies daily, tells Weinandy.
Think about throwing in a handful of pre-washed baby spinach to any cooked dinner, or stir in frozen veggies like green beans, peas or broccoli halfway through cook, she suggests.
Popeck recommends serving up a side of broccoli, Brussels buds or asparagus for extra B vitamins and beta carotene.
You can also tack on a side salad, which will balance high sodium content( typically high in frozen foods for preservation purposes ), since fresh veggies are naturally low in sodium and high in water, Popeck says.
Potassium-rich render can counter the effects of the sodium as well, she adds. So think about throwing in some spinach, tomatoes or avocados.
4. Dip into any of your leftovers.
Its not a bad idea to add leftover protein from a dinner earlier in the week or construct extra the working hours so you can add it to a frozen meal the next night.
Many frozen dinners are low in protein, since meat is usually the most expensive component, tells Weinandy.
But simply because manufacturers dont wishes to shell out, that doesnt necessitate its okayto skip the protein.
Instead, think about adding some leftover chicken, lean pork, beef or beans to a snack to get some protein in and induce the dinner a bit more balanced, she adds.
You want about 20 to 30 grams of protein per dinner, so check the back of your package and add accordingly. A chicken tenderloin or quarter-cup of black beans is around 10 grams of protein.
Consultthis infographic to see how much protein your favorite foods are packing.
5. Dont forget the( all-natural) sweet stuff.
Frozen meals almost always come without a major dietary component: fruit.
Not merely does a dosage of fruit up your fiber and antioxidant game, the high concentration of water can also assist balance a snack with excess sodium.
About 90 percentage of us are not get into enough fruit, so peel a mandarin orange, enjoy seasonal pears or apples or add grapes or berries. Whatever is easiest, Weinandy says.
Besides, a sweet dessert after a frozen snack is always a good choice.