Freezer meals are known for being a quick and easy dinner option. Take out, heat up, and bam! You’ve got you and your family a piping hot meal ready to enjoy, right? Well, yes. But that doesn’t mean your easy dinner prep routine can’t be riddled with mistakes. You could have started cooking the frozen shrimp before it was fully defrosted. Or, perhaps you overlooked the expiration date on that forgotten bag of burger patties found in the back of the freezer. There are plenty of ways to make a dent in a dinner from the freezer — even with frozen vegetables.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults are recommended to eat around 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. So, it’s understandable that keeping a bag of peas, broccoli, or a seasonal blend of vegetables in your freezer seems like a logical item to have on hand. Plus, Frozen vegetables stay edible longer and they are often times cheaper than their fresh-from-the-farmers-market counterpart.
Despite how easy it is to cook them up, there is a huge sin you can commit when you take out that bag of frozen vegetables. Keep reading to ensure you’re creating the best meal you can make even before hitting the check-out lane.
Keep an eye on your frozen vegetables
There’s a few steps you can take to make sure your frozen vegetables are good to eat even before paying for them. While at the grocery store, squeeze the bag. If it’s a solid chunk of ice, don’t take it. “If they are, this means they thawed and refroze somewhere along their journey to the store and lost nutrients in that process,” Beth Auguste, a Philadelphia-based registered dietitian, told HuffPost in 2019. When it comes to cooking the frozen vegetables, The Spruce Eats says it’s best to stay away from the microwave and that you should instead cook them like regular veggies to maximize flavor.
It’s forgivable if the above tips are not followed to a tee. However, the number one mistake someone can make with frozen vegetables is letting the freezer get the best of them. That’s right: Freezer burn needs to be avoided at all costs, as it effects a food’s taste and texture, per Eat This, Not That!. Plus, it causes a loss of nutritional value, which completely defeats the whole point of eating vegetables in the first place.
Now that you have a few cooking tips under your belt and know the biggest frozen veggie cooking sin to avoid, it’s time to get back to whipping up effortless freezer meals. With as few errors as possible, of course.
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