Learn how to stock your kitchen like a registered dietitian to make healthy eating a breeze! This post focuses on dietitian kitchen essentials to keep in your freezer.
Ever wonder what a registered dietitian keeps in her kitchen? You’ve come to the right place! In this new blog series, Dietitian Kitchen Essentials, I’ll be sharing all the items to keep in your kitchen to make healthy eating easier and less overwhelming.
The past two weeks, we went over foods to store in your pantry and in your fridge. Next up, I’ll go over all the items I recommend you keep in your freezer.
Having a well-stocked freezer is sometimes even more important than having a well-stocked fridge! I turn to freezer essentials when I’ve been traveling and haven’t had a moment to grocery shop, and at the end of the week when I’ve used up all my fresh produce. I’m able to make a quick, balanced meal instead of spending money on take-out in these instances.
Dietitian kitchen essentials: what to keep in your freezer
Chopped spinach: Add frozen chopped spinach to a variety of recipes for a big dose of greens. You can add this to soups, chili, frittatas, and smoothies.
Riced cauliflower: I actually prefer frozen riced cauliflower to fresh – I think it has a better texture and doesn’t go bad nearly as fast. Cauliflower fried rice is one of my favorite easy, fast meals to make. It’s also great added to soups or smoothies.
Edamame: Frozen edamame is super easy to prepare. I make a big batch of it to add to salads or to munch on as a plant based protein-rich snack throughout the week.
Peas: Another good source of plant based protein, frozen peas are a versatile ingredient. They are delicious added to pasta dishes, grain bowls, or simply steamed as a side dish.
Blueberries: I loveee fresh berries for their taste and nutritional qualities, but they’re only in season for a few months here in Boston. During the winter, I prefer to buy frozen berries to save money. Remember that frozen produce has the same, or more, nutritional value as fresh! I’ll add frozen blueberries to baked goods, oatmeal and yogurt bowls, or smoothies.
Mixed berries: I also buy frozen mixed berries that include raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. This is my favorite frozen fruit to make chia jam with!
Cherries: We buy frozen cherries mostly for smoothies – this chocolate cherry version is one of my favorites!
Tropical fruit blend: Another staple for smoothies. This blend usually has pineapple, strawberries, papaya, and banana
Bananas: When I have overripe bananas I can’t use up right away, I’ll freeze them whole. To make banana bread, just let a few frozen bananas defrost and mash them right into your recipe!
Cauliflower gnocchi: Yes, I am one of the millions of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi fanatics. It’s one of my favorite end-of-the-week meals that I really enjoy. My go to “recipe” is toss the gnocchi in marinara sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and broil in the oven so the cheese gets melty. When you have a well stocked kitchen with marinara sauce and cheese as staples, you can whip this up in no time! *Note: I bake my cauliflower gnocchi straight from frozen, instead of sauteing it. I spray it with avocado oil and bake it at 400F for 25 minutes.
Kale gnocchi: I just tried Trader Joe’s new kale gnocchi for the first time, and I can already tell you this is a new staple for my freezer. It’s more dense and a bit chewier than the cauliflower gnocchi, with a mild flavor. I think this gnocchi would be delicious tossed in pesto with broccoli!
Leftovers: I usually have one batch of leftovers in my freezer. For me, this is often soup or chili, but you can freeze many types of meals! Some examples that freeze well are lasagna, baked ziti, enchiladas, and raviolis.
Salmon: I buy pre-portioned pieces of frozen wild salmon to use in a pinch. When cooking with this, I like to defrost the salmon in the fridge 24 hours in advance, so a recipe with this may take a little planning.
Peeled deveined shrimp: Frozen shrimp is an excellent protein source to add to a quick, balanced meal. I like shrimp in stir fries, and cook it directly from frozen using this method!
Breads and Sweets
Bread: Since we don’t eat bread every day, we store it in the freezer. It keeps for months without getting moldy. Just stick it in the toaster right from the freezer to use it. Right now, we have a few loaves of Dave’s Killer Bread, but I also buy whole wheat, whole grain, sourdough, and Ezekiel breads.
English muffins: For the same reason we keep bread in the freezer, we also store English muffins there. English muffins are great with eggs, as the base for an egg sandwich, or topped with peanut butter and banana for a quick, nutritious breakfast.
Various baked goods: While I eat every recipe I develop and post, we end up having a lot of leftovers in our two person household. I like to freeze extra cookies, muffins, or treats before they go bad.
Be sure to check back next week for the last post in the Dietitian Kitchen Essentials series. Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!