Trying to feed our families healthy foods can seem extra challenging when time and money is limited. Keeping a supply of frozen fruits and vegetables in the freezer can help you get those extra nutrients in your menu and also save you time because they are cleaned and prepped ahead of time. You’ll save money when you shop in bulk or catch sales too! Check out a few of my favorite fruits and vegetables that I always have on hand to help with meal prep.
- Onions. A few years ago I discovered frozen chopped onions in the frozen food aisle of my grocery store and they are now a staple in my freezer. I love having them on hand to add to soups and sauces or even casseroles like this lasagna. You’ll not only save time and tears by not cutting and dicing onions yourself, but you will often save money too!
- Cherries, mangoes and pineapple. We love these fruits but the truth is, they can be kind of a pain to prepare whether it’s removing pits or peeling the tough or bumpy skin. I like to buy these in bulk at my local warehouse club. They are perfect for adding to smoothies, cobblers, sauces and more.
- Spinach. Frozen spinach is great for adding to smoothies, casseroles, burgers, healthier dips and more. I like to buy the bags of frozen spinach so I can easily break off just what I need for my recipe.
- Bell peppers. Like onions, frozen bell peppers can easily be added to soups and sauces. Great for fajitas or soft tacos (just place in a foil packet and grill with your other foods). I especially like to catch red, yellow or orange bell peppers when they are on sale and slice or dice up to keep in freezer bags so I can easily add them to recipes.
- Bananas. When our bananas start to get extra ripe, we like to slice them and lay in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and put in the freezer for a few hours or overnight until they are fully frozen. Remove them and store in a ziptop bag so that it’s easy to add a handful to smoothies or use in baked goods. You can even use frozen bananas to make a healthier treat like this Banana Fro-Yo.
- Green beans. We use these often! Thawed just a tad before using, I like to sauté the green beans a bit with a bit of butter and seasonings such as garlic and pepper. Top them with toasted almonds for an easy weeknight side dish!
- Broccoli. Frozen broccoli can easily be added to pasta dishes, casseroles, quiches and more. Sautee or roast broccoli for easy side dish options too. Or puree and add to soups and sauces.
- Frozen shredded carrots and squash. Whether prepping and freezing from an overflowing garden or maybe you just got a good deal and the farmers market or grocery store, shredded carrots and squash, such as zucchini are perfect have on hand in your freezer. You can easily use them in quick breads or sauces.
- Berries. Frozen berries of all kinds are perfect for adding to smoothies, quick breads, desserts or muffins like these Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins or Cranberry Apple Crisp. We like to stock up on seasonal berries like cranberries or blueberries and keep in the freezer to enjoy year-round!
- Corn. So many recipes call for 1 cup of corn or some variation. Rather than opening a can of corn and not having anything to do with the remainder, keep a bag of frozen corn handy helps eliminate waste.
You can purchase your frozen produce or prep from your own gardens or farmer’s markets too! Here are 5 Ways to Freeze Fruits and Veggies that will help make it easier. No matter what you do, with all these ideas it should be easier to serve more fruits and vegetables to your family and help you save time and money in the kitchen too!