March is Frozen Foods Month, so we’re celebrating the versatility of options available in the freezer aisle. When you think of frozen foods, you may think of the unhealthy options such as ice cream, pizza rolls and all-in-one meals, but there are many ways to incorporate frozen foods into a healthy diet. Beyond the traditional frozen TV dinners, the frozen food aisles carry plenty of healthy meal options to choose from, including vegetarian, low-calorie, natural and organic meals. Read on to find out why we think frozen foods are really cool.

Freezing is a great natural method for preserving food — it’s been a trusted practice for centuries, preserving foods from the moment they’re harvested or procured. Freezing prevents microbial growth and spoilage, so many of your favorite frozen foods may not contain chemical preservatives.

Many frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and flash frozen, sometimes right in the field, locking in all the beneficial nutrients and keeping them in their perfect, just-picked state. Fish may also be flash frozen within hours after being caught to lock in nutrition, texture, moisture and flavor.

Short on time? Add frozen ingredients to your own home-cooked meals to save on prep time — think frozen hash browns, meatballs and veggie burgers.

Not all frozen food has to come from the frozen food aisle of your local store. Try stocking your freezer with your own healthy options. Just be sure to label and date your items. While frozen food helps to extend the shelf life, the quality can decline due to freezer burn.

  • Save time and money by buying in bulk and doubling your own healthy recipes. Then, save individual portions in the freezer.
  • Use frozen fruits in smoothies instead of ice so you don’t water down the flavor.
  • Make you own stock or broth with veggie scraps and/or leftover bones. Then freeze it in portions so you always have a healthy broth on hand when you cook your own soups and sauces.
  • Stock up on your favorite meats and freeze for later use.
  • Peel and freeze overripe bananas for the perfect homemade banana bread.

There are plenty of healthy options available in your store’s freezer aisle as well as in your own freezer at home. And that’s why we think, for convenience and health, frozen food is really cool.