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12 Foods You Should Always Buy Frozen

Sure, we're all about using fresh ingredients! But sometimes it's healthier and easier to buy frozen food instead.

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Heap of frozen pea on a old wooden tableSnowbelle/Shutterstock

Shelled Peas

Here’s the thing about peas. They taste amazing in the spring, when they’re fresh and filled with nutrients, and not so great anytime after that. You can capture that healthy flavor all year long by cooking with frozen peas. As a bonus, they’re already shelled so they’re easier to cook, too!

Learn how to cook peas like a pro.

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Frozen broccoli in a glass bowl on a wooden surfaceMind_Warp/Shutterstock

Broccoli

You’ll find broccoli in the produce section every season of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s retaining all its vital nutrients. It starts to lose all those beneficial vitamins and minerals after only a few days in the fridge. Frozen broccoli, on the other hand, retains all those nutrients and is super easy to thaw, too. Use it up quick with these superstar broccoli recipes.

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Close up of sliced rye bread after freezer. VISKA/Shutterstock

Gluten-Free Bread

You can store any kind of bread in the freezer to extend its shelf life, but it’s especially important to look for frozen gluten-free bread. This type of bread can dry out super quickly, but storing it frozen will help it last longer and taste better. Psst! Here’s how to fix stale bread.

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Homemade lemon poppy seed pound cake on a wire rack.Shutterstock / Galiyah Assan

Pound Cake

If you don’t have time to make pound cake from scratch, opt for a frozen loaf instead of buying one from the bakery section of the grocery store. Keeping that buttery dough frozen at all times is the best way to keep it moist and tasting like homemade.

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Frozen berries on a black wooden table5 second Studio/Shutterstock

Berries

When berries are in season, you should totally seek them out at the farmers market. (Here’s the best way to freeze fresh fruit!) The rest of the year, opt for frozen berries. They’re picked and packed at the peak of freshness, and they won’t lose their antioxidant-rich properties in the freezer, either.

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Frozen Spinach. EasterBunny/Shutterstock

Spinach

If you’re making a salad, stick to the fresh stuff, but we’d recommend using frozen spinach for any cooked dish. Frozen spinach lasts longer and is typically less expensive than the fresh stuff. Plus, freezing spinach actually makes it more nutritious, increasing its concentration of thiamine and beta-carotene.

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Frozen carrots on a plate with white backgroundShutterstock / Andre Bonn

Carrots

Sure, carrots are available in the produce section year round, but it turns out that frozen carrots have increased levels of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that converts to vitamin A when consumed. So give frozen carrots a try; they’re especially delicious in stir-fry recipes.

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frozen sweet corn on woode surfaceShutterstock / Diana Taliun

Corn

Corn is not only expensive when it’s out-of-season, but it also doesn’t taste that great. Frozen corn, on the other hand, is packed at the peak of the season, so it’ll taste sweet and delicious any time of year.

Here are 10 myths about frozen food—debunked!

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Frozen multicolored peppers backgroundShutterstock / marlee

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers lose their nutrients super fast. In fact, the vitamin C found in peppers starts to oxidize as soon as the peppers are chopped! Freezing the peppers stops the process, preserving the nutrients more efficiently. Plus, you won’t have to worry about de-seeding the peppers if you buy them frozen. Though, here’s how to deseed and prep bell peppers the right way.

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Cauliflower chopped.Larisa Bakina/Shutterstock

Cauliflower

Frozen cauliflower is always available for a fraction of the cost of fresh cauliflower, making the frozen variety a better bargain. You can often find cauliflower rice in the frozen section, too, which means you’ll save yourself a significant amount of prep work.

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frozen shrimp in a boxSuvorov_Alex/Shutterstock

Seafood

This might seem counterintuitive, because fresh is always better in this department, right? Not always! If you live right by the ocean, your fish is pretty local and will taste great fresh. But, if you don’t live close to the source or you’re buying seafood from overseas like shrimp, frozen will definitely get you better quality.

Here’s more on frozen fish vs. fresh fish.

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Amy's Pad Thai frozen food dinnerShutterstock / Warren Price Photography

Frozen Meals


Okay, we’re not suggesting that you stock the freezer with a ton of pre-made frozen meals, but it’s a good idea to have a few healthy options in there for nights when you really don’t feel like cooking. Look for high-quality frozen meals without unpronounceable ingredients. We like the options from Evol, Luvo Bowls or Amy’s Kitchen.

Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.

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