DON'T GIVE FROZEN FOOD THE COLD SHOULDER

 No matter the season, don't give frozen food the cold shoulder. Buy high quality varieties with no added sugar or sodium.

No matter the season, don't give frozen food the cold shoulder. Buy high quality varieties with no added sugar or sodium.

In honor of National Frozen Foods Day, which was March 6 in case you didn't have it marked on your calendar, writer Sally Wadyka penned an interesting article for Consumer Reports about making healthy choices when stocking your freezer. (To read the full article, click here.) 

Even though we're approaching the time of year when fresh fruits and vegetables are more available, the doctors and nutritionists she interviewed say it's always a good idea to have frozen versions in your freezer for days when time is short, or to help cut down on waste since fresh produce spoils quickly.

Here are four things The O Report learned from reading her excellent article:

1. Look for high-quality frozen foods with zero added sugar or salt.

2. Keep bags of berries and other fruits in the freezer to use in smoothies, parfaits and muffins.

3. Having frozen vegetables handy is a great way to enjoy the produce you love no matter what's in season. And like frozen fruits, frozen vegetables have almost the same vitamin and mineral content as fresh because they're picked fresh and then flash frozen. Just stay away from vegetables packed in sauces.

4. Don't forget whole grains and beans. Frozen bags of brown rice, quinoa, black beans, chickpeas and more are major time-savers and you can find varieties with no sodium added, unlike canned versions of beans which can often have a whopping 400 milligrams or more of sodium per half-cup serving.