Since 1924, humans have been using Clarence Birdseye’s food freezing method (explained here by The Daily Meal special contributor Hayden Field) in order to extend the shelf life of meat and produce. As time has progressed, the frozen food repository has grown from Birdseye’s idea-inspiring frozen fish to full-on, ready-to-go meals. Some frozen foods are, unfortunately, packed with sodium and other unhealthy additives making them unhealthy dining options. You shouldn’t need to fear convenience, though, so we’ve decided to help you figure out which frozen foods you can eat without having to worry and how to select things like frozen produce.
In 2013, we provided you with a list of the healthiest frozen dinners. This list looked to factors beyond calories and fat content — it looked at the ingredients lists of frozen dinners, seeking out wholesome, natural foods.
“No longer are we stuck with a three-compartment tray of mystery meat, potatoes, and a vegetable,” said The Daily Meal special contributor Rani Long. “Ethnic foods, organic dinners, vegetarian, and even gluten-free entrées are just some of the options available now.”
This is still the case. As you’ll see, the organic movement has created a demand for environmentally conscious foods across the United States, and this doesn’t exclude organic frozen foods. “Organic” isn’t synonymous with “good for your diet,” but you can rest assured that frozen organics aren’t tainted with any of the unpleasantries that their non-organic counterparts may have.
Nutritional value, ingredients, and sourcing are the keys to picking up a frozen produce that you can eat without worry or hesitation. Click ahead to see our complete Guide to Healthy Frozen Food Selection.