3/28/11

Fantastic Frozen Food Finds

Did you know March is National Frozen Foods Month AND National Nutrition Month? When most people think of frozen foods, ice cream, pizza and frozen meals are listed as the top frosty finds. Can frozen foods and nutrition meet in the freezer section without a "freeze-off"? I was determined to prove it true. So, just as any frequent shopper does, I grabbed my warmest jacket and headed to the frozen foods aisle at Market Street.

I was on a mission to find not just good nutrition products, but great products. Thank goodness for the NuVal system we have in place at Market Street.......I didn't have to spend half an hour reading food labels. I was able to actually see the overall NuVal score just looking through the door (no frozen fingers for me).

The first product that jumped out at me was frozen hash browns. Did you know they receive a NuVal score of 91?! When you compare to the fresh potato, which scores a 93, this is a pretty great find. Now you wonder "how can hash browns score a 91? Aren't they fried in oil?" Ahh, but the OreIda Frozen Hash Browns are just shredded potato. It's how you prepare them that counts. Instead of frying them, how about baking them? Convenient and better for you.

Strolling a little further down the aisle, I saw Alexia Sweet Potato Fries. With a NuVal score of 49, these make a great "trade up" from the frozen pre-fried French fries. The family doesn't have to do with out its beloved French fries! In fact, some kids like the sweet potato fries better than original.

Moving swiftly to the next aisle (to avoid frost bite!), I ran across the frozen vegetables. I don't think I need to convince you that frozen vegetables are a great way to get good nutrition at a lower cost and added convenience. But one little bag you may not have noticed is the Stahlbush Diced Sweet Potatoes. Considering a fresh sweet potato gets a NuVal score of 96, these hit the bulls-eye with the same score. I love to bake these or add them to soups. The best part, the only ingredient is: Sweet Potatoes.

One area of frozen foods that is often overlooked is frozen breads. Most of us are accustomed to buying bread on the bread aisle. If we jump over from the bread aisle to the freezer case, we find a bread with a NuVal score of 93. This is one of my favorite hidden hits. When the traditional bread aisle only brings in a top bread score in the 40's this is a goldmine. Why is Food for Life Bran For Life Bread in the freezer case? There are no preservatives. If it were on the center shelves, it would go bad very quickly. So put on your winter gloves, reach in and grab some Bran for Life Bread.

My last tasty find in the frozen foods sections is Blue Bunny's Sweet Freedom No Sugar Added Fudge Lites. Would you be surprised to know that this is the highest scoring frozen treat? Guess what theNuVal score is? How about 100?! Now, I'm sure you are raising an eyebrow, but rest assured, I've already questioned this product's score a couple times. But if we look closely at the ingredients, we find the Fudge Lites are made mostly of skim milk. When skim milk gets a NuVal Score of 91, it's easy to see how the fudge bars have a good foundation to stand on. With a little bit of fiber and the absence of added sugar, the score moves up to 100! Now that's a treat!

Take a look the next time you hit the frozen foods area. If you normally pick up the frozen pizza or some frozen vegetables, peek a few doors down. You may be surprised at the Fantastic Frozen Foods you find.

Have you discovered a Fantastic Frozen Food? I'd love to hear about it.

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