Improve the nutritional content of your meals while using freezer cooking
Busy moms use freezer cooking to quickly put a meal on the dinner table and cut down on fast food stops. However, if you’re not using the time spent cooking meals in bulk as an opportunity to cook healthier food, you’re missing one of the best benefits of freezer cooking. When preparing more than one of an item, it’s really worth the time to consider how to improve the nutritional content while still making a dish that the whole family will enjoy.
For example, a busy mom making four meatloaves wants to ensure each will not only be delicious but also good for her family. An easy improvement is replacing bread crumbs with oatmeal which is low in fat and provides water soluble fiber. A cup of shredded carrots can be added to almost any meatloaf recipe. The carrots provide Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, Vitamin E and Vitamin B6. In The Sneaky Chef, Missy Chase Lapine suggests adding ½ cup of pureed white beans for every pound of meat in the meatloaf. White beans are a good source of soluble fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. When making just one meatloaf, opening a 16 oz can of beans to puree 4oz is hard to justify. However, when freezer cooking and making multiple meatloaves, you can puree the entire can of white beans and add it to your meatloaf mix.
If you are concerned that a picky eater in the family will object to a change in texture or the colorful bits of vegetables, there are several tricks that can help. Use a blender to grind the oatmeal to the consistency of bread crumbs. Instead of shredding the carrots, steam them and then puree the carrots with a little of the steaming water. When you add the carrot puree to the meatloaf, it blends in and no one will know that they are eating vegetables that are good for them.
Freezer cooking provides a great opportunity to eat more healthy meals. Because the time it takes to buy and chop a number of different vegetables results in several meals, it is really time effective. Making one batch of Irish stew requires buying and chopping garlic, potatoes, onion, carrots and parsley. It really is not much more work to buy four times the ingredients and use a food processor to quickly prepare the vegetables. Use freezer cooking to improve nutrition as well as save time.
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