If you’re anything like us, you’re tired of buying fresh produce only to end up throwing it out a week later because, despite best intentions, you were too busy or exhausted to pull off a home-cooked meal every night. While we’d never suggest you give up on the farmer’s market completely, we asked nutritionists to weigh in on quick-fix frozen foods from Trader Joe’s that are also super healthy, and here are their picks. Your life just got a little easier.
The Best Trader Joe's Freezer Finds
"Riced cauliflower is a great rice alternative! It contains tons of fantastic beauty nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and many phytochemicals," says Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist and New York Times best-selling author of the Beauty Detox book series and Radical Beauty. "It helps your body detoxify in multiple ways. Antioxidants support detoxification, and glucosinolates help to activate detoxification enzymes. It can boost heart and brain health and is anti-inflammatory. It's a great option to keep around as part of fast dinners or lunches."
"Riced cauliflower is the perfect substitute for those trying to cut carbs," adds Lisa DeFazio, nutritionist and author of The Women's Health Big Book of Smoothies & Soups. "Sauté it in olive oil until brown and serve with veggies and chicken."
"I love these as a meatless option," says nutritionist Keri Glassman. "This brand has a great clean ingredient list—no processed soy, etc."
"These are perfect for a quick and easy dinner," says Lisa. "They're delicious!"
"No one wants to wait 30 minutes for rice to cook when you're tired and hungry," Lisa adds. "Pop a bag of rice into the microwave, wait four minutes and it's ready! Serve it with the ginger cod."
"This is perfect for adding to smoothies, eggs and healthy baked goods," says Keri.
"Berries are amazing skin-brightening beauty foods," says Kimberly. "They're super high in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, not to mention detoxifying fiber. These are perfect for my Berry Burst Antioxidant Smoothie."
"High in vitamins, protein, fiber and iron, this is a healthy quick dish," says Lisa. "Eat it as a meal or serve it with a protein of your choice."
"There are great frozen protein options available, like mahi-mahi fillets, jumbo scallops and more," says nutritionist Nicole Granato.
"Pineapple is a great antiaging food," says Kimberly. "It's packed with bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory compounds and helps with protein digestion. Its natural sugars are balanced with super-high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. Pineapple is a great fruit to help your body naturally detoxify and lose weight. Try using it as the fruit component of your Glowing Green Smoothie!"
"Perfect for summer snacking—straight out of the freezer, adding to smoothies or making healthy sangria," says Keri.
"I always have these in the freezer for a quick dinner," says Lisa. "They're high in lean protein and so easy to prepare. I brown them in olive oil, add marinara sauce and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over pasta."
"Slices of banana covered in Belgian dark chocolate and frozen—that's it!" says Keri. "These are a great option for satisfying your sweet tooth, and since they're bite-size, they're perfect for snacking."
"Quinoa is a great superfood," says Kimberly. "It's a gluten-free whole grain (well, technically a seed) with a slightly nutty flavor. It's high in protein and fiber, low in fat and has a low glycemic index. It also contains folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and copper. You can pair it with anything—sliced avocado, salad, veggies and so on."
"Buying your fish frozen guarantees it will stay better longer and still offer all the same healthy fats and nutrients as fresh," Keri says.