Fitness Tips

Tips for Using Frozen Foods

The convenience and freshly harvested nutritional value of frozen vegetables, fruits and seafood make them a sure winner for your family. Be sure you know how to select, thaw and cook them for optimal results.
  • Use just a splash of water when microwaving frozen vegetables. This will minimize the loss of vitamins and minerals that leach out in water.
  • Get frozen foods from the store to your home freezer as fast as you can. Keep a cooler or insulated bag in your car to minimize the risk of them thawing, and if you live in a warm climate and during summer months, slip a few freezer packs into the cooler before you leave home to keep the interior cool.
  • Set your home freezer to 0°F (-18°C) to ensure the safety and quality of your frozen foods.
  • Respect the “use by” date on frozen food packages. Minor fluctuations in your home freezer can put a dent in the food’s quality, even though, technically, the foods can be stored safely indefinitely at 0°F.
  • If your electricity goes out in your home, leave the freezer door closed as much as possible. Most full freezers will retain a cold enough temperature for about 48 hours if the door remains closed.
  • When buying frozen seafood and shellfish, look for undamaged packages that have been set toward the bottom of the grocery store freezer. That’s where cooler air tends to settle.
  • f you can view the product through the package, be sure there aren’t any visible frosty ice crystals. Those are a sign the product has been thawed and refrozen.
  • To safely thaw frozen seafood or meat, place it in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a rush, place proteins in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water. Change out the water every 15 minutes until the item has thawed.
  • If you use your microwave’s “defrost” setting, always cook the thawed fish or meat right away.
  • Never refreeze thawed fish, meat, fruits or vegetables.