I am not a perfect eater. I don’t always eat organic. And while I would like to always eat fresh, it is probably my laziness that keeps me from doing it. Sometimes I have high hopes when I am at the grocery store and come home with a fridge full of fruits and veggies, only to see them starting to rot a few days later because I couldn’t use them fast enough. Fresh may be best, but for me it’s not always practical. Here are my shortcuts:
- Frozen! Frozen is almost as good as fresh because it is frozen after it is freshly picked. I always have frozen veggies on hand so there is no excuse for a meal without healthy color. Sometimes, it can even be more cost-effective to get frozen organic instead of fresh organic, especially when there are sales (Cascadian Farms frozen foods go on sale occasionally). Costco has a huge bag of organic mixed vegetables for a reasonable price. Frozen mixed veggies are a great nutritious, cost-effective way to get a variety of color into your diet. A favorite snack of mine is frozen fruit (especially pineapple), and some frozen foods taste just fine if you let them thaw and eat them raw (like peas, corn, and green beans).
- Pre-cut, pre-washed produce. While it may cost a little more to buy bagged salad, shredded carrots/broccoli slaw, and grape tomatoes, I am much more likely to eat it when it’s already prepared. Costco also has a huge container of organic spring mix salad greens for a decent price. I try to keep these salad items on hand so I am always able to have a healthy and fresh option for a side or a meal.
- Dehydrated. As in the veggies in just-add-water soups like the ones below. This is one of my favorite meals when I simply don’t have time (or energy) to cook or prepare.