Bulk buying fresh fruit and veg and freezing in portions has been an easy way of upping my fruit and veg intake whilst saving money and being less wasteful.
Below is a list of some of the foods I aim to keep in the freezer, ready to add to smoothies, smoothie brekkie bowls or meals. And some recipe ideas at the bottom.
Berries – buy bulk in season when cheaper and freeze for smoothies and home baking. A few berries daily is a great source of antioxidants, and don’t provide the sugar spike other fruits do.
Pineapple – high in vitamin c, contains an enzyme called bromelain which supports protein digestion and is very healing to the gut; it also soothes and relaxes muscles helping with joint pain and connective tissue injuries. A few pieces chucked into a smoothie is a great way of naturally sweetening a veggie smoothie!
Peas – great source of protein. Add to many dishes for adults and kids – pastas, fish, meat dishes etc.
Mint – adds a zing to smoothies, especially cooling in the summer. Good for fresh breath and digestion.
Watercress – this is part of the cruciferous family (alongside broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc) and compounds found in watercress (isothiocyanates) have been found to be protective of certain types of cancer (colon, lung, prostate and skin cancers)*
Kale – again, part of the cruciferous family (can be cancer protective) and punchy in nutrients – vitamins A, K and C, antioxidants, good for lowering cholesterol (by binding bile acids*), as well as being high in calcium, magnesium and potassium (the latter two can be lacking in western diets). Great chucked in smoothies raw or cooked in curries, soups, pasta dishes.
Edamame beans – good way of getting a regular source of soy into the diet. Soy beans provide a good source of vitamin K and folate, as well as phytoestrogens (isoflavones) which can bind to oestrogen receptors in the body lessening the impact of active oestrogen (which can be a driver in oestrogen related cancers)
Spinach – a good source of folate and fibre (found in all green leafy veg) and a small dose of iron (take with vitamin C to increase absorption).
A note on kale and watercress – cooked raw, these vegetables contain goitrogens which can be problematic in those with hypothyroidism, blocking the body’s ability to incorporate iodine into thyroid hormones (thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)). For those with hypothyroidism, best to cook these vegetables to reduce levels of goitrogens.
Quick Summer smoothie recipe
– 1 cup coconut water or water.
– 5 / 6 frozen pineapple chunks
– Handful of frozen spinach and / or frozen kale
– A few mint leaves
– Optional – if you want this creamy, add half an avocado.
Blend till smooth. Drink immediately for best consistency.
Breakfast bowl (berry acai)
– 1 banana
– Handful of frozen berries
– 1 kiwi
– A few frozen spinach leaves
– Optional greens: A few frozen watercress leaves or kale leaves (you can’t taste these i promise)
– Optional others: acai powder for berry kick, pea protein powder, avocado for creamy bowl.