How to Add Frozen Fruits and Veggies to Every Meal

Though some manufacturers claim their sauce is light or low fat, that doesn't mean it's healthy. A 10-ounce package of broccoli in low-fat white Cheddar cheese sauce provides nearly 15 times as much sodium as an entire 12-ounce bag of plain broccoli florets. A 16-ounce package of strawberries in sauce contains 285 more calories and an additional 77 g of sugar, compared with a 20-ounce bag of frozen whole strawberries; that's nearly 20 teaspoons' worth. Bottom line: Eating frozen produce in sauces is definitely better than eating none, but I strongly recommend sticking with unseasoned vegetables, especially because you can easily (and healthfully) dress them yourself.

Add Flavor without Lots of Calories

Pick the right topping and you can have low-cal, low-sodium veggie side dishes in minutes. Just add jarred vegetable tapenades or pestos. They are rich in flavor and coat vegetables perfectly, and most add a mere 40 calories and almost no sodium. Microwave or steam your favorite frozen vegetable, and toss with 1 tablespoon per cup of vegetables. My favorite combos include:

Sun-dried tomato pesto with cut broccoli florets or spinach

Olive pesto with green beans

Artichoke tapenade with yellow wax beans

Wild mushroom pesto with Brussels sprouts

Butternut pesto with carrots

Ginger glaze with Oriental veggies or shelled edamame

My Favorite Frozen Fruit Meals

Add these summer favorites to warm winter recipes for a healthy dose of nutrients with minimal calories:

BerriesYour morning oatmeal with a dusting of nutmeg
PeachesSlices of toasted oat bread or whole grain waffles spread with fat-free ricotta sprinkled with cinnamon and cloves
CherriesWarm brown rice pudding garnished with slivered almonds
MangoesBaked fish or a sweet potato after combining with lime juice and honey

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