Best Healthy Frozen Foods

Warm up to frozen foods! Stock your freezer with these heart-smart staples that are just as nutritious as fresh and so handy they¿ll help you eat a heart-healthy diet year-round.

Stock your freezer with heart-healthy power foods that keep longer than their fresh varieties. These frozen picks are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts and are often cheaper and simpler to store. We've recommended foods in a number of categories, including frozen fruits and vegetables, grains, and proteins.

More frozen tips:
-- Buy fresh chicken, then freeze: Chicken sold in the freezer section typically has added salt.
-- Whole grains keep longer in the freezer: Store whole wheat flour, oats, and flaxseed in the freezer if you have the space.
-- Thaw foods safely: Thaw meats and seafood in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Read package directions to ensure the safety of your foods.
-- Freeze your own veggies: If you have extra in-season veggies you want to save, blanch them first (immerse in boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes), then drain well and store in airtight plastic bags.

Frozen Fish Pick: Ocean Eclipse Salmon, Wild Caught

Getting heart-healthy omega-3s is as simple as thawing, then baking, broiling, or microwaving this salmon.

Average price: $6.99-$7.99 for 2 pounds

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Frozen Spinach Pick: PictSweet All Natural Chopped Spinach

This spinach has no added salt and is frozen loose in the bag, so you can pull out only the amount you need. Eating spinach helps you get many heart-smart vitamins and minerals, including potassium and vitamin C.

Average price: $1.99 for 16 ounces

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Frozen Bread Pick: Rhodes 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat Bread

This frozen bread dough can be used in a variety of ways, for breads, rolls, or even pizza crusts. Consuming whole grain foods has been shown to reduce cholesterol.

Average price: $3.99 for three unbaked loaves

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Frozen Squash Pick: Birds Eye Cooked Winter Squash

Just heat and eat this antioxidant-rich comfort veggie or add it to recipes, such as casseroles, soups, and stews. Squash is high in good-for-you potassium and fiber.

Average price: $1.99 for 12 ounces

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Frozen Rice Pick: Rice Expressions Organic Brown Rice

This precooked, frozen brown rice is ready to eat after just 3 minutes in the microwave or after 8-12 minutes on the stove. Using whole grains instead of refined grains has been shown to help lower your cholesterol.

Average price: $4.69 for three 10-ounce pouches

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Frozen Peppers Pick: VIP Home Fixin's Diced Green Bell Peppers

When fresh bell peppers are pricey, use frozen. Bell peppers are high in folate, which can lower homocysteine levels.

Average price: $1.39-$1.59 for 10 ounces

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Frozen Edamame Pick: Cascadian Farm Organic Shelled Edamame

Getting heart-healthy soy protein is easy when you keep these frozen shelled soybeans on hand. Sprinkle on salad or add to your favorite recipes to add nutrients.

Average price: $2.89 for 10 ounces

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Frozen Black-Eyed Peas Pick: PictSweet All Natural Blackeye Peas

You'll save 300-400 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup when you swap PictSweet unsalted black-eyed peas for canned brands. Use these tasty, fiber-rich legumes in a side dish, soup, or chili.

Average price: $1.99 for 16 ounces

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Frozen Peaches Pick: VIP Use Like Fresh Sliced Peaches

Use partially thawed peaches to top nonfat Greek yogurt or whole grain waffles. Peaches make the Cleveland Clinic's list of top power foods for heart health because they have heart-smart fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and K.

Average price: $2.69-$2.99 for 16 ounces

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Frozen Dough Pick: The Fillo Factory Organic Fillo Dough

Replace buttery-rich pastry dough with this low-fat fillo. Use butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray between layers.

Average price: $3.69-$4.79 for 20 sheets

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Frozen Blueberries Pick: Dole Blueberries

Partially thaw these blueberries and add them to a smoothie, fruit salad, cereal, or pancakes. Research suggests that blueberries can help lower blood pressure and boost HDL (good) cholesterol.

Average price: $4.20 for 12 ounces

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Frozen Soy Pick: MorningStar Farms Meal Starters Crumbles

Use these low-fat soy crumbles in place of ground beef in recipes such as sloppy joes or chili. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease

Average price: $4.29 for 12 ounces

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