Yesterday I made the mistake of buying a tomato from the supermarket. I forgot that it’s January, aka the opposite of tomato season. Predictably, what I had was mealy and bland and not at all what I wanted: a juicy August tomato.
Those of us stuck in colder climes generally just have to wait it out when it comes to certain produce. However, we have one trick up our sleeves: the freezer aisle.
Sometimes I forget just how wonderful the freezer aisle really is. Not only are the vegetables there generally well-priced, but they’re picked at peak freshness and they will hang out in your freezer until you’re ready for them. Plus, most varieties are naturally gluten-free (you can check your grocery guide for some confirmed safe brands).
For better or worse, frozen vegetables behave slightly differently from their fresh counterparts. They work better in some dishes than in others – I wouldn’t much care for a salad topped with thawed frozen carrots, for example. Here are some of my favorite sources for gluten-free recipes featuring frozen vegetables, and some of the dishes I most like to whip up:
- Southern Living Magazine has a great feature on how to pick and prepare frozen vegetables, plus a long list of recipes. My favorites are the Simple Stir-fried Okra and the Asparagus Casserole.
- Birds Eye has a special feature allowing you to find recipes based on kind of frozen vegetable, course, or mood. Just be careful to pay attention to the quantities in the recipes if you’re using a different brand of veggie in their Spinach Asparagus Risotto Bake or Nutty Brussels Sprouts.
- Not to be outdone, Green Giant has a website of their own. In addition to recipes, they have a section of Veggie Tips outlining which flavors best compliment which varieties of frozen vegetables. Who knew that dill and mushrooms pair well with baby lima beans?
- Even Martha Stewart gets behind frozen vegetables, with this skeleton recipe for vegetable soup
- NurtureBaby’s baby food recipes can be made with fresh or frozen fruits and veggies.
- Good Housekeeping has a list of smoothie recipes that makes extensive use of frozen fruit, for a sweet winter treat
Do you keep frozen vegetables in your freezer? If so, what sort of gluten-free dishes do you add them to?