By Marge Perry
Updated July 27, 2011
It's easy to save both time and money when you plan ahead. Economical and versatile, try cooking ground beef with onions and garlic, and freeze it to use as a base for other dishes. On cooking day, just heat the base and add other needed ingredients to create quick tacos, sloppy joes, or beef stroganoff. See Easy Freezer Meals for more plan-ahead cooking strategies.

Is frozen food less nutritious than fresh? Does freezing a food make it less healthful?

Believe it or not, freezing food does not destroy nutrients—it can actually help preserve them. Depending on your alternatives, there are times that frozen produce may actually contain more nutrients than fresh. Produce is at its peak, nutritionally, when just picked. The longer it stays at room or refrigerated temperatures, the more its nutrients are diminished.

When produce is frozen just after it is picked (at a plant that is often only yards away from the field), those peak nutrients are retained. If your choice is buying fresh produce picked hundreds (or even thousands) of miles away, your nutritionally wiser choice is the frozen version.