5 freezer staples for athletes...
A well-stocked kitchen eliminates the frustration of fueling athletes, especially when time is limited. Certain pantry staples are helpful at home and on the road, but keeping a few essentials in the freezer can turn a quick meal or snack into a powerhouse fuel for athletes.
Another benefit? The simplicity of these five freezer staples boost kitchen confidence for young athletes.
Edamame.. One of the few plant-foods that's also a complete protein. What does that mean? Edamame contains all 9 essential amino-acids the body needs, but can't produce on its own. Edamame also provides carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber which make it a great pre/post workout snack option or quick addition to pasta or rice.
Steel Cut Oatmeal. Since steel cut oats require longer cooking time, sometimes we forget to prep the night before. Check your store's freezer section for prepared steel cut oatmeal (Trader Joe's is my favorite). Just heat and add some fresh/frozen berries, slivered almonds, and a drizzle of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. Perfect for those early morning practices and games.
Spinach. You probably already know that spinach is power fuel for athletes, but fresh spinach doesn't have the longest shelf life. Frozen spinach is a quick addition to smoothies, pasta, and stir-fry to support health, performance, and recovery.
Fruit. Fresh fruit can be expensive, and let's be honest, our favorites aren't always in season. Frozen fruit is picked at its peak freshness so you not missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. Pineapple and cherries are great for reducing muscle soreness; berries keep our immune system strong; and bananas are great for between practice banana bread or making smoothies thicker (just be sure to peel before freezing).
Shrimp/Fish We've all been there- realizing at dinnertime that we forgot to thaw chicken or beef. Seafood has a much faster thawing time, however. Place in cold water for about 10-15 minutes to thaw then let it rest at room temperature for another 10-15 minutes to maintain the protein integrity.
BONUS! Cook once eat twice. Making Rock Performance egg cups, breakfast quesadillas, or eggplant "meatballs?" Cook a double batch and freeze the extras to simply reheat on a busy morning or night.
Depending on travel distance, many of these freezer staples are perfect for on the road tournaments. Use the in-room microwave to fuel athletes wherever the schedule takes them..