TIME Diet/Nutrition

Here’s How To Cut Down On Food Waste

Expiration dates are confusing and lead to lots of food waste

Americans waste $640 of food each year, according to a new survey released by the American Chemistry Council. That uneaten or unused food may end up in the garbage in part because consumers are really confused by expiration dates; one British study suggests that misinterpreting expiration dates is responsible for 20% of food waste.

While many people think “best by” or “sell by” dates are indicators for food safety, the reality isn’t as clear cut.

Expiration dates and food labeling emerged during the 20th century as Americans increasingly stopped making their own food but still wanted to know how fresh it was. According to a 2013 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), many Americans think their food is unsafe if the date they see on the label has already passed. However, these dates are not indicators that the food will make you sick; they only indicate when they are considered still fresh. Eating refrigerated food slightly past its prime may not taste as good as eating it fresh, but in most cases, it’s not going to harm you, according to the report. (And you might be surprised how long foods do last in the fridge.)

Here’s what those labels really mean:

“Sell by”: This date only indicates when the manufacturer suggests grocery stores should stop selling the product. It’s a way for companies to make sure their food is being sold when they determine it’s at the best quality.

“Best by” or “Best if used by” or “Use by”: Similar to “sell by”, this label marks the maker’s estimate of when the food will no longer be at its freshest, highest quality. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get sick if you eat it after the date, nor is it a guarantee that the food has even gone bad. Consumers may not notice a difference in quality.

None of these labels is actually an indicator of food safety; often, the date on the packaging and when the food may actually be no longer safe to eat don’t match up. For instance, raw shell eggs can last in the refrigerator for up to five weeks, according to FoodSafety.gov—which may be longer than the date stamped on the carton.

To keep your food safe, it’s important to make sure that refrigerated food doesn’t spend too much time in warmer temperatures, which make it more susceptible to bacteria growth. Certain foods like “ready to eat” dishes, infant formula and baby food should be consumed promptly.

Public health experts, like those at the NRDC and FLPC, argue better labeling that more accurately reflects spoiling dates would not only mean safer food consumption, but could also cut down on food waste. If labels could differentiate between safety and quality, it would be a much more useful system to consumers, the groups say.

To look up the shelf life and refrigerator life of your foods, try the Foodkeeper storage guide, a collaboration between the Food Marketing Institute at Cornell University and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read Next: Americans Throw Away $640 Worth of Food Each Year

TIME Diet/Nutrition

11 ‘Healthy’ Foods Diet Experts Avoid

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Getty Images

Smoothies can contain as many calories as a burger

You do your best to do right by your body by making healthy food choices every day. Unfortunately, a number of “health” foods you may go out of your way to eat don’t deserve their stripes. What’s worse, thanks to talented and tricky food marketers, unless you’re a trained professional, it’s really hard to tell when you’re being duped. All of those “sweetened with agave” and “added fiber” labels can confuse even the smartest shoppers. That’s why we’ve turned to some of the nation’s top diet experts and asked them to reveal which “healthy” foods they wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. What they had to say was pretty surprising. Scroll through to get in the know.

1. Agave Nectar

“Although agave is gaining popularity in health-minded circles, it’s not at all better than sugar and should be used sparingly like any other sweetener. Yes, it comes from a plant, but it has little to no nutritional value.” — Marisa Moore, MBA,RDN, LD, an Atlanta based registered dietitian nutritionist and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

2. Fiber-Added Foods

“Recently many food manufacturers have cut fat from products like yogurt and snack foods and replaced it with fiber to increase the health factor. Although eating fiber-added foods is often a great way to cut calories from fat and boost satiety between meals, when you eat too many foods with fiber, inulin, or chicory root (common fiber additives) it can cause gas, bloating, nausea, flatulence, stomach cramps and even diarrhea. Stick with whole foods that are naturally good sources of fiber like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.” — Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN, Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

3. Veggie Chips

“Although veggie chips have more fiber than a standard bag of crisps, many varieties are fried—not just simply dehydrated. If your go-to bag has oils and added sugars, you’d be better off snacking on fresh produce instead. Those ingredients transform the vegetables from nutritional superstars to full-on indulgences.” — Marisa Moore

4. Protein Bars

“Most high protein bars get their protein from unnatural sources like soy protein isolate, or SPI. The process of chemically engineering soybeans to isolate their protein strips out all of their other healthy nutrients and leaves behind potentially dangerous substances like hexane and aluminum. These bars also tend to have belly-bloating sugar alcohols and other unhealthy additives to cover up their terrible taste. If you’re looking for a bar, look for ones with less than 10 ingredients that you can recognize.” — Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition

5. Peanut Butter

“The only type of peanut butter I’ll eat is the natural variety. Non-natural nut butters usually contain partially hydrogenated oils, which is a type of trans-fat! Choose a natural or organic nut butter instead. The ingredient list should just be the nuts and maybe a little salt.” — Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, a Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian

6. Gluten-Free Products

“Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s calorie- or fat-free. In fact, many gluten-free products are higher in sugar and fat than their traditional counterparts. If you have to eat gluten-free for medical reasons, that’s one thing, but buying gluten-free products in an attempt to lose weight will not be effective.” — Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, a registered dietitian with private practices in New York and Connecticut

7. Processed Snack Bars

“The first few ingredients in many snack bars include brown rice syrup and corn syrup, which are both added sugars. Then food manufacturers add in low-quality chocolate—not the antioxidant-rich dark variety. Often times these bars contain less than one gram of fiber, so they won’t do as good a job keeping you satiated either. You’re better off grabbing a bar with whole food ingredients you can see, like nuts and dried fruit with minimal added sugar.”— Michelle Dudash, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families

8. Smoothies

“People love smoothies because they can jam in a ton of ingredients and drink it all down in one sitting. The problem is, fruit, yogurt, milk, flaxseed and whatever else you put into your cup adds up! Before you know it, what you thought was a nutrient packed meal or snack, now has as many calories as a burger. Your best bet is to just eat a piece of fruit if you’re craving something sweet. You will feel fuller and it won’t break the calorie bank.” — Ilyse Schapiro

9. Reduced-Fat Mayonnaise

“Not only do low-fat foods not taste very good, they’re also filled with unhealthy and harmful ingredients like added sugars, vegetable oils and artificial preservatives. These ingredients have little nutritional value and decrease the body’s ability to absorb fat soluble vitamins. Regularly eating things like low-fat mayo can lead to inflammation, GI issues, heart disease and increased cravings that lead to weight gain.” — Stephanie Middleberg

10. Fat-Free Dressing

“Fat-free dressings often have added sugars or fillers, so even though you’re getting less fat, you’re not always saving calories. Plus, having a little fat with your salad can actually help you absorb more of the antioxidant-rich compounds from the vegetables. Carrots, tomatoes and dark, leafy greens are nutritious on their own, but a little fat actually helps you get more from them.” — Marisa Moore

11. Yogurt

“Many flavored yogurts pack a ton of sugar and carbohydrates. When possible, I go for plain Greek yogurt and add some fruit or all natural jelly to flavor it.” — Ilyse Schapiro

This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

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TIME Diet/Nutrition

If You Want to Lose Weight, Don’t Pick Your Own Diet

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Danny Kim for TIME

The freedom to choose how to diet may mean less impressive weight loss results, a new study finds

The best diet is the one you’ll stick to, but a new study suggests that might not be the one you’d pick for yourself.

In the experiment published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a group of 207 veterans, mostly men, followed a diet for 48 weeks. About half were given a choice between two diets—low-carb or low-fat—while others were randomly assigned to one diet or the other.

Of those who got to choose, 58% picked the low-carb diet, and 42% chose the low-fat diet. Everyone in the study got group and phone counseling over the course of the study, and the researchers measured weight loss, adherence, attendance and weight-related quality of life.

“We figured that if people chose the diet on their own or with assistance that they would be more invested in the diet,” says lead author Dr. William Yancy, a research scientist at the Durham VA Medical Center. “We also thought that if they chose the diet based on what foods they preferred that that would help them stick to the diet better, but that’s not what we found.” Contrary to what the researchers expected to find, choosing a diet didn’t improve weight loss or make people any more likely to stick to their diet. In fact, people in this group actually lost less weight (an average of 12.5 pounds) than those assigned a diet (an average of 14.7 pounds). Statistically, however, there was no difference between the groups in any of the measures.

That might be because people are more likely to overeat when following a diet that emphasizes the foods they like—which would likely be the diet they’d select, Yancy says. The weight loss disparity could also be due to something the researchers call a “personal trainer” effect: you adhere to a workout program better if you’re told which exercises to do. “We all know we can go and exercise on our own,” Yancy explains. “But a lot of people still prefer to have a trainer or go to a setting when someone is overseeing what they’re doing.”

Future research is needed, he says, but especially in the little-explored areas of prescribing diets for individuals. There may be promise in future weight loss interventions that focus on pairing a person with a diet through personality questionnaires, metabolic profiles like cholesterol tests or insulin tests, or even a person’s genetic profile, Yancy says.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

9 Health Foods That Aren’t Worth the Money

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Check whether these health food costs are equal to their nutritional benefits

After handing over what feels like your whole paycheck at Whole Foods, it’s not uncommon to wonder whether the health foods you picked up are worth the dough you dropped.

Amid the constant reports about the most superior of superfoods, it can be tough to keep track of not only the healthiest newcomers, but also which previous darlings are still worth your grocery dollar. Eat This, Not That! has rounded up some of the most publicized health foods and analyzed whether their place in your budget is equal to their nutritional benefits.

1. Steel-Cut Oats

Ah, steel-cut oats: One of the most vaunted of health foods, they connote a bearded artisan prepping your breakfast by hand with a blade. But the romance doesn’t match the reality. A can generally runs you upwards of $8, and each bowl requires about 20 minutes of cooking time. That’s not an ideal investment of your money or time, as their nutritional profile is almost identical to rolled oats. Although steel-cut oats have a slightly lower glycemic index, you can feel fine about reaching for a $4 canister of two-minute Quaker Oats: A half-cup serving has only 150 calories plus 4 grams of belly-filling fiber.

2. Low-Carb Bread

At prices topping out at $7 to $8 a loaf, low-carb bread is an inexplicable commodity. Your first-line healthy option is to pick up whole-grain bread instead. While it’s not as ideal a whole grain as quinoa or oats, whole grains of any stripe increase satiety and have heart-protective effects. (Just make sure your bread is whole grain, not multigrain, which has more sugar and less fiber).

3. Fresh Berries

Nutritionally, fresh berries are a totally worthy addition to your grocery bill. But you can still get their benefits while stretching your dollar. Berries possess polyphenols—which prevent fat from forming—and frozen berries have the exact same nutritional value as fresh. Plus they can cost about half as much, and you can get them year-round.

4. Turkey Burgers

Long held to be the far superior alternative to beef, turkey burgers can actually have as much fat and a bit less protein than their more traditional cousin. Plus, store-bought ground turkey can contain dark meat, which boosts the fat content up to 20%. If you want to feel virtuous, go for grass-fed beef, which has belly-blasting omega-3 acids that turkey doesn’t.

5. Pomegranate Juice

Remember this craze? Pomegranate juice is still ringing up tens of millions in sales annually. Don’t contribute. A two-serving bottle can cost you $5, and while you could just eat the fruit—which will give you the same amount of antioxidants plus more fiber and less sugar—it’s far better to eat a cup of blueberries or cranberries instead. They’ll give you almost three times the antioxidants, along with demonstrated fat-burning benefits at a fraction of the cost. Looking for a natural way to supercharge your sex drive? Go ahead and buy; that’s something this drink truly is good at—just be sure to add water before you down a glass.

6. Superfood Powders

Chlorella, camu camu, $30 tubs of green powder with words like “Wonder” and “Vibrance” on the label: they claim to be packed with nutrients, but we can only take their word for it. The nutritional supplement industry is unregulated, and there’s a big question mark about the benefits these supplements provide, particularly in the wake of recent studies that show that multivitamin pills may have little or no benefit. Stick with the tried and true—legit research shows that spinach, chard and Chinese cabbage, among others, burn belly fat.

7. Almond Milk

For those of us simply averse to cow’s milk rather than actually lactose-intolerant, the almond version can be a tasty alternative for cereal and coffee. Just be realistic about what you’re getting: A hydration entity, not a health food. At around $4.50 a carton, almond milk contains very little protein (around one gram) and sweetened versions can have up to 13 grams of sugar. Instead, opt for full-fat or 2% milk, and a pick up a package of almonds for a fat-burning snack. If you’re lactose intolerant, stick with almond milk, but also pick up the package of almonds to get the protein and fat-burning benefits of the nuts that the milk just can’t provide.

8. Whey Protein

It may be the go-to supplement for muscle-builders, but whey protein’s benefits are offset by its tendency to cause belly bloat. And the price makes it a doubly bad deal: A canister can run near $30 for a few dozen servings, which provide—at most—about 25 grams of protein. You can get the same amount of protein from four eggs or a medium-sized chicken breast, which are packed with stuff you want (fat-burning nutrients such as choline, in the case of eggs) and lack the things you don’t (artificial sweeteners and flavors).

9. “Light” Olive Oil

With its heart-protective and weight-loss benefits, olive oil is a health food that needs no substitute. The “light” version doesn’t mean what you think it does. Light olive oil is a highly processed mixture of different oils, and it contains about the same amount of fat as extra-virgin olive oil. It’s just lighter in color. EVOO has higher levels of oleic acid, which researchers say can spot-reduce abdominal fat.

This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

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TIME Diet/Nutrition

How Europe Will Help Ease America’s Egg Crisis

But it may not be enough

America has an egg crisis. The avian flu (H5N2) outbreak has killed or fatally infected more than 10 percent of domestic egg-laying hens—35 million in all. That has sent the price of a carton of eggs skyrocketing 120% in the past month, according to commodity market research firm Urner Barry.

The epidemic has opened the door to the first European egg imports in more than a decade, courtesy of the Netherlands and Germany. The first shipment of between 7 and 8.5 million eggs is already en route from Germany and will arrive in the U.S. next week. It’s part of an initial contract between the U.S. and Germany for up to 28 million German eggs, and a contract for another 28 million is “in the works,” Rick Brown, senior vice president of Urner Barry, told TIME.

However, you probably won’t taste the difference in the German and Dutch eggs, because so far the U.S. is only importing eggs that will be used in products—egg whites or yolks in liquid or powdered form—not sold as fresh eggs.

“The fresh eggs for the supermarkets need to be real fresh,” Hubert Andela, the chairman of the Dutch Association of Egg Packers (ANEVEI), told TIME. “Transporting them by ship from the Netherlands to the [U.S.] takes too long and flying them is very expensive.” Eggs sold in cartons at the supermarket need to be kept frozen or in a dry, cold environment, making the transportation process complicated and costly.

This means that the imports, which Andela said this week were “about to get started” from the Netherlands, are limited to egg products. That will likely result in a lot of egg white powder crossing the Atlantic, Andela said, noting that the protein is the most desired component of eggs for American consumers (who might actually be getting too much), and that domestic yolk remains cheap in the U.S. Contrary to popular belief, egg whites have more protein than egg yolks; the whites of one large egg contain 3.6 grams, while the yolk contains only 2.4 grams.

Most of the egg flavor comes from the yolk, according to Andela, so American consumers will almost certainly not notice a change in taste. Flavor is also “influenced by the feed for the laying hens and this can differ from one farm to another,” so different tastes can be found among domestic producers as it is.

This is the first time in more than three decades that American egg producers have been hit with such a large avian flu outbreak. Between 1983 and 1984, an outbreak in Pennsylvania killed 17 million hens.

To keep eggs flowing onto Americans’ plates during the current bird flu epidemic, the U.S. has approved egg imports from seven countries—Chile, Argentina, France, Spain and Portugal, in addition to the Netherlands and Germany—after the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has found that their safety standards were equivalent to those in the U.S.

While the European egg shipments will be a welcome addition to the American market, they will likely not be enough to make up for all the hens that were lost to the bird flu.

Brown, from Urner Barry, estimated that the 35 million hens affected by the bird flu had produced 28 million eggs per day; by comparison, the U.S. will likely be importing a maximum of 28 million eggs per month from Germany. The Dutch will also help, sending what Andela predicted would be the whites of several hundred million eggs per year. But even that will not be sufficient.

“We’ve lost a lot more than we could possibly import,” Brown said.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

We’re More Concerned With Nutrients Than Actual Foods

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Danny Kim for TIME Do you see an orange—or do you see vitamin C?

A new study argues that most of us value isolated nutrients more than the actual foods that contain them

Here’s a nutritional inkblot test: When you look at an orange and consider its healthfulness, do you think about it as a whole food or do you think about its vitamin C? A creative new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology suggests that most of us think of the latter, and that even though looking at nutrients instead of foods is common, it’s also problematic.

Americans have long been barraged with information about specific nutrients and micronutrients in foods. We’re told to love bananas for their potassium, for instance, instead of for the many other compounds and fiber that make the whole food so healthy. But that’s missing the nutritional forest for the trees, says Jonathon P. Schuldt, author of the new study and assistant professor of communication at Cornell University. “When we go through our everyday lives, we get conflicting nutritional advice,” he says. “Even though more nutrition experts are really emphasizing that we eat whole foods that have nutrients embedded in their natural contexts, these results suggest that when it comes to perceptions of long-term disease outcome, nutrients still hold a lot of sway in people’s judgments.”

To find out to what extent people think that nutrients—and not the foods they come from—help stave off disease, Schuldt rounded up more than a hundred people and asked them to judge a fictional man’s risk for disease. The study participants read a description about a fictional man named Steve Thompson: a young, healthy middle-class American who enjoys cooking, playing poker and hitting the local pub. For half of the group, however, the last paragraph about Steve was different. Half of the people read about Steve’s diet rich in healthy nutrients—potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, calcium and iron—while the other group read about his diet rich in whole foods—bananas, fish, oranges, milk and spinach. (The whole foods, you’ll notice, correspond to their most prominent nutrients.)

They were then asked to judge how healthy Steve was, compared to the average American. They also estimated Steve’s likelihood of five diet-related diseases: heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and obesity.

Those who learned that Steve had a diet rich in healthy nutrients (like omega-3s) rated his risk for all diseases, but not obesity, lower than those who learned that Steve ate a lot of whole foods (like fish). And those with higher test scores were more likely to value nutrients over food than students with lower test scores—possibly because they’d be more attuned to scientific links between things like omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease.

The findings may help explain why the supplement industry is so profitable, while simple fruits and vegetables struggle to make their way to the plates of Americans. “The whole industry is built on this idea that there are studies out there linking vitamin C to healthy outcomes, and therefore you should just eat vitamin C,” Schuldt says. “What we lose there is the fact that we should probably be eating oranges. One cannot live off of vitamin C alone.”

TIME Nutrition

New York Officials Want High-Sodium Warnings in Chain Restaurants

High salt intake is linked to a raft of health problems

New York City may become the first in the U.S. to require warning labels about high sodium content on menus in chain restaurants.

The city’s Health Department will propose Wednesday that eateries add a salt shaker symbol to menu items that contain more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium, equal to about one teaspoon of salt, the Associated Press reports.

Studies show that people who eat more sodium are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, which in turn contributes to heart disease, kidney problems and the possibility of a stroke. But doctors say some people are more sensitive to salt than others, so it’s difficult to pinpoint a strict limit to sodium consumption.

The average American consumes around 3,300 mg of sodium per day, 1,000 mg over the recommended daily intake. About three-fourths of that sodium intake comes from prepared or processed restaurant foods. Only about one in 10 Americans meet the one teaspoon of salt per day guideline.

Read Next: FDA Wants to Limit Your Salt Intake. Is That a Good Thing?

[AP]

TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Delicious Make-Ahead Breakfasts to Make Your Morning Easier

From pudding to burritos

Make-ahead breakfast ideas: need I say more?

With a little advance prep, you can take one big thing off your a.m. to-do listand still eat a satisfying, wholesome, and delicious meal. Check out 5 of my favorites, below.

  • Overnight Tropical Buckwheat Pudding

    buckwheat-pudding
    Beth Lipton

    Never tried buckwheat? You can pick up this protein- and fiber-rich, and gluten-free seed (yep, like quinoa it’s actually a seed) in the bulk section of the supermarket. (I recommend buying extra; buckwheat groats make a fantastic swap for rice as a side dish.)

    Serves: 4-6

    1 cup buckwheat groats ($19 for a 4-pack, amazon.com)
    1 cup milk (dairy, nut or soy) or a milk-yogurt combination
    ¼ cup chia seeds
    2 ripe bananas, sliced
    2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
    Pinch of kosher salt
    1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional
    Raw honey or maple syrup to taste, optional
    “Chopped mango or pineapple (or a combination)
    Hemp seeds and/or unsweetened coconut flakes, optional

    Make it: In a bowl, cover the buckwheat groats with cold water. Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Drain buckwheat (it’s a little slimy, don’t worry about that) in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse gently. Drain again. Place buckwheat in a blender with milk, chia seeds, bananas, and salt. Add vanilla, if desired. Blend, then taste and sweeten with honey or maple syrup, if desired. Portion into 4 to 6 bowls or jars (or save the rest). Just before eating, top with fruit and/or hemp or coconut.

  • Baked Oatmeal

    baked-oatmeal
    Beth Lipton

    Somewhere between a muffin and bread pudding (without the bread), a slice of this feels like a treat but is loaded with nutrients. Make it your own: Change up the nuts, add raisins or blueberries, or use different spices. It’s delicious cold out of the fridge, but you can also pop it in the microwave for a few seconds before you hit the road.

    Serves: 8

    2 ½ cups uncooked rolled oats (not instant)
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    ¼ cup chopped walnuts
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    ¼ tsp. salt
    1 cup milk (dairy or nut)
    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    1 ripe banana, cut into pieces
    4 pitted dates, chopped
    2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
    1 large egg, beaten

    Make it: Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a blender, combine milk, yogurt, banana, dates, butter, and egg; blend until smooth.Pour into bowl with oat mixture and stir until well mixed. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until firm. Serve warm, or let it cool. Then cut it into pieces, wrap each individually, and refrigerate or freeze.

  • Chia-Berry-Yogurt Parfait

    yogurt-parfait
    Beth Lipton

    Combine those frozen berries you always have on hand with chia seeds and you get a jammy mixture that’s like a less sugary version of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. This is a fantastic alternative if you want to incorporate chia in your diet but don’t care for the gelatinous texture of chia puddings.

    Serves: 1 (can be multiplied)

    ½ cup frozen mixed berries
    2 Tbsp. chia seeds
    1 Tbsp. raw honey
    Small pinch of salt
    ½ cup plain yogurt
    ½ tsp. vanilla extract
    Unsweetened coconut flakes and/or hemp seeds, optional

    Make it: In a jar, stir together berries, chia seeds, honey, and salt. Whisk yogurt and vanilla together and pour over berry mixture in jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with coconut and/or hemp seeds, re-cover and go.

  • Breakfast Burritos

    breakfast-burrito
    Beth Lipton

    Customize these simple burritos however you like. Use pepper jack cheese, swap refried black beans for the chorizo, or try a corn salsa. Kids love them, too.

    Yield: 4 burritos

    4 oz. nitrate-free chorizo, casings removed
    1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    4 large eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup salsa, drained
    ½ cup cheddar or jack, shredded
    4 taco-sized (8-inch) whole-grain tortillas

    Make it: Warm a medium skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook, breaking up with a spoon and stirring, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a one side of a large plate with a slotted spoon. Wipe out skillet.

    Place skillet back over medium-low heat and warm oil. Add eggs and cook, stirring often, until cooked through to desired doneness. Transfer to other side of plate with chorizo. Let cool.

    Lay a tortilla out on a work surface (warm it briefly in the microwave to make it pliable, if necessary). Spoon one-fourth of chorizo, eggs, salsa and cheese down the middle. Roll up, folding in sides as you go. Repeat with remaining tortillas and fillings. Tightly wrap individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag, press out excess air, seal and freeze.

    To serve: Place a burrito in the microwave and cook until warmed through, 30 to 60 seconds.

  • Individual Vegetable Frittatas

    vegetable-frittattas
    Beth Lipton

    Change up the vegetables to suit your taste (and what you have in the fridge). Try chopped kale or spinach, zucchini or yellow squash, broccoli or cauliflower. Leftover cooked vegetables work great, no need to re-cook them.

    Yield: 8 frittatas

    1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    ½ onion, finely chopped
    3/4 cup finely chopped seeded bell pepper (any color)
    Salt and pepper
    1 cup cremini or white mushrooms, chopped
    ½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil, parsley or mint (or a combination), optional
    6 large eggs
    2 Tbsp. whole milk

    Make it: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 8 cups of a standard muffin tin. Warm oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, sprinkle lightly with salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid, about 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, sprinkle lightly with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes longer. Divide vegetable mixture among greased muffin cups. Top with fresh herbs, if desired.

    In a bowl, whisk eggs and milk until well combined. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide egg mixture among muffin cups, covering vegetable mixture.

    Bake until frittatas are just set and slightly puffed, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around edge of each frittata to loosen, then transfer frittatas from pan to rack.

    Serve warm, or let cool completely, wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate, or place in a freezer bag and freeze. (Take one or two out of the freezer the night before you’re going to eat them; let thaw in the fridge overnight.)

    This article originally appeared on Health.com.

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