When I hear the words "frozen meal," there are a few words that automatically pop into my mind: sodium, calories, and kid cuisine. I love to cook and would most definitely consider myself a health nut. However, as a busy college student, I often struggle to find the time to cook healthy, homemade, nutritious meals.

After eating peanut butter for dinner one too many times this year, I decided to take the time to seek out the healthiest frozen foods I could find. After a few trips to the greatest grocery store on earth (TJ's, duh) I compiled a list of 11 healthy Trader Joe's frozen foods that are undoubtedly worth buying.

1. Unsweetened Organic Açaí Purée Packets

Açaí smoothie bowls are a great way to start the morning. As people are catching on to this trend, cafe's and restaurants have begun to add smoothie bowls to their menu. Unfortunately, these bowls are often packed with sugar and incredibly overpriced. 

When I saw that Trader Joe's came out with these unsweetened Açaí packets, my weird obsession for this grocery store got even weirder. Coming in at 80 calories and 0 grams of sugar per pack, these Açaí packets are perfect for a post-workout smoothie or a healthy breakfast. Add a banana, almond milk, and some spinach to the blender and top with whatever your healthy little heart desires. 

2. Fully Cooked Organic Brown Rice 

These frozen brown rice packets have been a staple in my diet for as long as I can remember. Pop a bag of rice into the microwave, wait four minutes, and dinner is ready. Add some freshly squeezed lemon, roasted veggies, and protein of your choice for a quick, wholesome, nutrient-dense dinner.

Bonus: one serving of this rice contains over 10% of your daily fiber! 

3. Organic Superfood Pilaf 

High in vitamins, protein, fiber, and iron, this superfood pilaf is a perfect lunch for when you're in a hurry. I usually add some hot sauce for a little bit of a kick, but if you're really trying to get fancy, add a sunny side egg on top with a little rosemary, Sriracha, and garlic. Yum. 

4. Cauliflower Rice

This stuff is a miracle. Coming in at 25 calories, this riced cauliflower is the perfect substitute for those of you trying to cut down on the grains. Sauté it in some olive oil until golden brown and throw in some frozen peas, carrots, and corn for a quick, healthy veggie stir-fry. Top with Bragg's Liquid Amino's to add a soy sauce flavor without all of the junky sodium. 

5. Greens, Beans, and Grains 

Jesslyn Gosal

With 11 grams of protein and 0 grams of added sugar, this frozen entrée is the perfect healthy dinner. It's incredibly flavorful, light, and perfect just the way it is. 

6. Riced Broccoli 

This riced broccoli contains 104% of your daily value of Vitamin C. Woah. Sauté this bag up in a pan until golden brown and top it with some seasoning and hummus. You won't even know you're eating broccoli! 

7. Edamame

pickle, vegetable
Dana Balkin

Oh, how I love edamame. I would be lying if I said I haven't eaten an entire bag by myself before. Trader Joe's edamame is by far the best brand I've found yet; it's the most affordable and has absolutely no other ingredients besides soy beans. Add a dash of sea salt and eat these as a snack to satisfy your hunger during a busy day.

8. Organic Vegetable Burritos 

I'm a sucker for burritos. Usually frozen burritos are dangerously high in sodium and added sugars, so I avoided them for a long time. That is, until I stumbled upon these guys. With 8 grams of protein, 0 mg of cholesterol, and 0 grams of added sugar, one of these burritos makes the perfect lunch. Heat it up in the microwave if you're in a hurry or, better yet, bake it in the oven if you're chillin'. 

9. Zucchini Fries 

Who says fries can't be a meal? At 140 calories per serving, these bad boys undoubtedly beat out the greasy potato alternative. Bake until crispy and serve them with ketchup on the side of a veggie burger.

10. Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burgers 

tomato, hamburger, bacon, beef, meat, sandwich, lettuce
Luna Zhang

Ah, veggie burgers. What would us vegetarians do without you? One of these patties contains about 150 calories and 8 grams of protein. Oh, and 0 grams of saturated fat as opposed to a regular beef burger that comes in 6 grams of saturated fat or higher. Skip the beef and take home this guy instead. 

Top this burger with red onion, tomato, lettuce, and avocado on some sprouted bread for a delicious and filling lunch or dinner.  

#SpoonTip: Always check the first three ingredients when buying any frozen meal. If one of them is sugar or salt, say sayonara.

11. Fully Cooked Falafel 

I could eat Mediterranean food all day every day. Falafel and hummus is undoubtedly my favorite combination. However, I like to avoid going out to eat more than twice a week. Trader Joe's fully cooked falafel is a great dinner for when you're on the go. All it takes is about a minute in the microwave on reheat and these babies are ready to eat. 

Long story short, Trader Joe's is the place to go if you're looking for affordable and healthy frozen meals. Being in a hurry has never looked, felt, or tasted this good.