We always hear "fresh is best," but is that always true?
Frozen food can help reduce waste, allow for longer storage time, access to a variety of fruits & vegetables that aren’t available all seasons.Frozen also offers quick and easy meal starters like brown rice and quinoa,stir-fry veggies...
So how do you shop the frozen aisle without compromising nutrition for convenience?
- When freezing Meat & Poultry , little to no nutrients are lost, so go ahead and freeze your meat!
- Green Veggies: Vitamin C content didn't differ much between fresh and frozen samples of green veggies except for frozen green beans. Vitamin B levels remained consistent in fresh and frozen samples, except for frozen peas. Vitamin E levels were much higher in frozen peas and green beans compared to fresh; frozen spinach. More than 50% of Vitamin A content was lost during frozen storage of peas and spinach; fresh peas lost at least 15%.
- Fruits: Fresh and frozen samples of strawberries and blueberries were tested. Vitamin C content did not vary significantly between fresh and frozen strawberries, while frozen blueberries had significantly higher levels compared to fresh. Vitamin B levels remained consistent in fresh and frozen samples. Vitamin E was higher in frozen blueberries.
Benefits of freezing food:
|AFFORDABILITY:||Frozen fruits and veg are often more affordable than their fresh versions, especially if they are not currently in season.|
|LESS FOOD WASTE:||The extended life of frozen foods allows you to use them as you need them, significantly decreasing food waste.|
|TIME-SAVING:||Frozen foods allow for quick and easy meals. Frozen fruit is already prepped for your morning smoothie, just add it from the freezer to the blender. Frozen vegetables are a great way to add more nutrients to soup. Frozen quinoa or brown rice makes a quick, healthy side. If you want homemade pizza, frozen cauliflower crusts are a tasty, speedy meal starter.|
|VEGETABLES:||Some have sauces which may add unwanted calories, fat, and sodium. Choose the plain versions and customize them to fit your own needs.|
|FRUITS:||Look out for any added sugars and choose the plain varieties. Serving tip: frozen fruits are best if served still slightly frozen - they lose their shape and can become mushy when thawed.|
|FROZEN ENTRÉES:||These can be high in calories, fat, and sodium; however, there are also many healthy options available. Check nutrition labels to find a product that fits your needs.|
Food stored in the freezer for long periods remains safe; however, the quality declines over time so keep an eye on all frozen food and check the quality regularly.