Can Frozen Compete with Fresh?

fresh and frozen fruits and veggies

Can Frozen Compete with Fresh?

We know that fresh fruits and veggies are good for you, but how about their frozen counterparts? It turns out that they give the fresh produce a run for its money. We’re not going to say that frozen is necessarily better than fresh, but here are a couple surprising facts that form a strong argument for the veggies in the frozen aisle of the grocery store.

There’s a Nutritional Advantage

On FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org, a website by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, we learn that frozen vegetables are processed by manufacturers immediately after the vegetables are harvested. Fresh vegetables, on the other hand, take some time to travel from the farm to the grocery store and then to your refrigerator. During that travel time, fresh produce loses some of its nutrients. But how?

Most people don’t realize that fruits and veggies are still alive even after they’re picked off the tree or pulled out of the ground. Because they’re still alive, they continue to breathe, and in order to do that they need to break down stored nutrients and carbs. The longer it breathes before you eat it, the more nutrients it loses.

Freezing fruits and vegetables pauses this process, so the nutrient content stays the same as when the food is initially frozen. It’s true that the flash freezing process might drain some of the water-soluble nutrients, like vitamin C, but overall, you’re getting pretty good nutrient bang for your buck. To keep those nutrients intact when cooking, try stir-frying, blanching, or steaming (the microwave is actually one of the best tools you can use). Your best options are ones with less water and shorter cooking times.

Frozen Can Save You Time and Money

This is especially true during the off-season and on holidays, like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Fresh produce is most affordable when it’s in season, and even then, prices between frozen and fresh are comparable. Plus, you open the door to a wider array of fruits and veggies when you go frozen. You can also opt for a variety, like the frozen bags that have a medley of peas, carrots, and corn. Go wild!

As far as preparation goes, we already talked about how frozen often takes less time to cook. You can find lots of veggies already washed, peeled, diced, and everything (however, it’s true that the more processed something is, the more nutrients it loses before the food is frozen). And you don’t even have to worry about thawing the veggies before you cook them—in fact, the instructions tell you not to let them thaw.

If you want help with your health goals, LT Men’s Clinic is here to help! Schedule an appointment by calling (817) 416-5698 today.

 

Sources: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157517300418