Fruits and vegetables don’t always have to be fresh to be the best.
Keeping food fresh is not always possible. As winter approaches, fresh produce can be limited or prohibitively expensive in much of the country, forcing many of us to resort to canned or frozen produce. And now, concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) mean that many of us will stock up on food if we stay indoors for longer.
Whatever it is, it’s good to have our pantries and freezers full of healthy food. Freezing is a safe way to extend the shelf life of nutritious foods. And contrary to popular belief, frozen vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh. In fact, a 2017 study found that there was no difference in the vitamin content of fresh and frozen vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are most nutritious when ripe, and freezing preserves that nutrition.
There are other benefits to buying frozen fruits and vegetables. Research shows that if you stock up on frozen vegetables, you’re more likely to reach your daily recommended amount. Also, if you want to reduce food waste, you don’t have to worry about them going bad. And frozen is easier on the wallet than fresh.
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So which fruits and vegetables are the best available? Here are some of our favorites.
Broccoli’s position as one of the healthiest vegetables is strong. Long known as a source of fiber, folate, and vitamins A and C, broccoli also contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Fry, roast or add to a delicious main or side dish.
Try: Quick Braised Broccoli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
spinach Frozen is almost better than fresh spinach (except in salads) because it is pre-shelled to a reasonable size so you get a good dose of iron, calcium and potassium. It can be used in most recipes that call for cooked spinach, such as spanikopita, stuffed mushrooms or lasagna.
Try: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Farro Recipe
peas Frozen can be added to fried rice, pureed, tossed in pasta dishes or made into hummus. The versatile vegetable can also be mixed with other food staples to make a filling salad.
Try: Three Pea Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe
You’d be surprised how versatile frozen Cauliflower can be. It can be served pureed, mixed into soup, baked in an oven dish or added to curries and stews. You can even peel or buy frozen cauliflower rice if you want a low-carb alternative to white rice.
Try: Cauliflower puree with miso and sage recipe
May Frozen corn adds a sweet flavor to salsas and salads, grilled cheese, and baked goods. And it’s good for you too. One cup contains only 1 3 calories, 5.1 grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fiber. You can fry, boil, fry, steam or grill your food to give it a unique taste.
Try: Roasted Corn Quesadilla Recipe
Frozen green beans are one of those family meals because you can make them quickly. Add them to pastas, mix them into salads, cook them, bake them in the oven or put them in a pan.
Try: Dried Szechuan Green Beans Recipe
Frozen fruit stays ripe and brings summer to your meals all year long. Berries, peaches, pineapple and mango are all delicious in smoothies, smoothies and other sweet dishes.
Try: Vegan Strawberry Cobbler Recipe