Benefits of Frozen Fruits and Veggies
I’m often asked about frozen produce and if it’s nutritious or clean. Frozen foods tend to have a reputation for being unhealthy, processed junk. But the truth is, you don’t need altogether to avoid the frozen aisle at the grocery store. There are actually many reasons to stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables!
Here are Five Benefits of Iced Produce:
Fully Ripened and Mature
Right after a fruit or veggie is picked, it begins to lose nutrients. This is one reason shopping at local farmer’s markets is a great idea, as that produce is usually recently harvested.
Alternatively, most fresh produce in supermarkets was grown and picked thousands of miles away and traveled to the store.
Frozen produce, however, was allowed to fully ripen, meaning they’re full of minerals, nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, before being harvested. Once they’re picked, they have frozen shortly after, meaning those nutrients have been “locked in.”
This means frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. (One study even found the frozen produce had higher levels of antioxidants!)
The freezing process preserves the produce, meaning no additives were needed to keep them “fresh.” With frozen products, “naked” produce is the norm, meaning there was no added sugar or salt. Head to the supermarket and look at the ingredient lists - you should usually find one word - the fruit or vegetable itself.
Easier on the Wallet
You may find that fresh produce is usually more expensive than its frozen counterpart. This makes it difficult for those shopping on a budget to get the fruits and vegetables they need. Instead, check out the frozen selection!
In many stores, frozen spinach can cost about 50 cents less than fresh spinach, and you get twice the amount! This is the same case with most organic fruits and berries.
Who else buys a bag of lettuce or spinach only to have it wilt and become inedible a few days later? It’s frustrating, expensive, and often causes people to default to a less healthy option.
But that doesn’t happen with frozen produce, which means you have much more flexibility with your food and time to enjoy it. Instead of replenishing your spinach every few days, only to have half of it go bad, you can stretch out the shopping trips, save money, and be confident that the food is still edible.
Convenience - Quick and Easy
In addition to lasting longer, frozen produce is also versatile and convenient. Frozen fruits and vegetables don’t require washing, peeling, or chopping often (depending on what you’re
buying). This means all you have to do is pull the bag from your freezer and toss it in the blender, skillet, slow cooker, or wherever.
Due to frozen produce being easy, prep-free, and available, utilizing it saves a ton of time. This means people who buy frozen are more likely to make healthy dishes at home, rather than eating takeout or throwing a pizza in the oven.
So what do I mean by frozen produce being versatile? I know I said you could toss them in your blender or skillet, but how, exactly? There are several ways to enjoy frozen fruits and veggies in place of fresh produce!
Here are four delicious ways to enjoy your frozen produce:
This is probably my favorite way to use frozen produce! Not only are smoothies delicious, but there are endless possibilities. And using frozen fruits and vegetables makes the smoothies creamier, thicker, and colder. (So, you can leave out the ice!) Lately, I’ve been adding frozen riced cauliflower to my smoothies which makes them ultra-creamy, and I get an easy cruciferous veggie boost in the morning.
Stir Fry is as easy as just tossing the frozen veggies in the pan, then saute them in some olive oil with herbs, and add your protein! You don’t even have to let them thaw before cooking the veggies. Or put them on top of some quinoa and brown rice for a vegetarian meal.
You can also saute them alone as a great side to your meal! Try one of these side recipes.
Try this Cashew Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
Or Try This Veggie and Beef Stir Fry!
On Yogurt or Oatmeal
You can let the frozen fruit thaw for a bit to add to your yogurt, or just toss it frozen on top of hot oatmeal to let it cool down that way! Try a few different combinations and flavors to see your favorite way to enjoy fruits with yogurt or oatmeal!
Here are some delicious overnight oat recipes you can try!
In a Soup or Stew
Soup and stew can be so easy and versatile, with so many different possibilities! Just toss a collection of your favorite ingredients into a pot or crockpot and enjoy. Many frozen vegetable options have an array of veggies that taste great together, making your prep even quicker and easier.
Some of my favorite recipes are this Minestrone Soup and this Comforting Beef Stew.
What is YOUR favorite way to prepare frozen fruits or vegetables?
Share in the comments below!