In an ideal world, we would all eat locally grown, fresh, seasonal produce, in the peak of its ripeness. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for most of us.
We depend on our local grocery stores to supply us with produce. Oftentimes, we are left wanting more of a variety of produce, or maybe something a little more affordable. This is where frozen produce shines.
Nutritionally speaking, frozen fruits and vegetables often contain more vitamins and minerals than their fresh counterparts. This is
because most are processed immediately after being harvested, when they’re at their peak ripeness and most nutrient-packed form.
Frozen fruits and vegetables also don’t have the abundant sodium that most canned goods have.
Being frozen also increases the longevity of the food. Frozen produce can be preserved for up to one year. This means that with a little planning and stocking up, you can have access to seasonal produce even when it’s out of season. Why not have butternut squash in the middle of March?!
Convenience and Versatility
Most frozen produce is already peeled, chopped, de-seeded, etc. This makes it that much more convenient to unthaw and throw into your favorite smoothie, soup, casserole or other favorite dish. If you have extra or left over produce from a recipe or your garden, freezing it is a great way to reduce food waste.
Frozen produce is often much cheaper than fresh produce. For example, frozen spinach is one of the best bargains in the grocery store You can usually purchase a 10 ounce pack of frozen chopped spinach for around $2. It takes about 2 pounds of fresh spinach (which costs around $3 per pound) to yield one 10oz frozen package.
Not all frozen produce is created equally. Watch out for added sugar in frozen fruit. Try to stay away from frozen fruit
smoothie mixes all together. It’s easy to
make your own
! Other items to watch out for are vegetables smothered in sauces. Many food manufacturers will add cheese or other
cream based sauces which contain extra sodium, fat, and extra calories. Make sure to check the nutrition label. Read the ingredients
and avoid buying anything with added ingredients other than the fruit or vegetable itself.