Benefits of Frozen Vegetables

Why frozen vegetables can be the healthy choice

There is no denying that frozen vegetables are very convenient and save a lot of time for busy cooks, but they do provide other benefits as well. In an ideal world we would all eat organically grown vegetables that were harvested immediately before cooking, but unfortunately this is not possible for most people. We have to use canned or frozen vegetables for convenience or when the vegetables we want are out of season and, unlike most canned vegetables, frozen ones keep much of their nutritional value and can even be healthier than the fresh vegetables sold in supermarkets.

Commercially frozen vegetables

Vegetables picked for freezing are usually processed at the peak of their ripeness when they contain most nutrients. Although some water soluble nutrients such as the B vitamins and vitamin C tend to be broken down by blanching with steam or hot water this step is necessary to prevent degradation by enzymes or bacteria. The vegetables still contain quite a lot of nutrients unlike some of the ‘fresh’ produce we find in our supermarkets. These vegetables are usually picked before they have ripened so they do not have as long to develop the vitamins and minerals that you find in fully ripened produce. Although they may show outward signs of ripening, they do not develop their proper nutrient content. A further problem is that they are likely to be exposed to heat and light on the long journey to the supermarket and this can further diminish their vitamin and mineral content. You may need to think about how to block lectins too to make sure you absorb the most from the vegetables. Unless you are able to buy really fresh and ripe vegetables, you will be better off buying frozen ones to ensure you give your family the highest level of nutrients.

Freezing vegetables at home

If you are able to grow your own fruit and vegetables you will know that you are frequently faced with a glut of certain vegetables. Most vegetables can be frozen and it makes sense to freeze them at the peak of condition for use later on. Most vegetables should be blanched before freezing and you will need a wire basket to contain them. Blanching is done by plunging the vegetables into rapidly boiling water which you then bring back to the boil as quickly as possible. Time the blanching period (which varies with different vegetables) from the second that the water reaches the boil again. When the blanching time is up, the vegetables should be plunged into iced water to cool quickly so they do not cook any more, drained and dried. Always remember to label bags or containers of frozen produce with the contents and the date they were frozen.

For large amounts of produce, a chest freezer will be more practical than an upright if you have the room for one. Freezers are capable of freezing different amounts of produce at a time, so if you are intending to do much home freezing you need to look carefully at the chest freezer range to ascertain which will be most suitable for your needs.

Frozen vegetables, whether commercially or home frozen, should be eaten within a few months as they will inevitably lose some of their nutrient content. Steaming or microwaving vegetables is preferable to boiling because it reduces the loss of water soluble vitamins.

Comments

  1. I freeze vegetable from my garden when I have a lot. I use them during winter times.

  2. am squeamish at times but frozen veggies are one of my go-to items at the grocers! i love preparing + eating buttered mixed vegetables! 🙂

  3. As much as I can I try to use fresh vegetables but I also have frozen veggies as back up in case I am not able to go to the market.

  4. i get frozen veggies all the time. they are really good and picked at it’s prime.

  5. I do lots of freezing veges and fruits. Convenient for busy momi and saves $$$ too

  6. We have a huge backyard garden and I love that I am able to freeze some of them when winter is on the way. But this year though, we are a bit sad we are leaving and we won’t get to enjoy our garden as much. I still am able to freeze some though like the leafy ones. I like the frozen ones a lot better than the ones in can since the frozen ones still has all the nutrition that we need out of the vegetables and fruits. 🙂

  7. I eat frozen fruits and vegetables more than in can. The taste is far way better than in cans.

  8. It’s a good thing that I live in Baguio City and we usually get fresh veggies from the market everyday or whenever we’re in the mood for some veggies. 😛 We never run out of carrots, beans or bell peppers though, it’s like the most common veggies around here. 😛

    I have yet to try freezing veggies at home, I imagine it would take a lot of time and it seems like a lot of work too. 😛

  9. I prefer frozen veggies compared to fresh ones…fresh veggies turn bad in 3 days…that’s why I like frozen or store them in the freezer.

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