Fresh Versus Frozen Vegetables
Some people don't usually eat enough vegetables. Can Frozen Vegetables help us meet our needs?
Vegetables in any form are better than no vegetables at all. Vegetables are full of nutrients-vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Freezing is a safe way to extend the shelf life of nutritious foods. However, many people mistakenly believe that frozen vegetables have much less nutritional value than fresh vegetables. There seems to be some debate about whether frozen vegetables are healthy and how they compare to fresh produce. We have the answers to how and when to choose.
When to choose frozen
As winter approaches, fresh produce is limited or expensive in most parts of the country, forcing many of us to turn to canned or frozen options. While canned vegetables may lose some nutrients during the preserving process, frozen vegetables may even be healthier than some of the fresh produce sold at the supermarket. Why is this so? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, when they're usually most nutritious.
While the first step in freezing vegetables-rinsing them in hot water or steam to kill bacteria and stop food-degrading enzymes-can cause some water-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C and B vitamins, to break down or leach out, the subsequent flash-freezing locks the vegetables in a relatively nutrient-rich state.
In addition, there was a significant difference in the price of fresh and frozen produce. For shoppers on a budget, frozen vegetables may be a better value. The average price of Frozen Cauliflower is $1.68 per pound, while the price of fresh cauliflower florets is closer to $3.13 per pound. In addition, fresh vegetables have a much shorter shelf life than frozen foods. If you are going to use them in a timely manner, fresh is a good choice. However, to reduce the risk of spoilage and waste, frozen is a safe option.
When to choose fresh vegetables
It's hard to argue with the flavor and nutrition of fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce, especially when in season, can be grown and purchased locally to ensure the tastiest and healthiest products. However, in many areas of the county, it is not practical to have them available year-round.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables shipped to fresh produce aisles across the country during the colder months are often picked before they are ripe, giving them less time to develop a full range of vitamins and minerals. The exterior may still show signs of ripeness, but the nutritional value of these vegetables is not the same as when they were fully ripe on the vine.
How to Cook Frozen Vegetables
If you are cooking, there are several ways to use frozen vegetables.
Stir-fry frozen vegetables
Not all frozen vegetables can be cooked in the same way. Therefore, be sure to read the instructions on the bag or box so you know how long to cook the vegetables you are using. That said, most frozen vegetables can be sauteed in 5 to 7 minutes. Instead of defrosting, simply add oil to a hot pan and sauté your choice of frozen vegetables to the desired doneness. To enhance flavor, try adding herbs and spices to the vegetables as they cook.
Steaming Frozen Vegetables
Since frozen vegetables initially turn white before being frozen, steaming is a proven cooking method. Steaming helps frozen vegetables work to their advantage and is the fastest cooking method of the bunch. Most frozen vegetables are cooked for 2 to 10 minutes. However, be careful not to over-steam them, as this can lead to a mushy texture that makes frozen vegetables taste bad.
Roasting Frozen Vegetables
Yes, you can roast frozen vegetables. Because of their processing, they cook slightly faster than fresh alternatives. Most frozen vegetables will roast nicely in 20 to 25 minutes, turning them halfway through. Again, this provides you with a wonderful opportunity to use herbs and spices to add flavor to your vegetables.
Please feel free to contact your Frozen Food Supplier with any needs