I love fresh fruits and vegetables, but when they are not in season, frozen is a great option that I like to take advantage of. Why use frozen foods? To start, they are a healthy option.
The University of California-Davis (UC Davis), in partnership with the Frozen Food Foundation, conducted an in-depth study to evaluate the nutrient content of eight commonly-purchased frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables. The study analyzed vitamins B2 (riboflavin), C and E, and B-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A); the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron; dietary fiber; and total phenolics (health-promoting plant compounds).
Results reveal that frozen fruits and vegetables are most often (or generally) nutritionally equal to – and in some cases better than – their fresh counterparts.
Because freezing is a bit like a pause button for food, it’s a convenient way to keep fruits and vegetables on hand without worrying about them spoiling. Frozen foods can also be more economical than fresh foods, especially those that are out of season.
Meal planning is a chore for most of use, and incorporating frozen fruits and vegetables helps make meal preparation convenient, affordable, and easy. Here are a few of the ways I enjoy using frozen foods.
Slow Cooker Meals
Just last week I used Birds Eye frozen green beans to make slow cooker beef and beans. My family enjoys this recipe and using frozen green beans makes it easy to put together in the morning and have dinner ready in the evening.
Chicken and broccoli chowder is one of my favorite soups and is a delicious dairy-free chowder. Frozen broccoli is used in this recipe, and I like to keep some on hand especially for making that soup.
Not long ago I shared my recipe for overnight oats that my son likes to take with him to work. He loves these oats topped with Wyman’s frozen blueberries. He ads the blueberries on top when he puts the ingredients together at night. By morning the berries are thawed.
Nearly 80 percent of Americans fail to consume the recommended amounts of fruit, with nearly 90 percent failing to meet dietary recommendations for vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are major contributors of essential nutrients in our diets, and consuming fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases.
One way that I like to incorporate fruits and vegetables into my diet is in smoothies. I like to use a combination of fresh and frozen food. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies because it chills and thickens the beverage as well as provides flavor and sweetness (like Wyman’s blueberries).
You can learn more about frozen foods by following visiting Frozen Food Foundation or following them here: