We have long been told that fresh vegetables are the best option for good nutrition, but times have changed. This rule is from a time when home gardens meant fresh vegetables were picked right before they were eaten. However, in today’s world, fruits and vegetables are often picked before they are completely ripe. This is done so that they are at their peak while they are in the grocery store. Unfortunately this process, prevents the fruits and vegetables from completely ripping on the vine, reducing the amount of nutrients they provide. Then they continue to lose more nutrients in the long travel to the store. As well as each day they remained shelved in or in the fridge before they are eaten.
Frozen vegetables on the other hand, are traditionally picked at their peak of freshness. The time when they have the most nutrients. They are then flash frozen. This locks in the nutrients and allows them to be as fresh as the day they were picked. So why the bad reputation? This process of freezing vegetables has changed. When frozen vegetables were originally created, they were blanched before freezing. Which caused them to lose much of their nutrients in the boiling process.
If you are lucky enough to still have a garden in your backyard, or if it’s summer and there is a local farmers market, fresh vegetables are still the way to go. If not, however, it’s time to rethink the frozen food isle.
Just remember that, like fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables do eventually begin to break down, and lose nutrients while they are in the freezer. However, this process takes several months rather than several days, so stock up on frozen vegetables for 1-3 months at a time. Also make sure to steam your vegetables rather than boil them. The heat from the boiling process breaks down the nutrients, destroying those valuable minerals you were after in the first place.
Gorman, Racheal Moeller. “Fresh vs. Frozen Vegetables: Are We Giving up Nutrition for Convenience?” Eating Well. November 2007. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/fresh_vs_frozen_vegetables_are_we_giving_up_nutrition_fo
Kingsley, Kathy. “Surprising Benefits of Frozen Fruits and Vegetables – Next Avenue.” Next Avenue. January 31, 2013. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://www.nextavenue.org/surprising-benefits-frozen-fruits-and-vegetables/