Fruits and vegetables–so important to a family’s nutrition. I try to make sure that my kids eat at least one serving of fruit or vegetable with lunch every day and a serving or two at dinner. During the late summer when my garden is in full production that’s pretty easy. The rest of the year it can be more of a challenge. That’s when frozen fruits and vegetables can help!
Freezing food is like hitting nature’s “Pause” button, locking in the nutrients at the moment they are frozen. Really! Recently the University of California, Davis, in partnership with the Frozen Food Foundation, conducted a study on frozen food. They analyzed each fruit and vegetable in both the frozen and fresh state. For the frozen vegetables they were checked at 24 hours after harvest (things are frozen right away!) at 10 days of storage and 90 days of storage. The fresh stored items were checked within 24 hours of harvest and then at 3 and 10 days of storage in a refrigerator.
The results? Frozen fruits and vegetables were found to be generally nutritionally equal or in some cases better than their fresh counterparts. So you don’t have to buy limp, overpriced, out of season vegetables fresh at your local grocery store to give your family great nutrition–instead you can purchase high quality, cost effective and convenient frozen foods with confidence! And because they are frozen you don’t have to worry about using those veggies up quickly before they spoil. That “pause” button will keep them waiting patiently in your freezer.
Did you know that nearly 80 percent of Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fruit each day, and almost 90 percent don’t meet the recommendations for vegetables? That’s terrible–because those same fruits and vegetables contribute essential nutrients in our diets. Not only that but eating fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases. I’ve always been a big believer that lots of fad dieting doesn’t work–that eating a wide variety of foods in moderation is the key to good health–It’s good to know that the research bears that out.
One of the things I find most cost effective to purchase frozen is fruit. If you are cooking or making smoothies like we do for treats sometimes, there is no contest between buying overpriced midwinter “fresh” fruit (that frequently looks not quite as fresh as you might like) and frozen fruit. I’m a Maine girl–so I love blueberries–and these Wyman’s Maine Blueberries are a great way to keep them on hand for blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes or an after school blueberry smoothie.
I’m a from scratch girl for most of my cooking, but when I’m in a rush or if I’m heading out of town and Yankee Bill is responsible for dinner I like to leave him some Green Giant steamer side dishes. It’s one way I know he’ll put a vegetable on the plate–if it’s already been seasoned and mixed together so all he has to do is pop it in the microwave and then into a bowl. It’s a great option for busy days too!
What’s your favorite way to use frozen fruits and vegetables?
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