Is frozen produce as good as fresh????
You Had a loooong exuasting day at work. Its already dark and biting cold out……
You want to reach home, get cozy and have a hot piping soup for dinner.
And what??? you remember… no grocery shopping over weekend because of harsh weather conditions…. so no vegetables to add to soup … You decide to drive to the supermarket on your way back but in vain…. they hardly had anything left. Just the worn out, wilted leafy greens…. Now what???
Winter months in up North and Summer months down south make us struggle to get our fresh produce at reasonable rates. Most of the seasonal farmers’ market close during these peak winter and summer months, living us with hardly any options.
It is not unusual to prefer fresh produce over frozen.
Frozen foods are considered most unhealthy, chemically treated and flavorless and do not promote healthy eating habit.Until recently, I was very skeptic about frozen produce. Little research convinced me that frozen produce is not bad either rather it might be a great option.
In March 1998, Food and drug administration (FDA) indicated that frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalent to fresh product and may exceed the fresh product under certain circumstances.
Scientists have used flash freezing technique to freeze vegetables and fruits.
Clarence Birdseye invented flash freezing technique. He found out that preserving vegetable by rapidly freezing them at extremely cold temperatures retains its taste and turgor.This concept inspired massive frozen produce business.
In commercial processing, foods are flash frozen to maximize nutrient retention.
It also helps in keeping the food fresh and flavorful. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen at peak of their ripeness retaining their nutrients and flavor. Before flash freezing, vegetables are blanched with hot water to kill bacteria. On the other hand fresh produce loses its nutritional value and flavor if not used quickly.
Frozen vegetables are good for cooking but not recommended for salads or raw eating. Frozen fruits can be used in baking. Frozen berries serve the purpose of quick and nutritious dessert and great addition for smoothies/ juices.
In conclusion, frozen produce is better option for off season and definitely serves the purpose of adding recommended 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Undoubtedly fresh produce is best in ideal situation but frozen vegetables and fruits are not bad either.
Next time when you grab the frozen slob of spinach instead of those fresh green beautiful looking leaves, be assured you are still doing the right thing. Eating vegetables and fruits is very important for good health and there is undeniable way to it…..