Fresh fruits and veggies are must-have’s to a healthier lifestyle, but did you know that its frozen counterpart can be just as amazingly nutritious? Nutrition Expert Lindsey Kane shares 5 reasons why it’s easier than ever to get our fill of fruits and veggies year-round!
Farm-to-table nutrition recommendations are the seeds to a healthy diet and can promote the wellbeing of both our population and our planet. Finding fresh, locally grown produce can sometimes be a challenge, making it difficult to meet our daily fruit and vegetable quota.
The solution? Frozen produce! Here are the 5 reasons why frozen produce is the unsung hero of healthy eating:
Year-Round Accessibility. Very few regions of the world have the type of climate that supports year-round farming. Freezing produce is an extremely clean preservation method that provides us with a consistent supply of our favorite produce items all year round. No matter where you live, you can find a variety of fruits and vegetables in the frozen department of your grocery store 365 days a year.
Nutrient Density. One of the most common nutrition misconceptions is that fresh is always best. The truth is, a pint of fresh berries grown and shipped from California all the way to the east coast spends an average of 10-14 days in transit, losing vital nutrients during its commute. Often times, this fresh produce is harvested prematurely and artificially ripened during transit, which prevents the produce from reaching its most flavorful and nourishing potential. Alternatively, frozen produce is grown to full maturity, harvested at its peak ripeness, and immediately flash frozen at the height of its nutrient density so that it can be safely shipped without the risk of nutrient loss. Studies have found that frozen produce tends to have comparable or higher levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than its fresh counterparts.
Wallet Friendly. For those concerned about the financial burden of healthy eating, frozen produce provides the best bang for your buck. Why? Freezing eliminates a lot of time and labor-intensive processes necessary to carry a produce item from farm to table. This reduction in labor and cost is shared among growers, packers, shippers, and retailers, and allows for frozen produce to be marked at a much more affordable, wallet-friendly price-point for consumers.
Time Saver. Most produce found in the freezer aisle has already been chopped or prepped in some way shape or form – think cut spinach, sliced bell peppers, shelled edamame, broccoli florets, and artichoke hearts. Even better, these items are blanched before freezing, meaning they are already cooked so the manufacturer has already done most of the prep work for us. This translates into shorter cooking time in the kitchen, allowing for healthy meals in a flash.
Convenient Inventory. Nothing is worst than stocking up with fresh produce at the beginning of the week, only to find all of your healthy intentions looking sad, wilted, and moldy just days later. Frozen produce gives you the ability to stock up on healthy fruits and vegetables without the risk of spoilage.
For a simple, easy-to-follow guide on how to maximize the flavor, texture, and enjoyment of frozen produce, read the full article!
Lindsey Kane, MS, RD, LDN is a San Francisco-based Registered Dietitian helping others live a stress-free, balanced, and thriving life. By getting to know her clients inside and out, Lindsey identifies the opportunities within their everyday lifestyle to integrate subtle changes that create lasting, impactful results. Learn more at Bite For Change!