This post brought to you by Frozen Food Foundation. All opinions are 100% mine.
Did you know that not only can frozen fruit and vegetables be more economical, but they also may be more nutritious for you than the fresh varieties in your local grocery store?
The advantage of frozen fruits and vegetables is that they usually are picked when they're ripe, and then they're flashfrozen, which tends to preserve their nutrients. Freezing is just natures "pause button" As a general rule, frozen fruits and vegetables are superior nutritionally to those that are canned because the canning process tends to result in nutrient loss. Also when buying frozen fruits and vegetables, shy away from those than have been chopped up, peeled completely or crushed; as they will generally be less nutritious than their whole counterparts.
Many frozen prepared meals contain frozen fruits and vegetables as part of complete meal options. Adding frozen fruits and vegetables as a side dish to frozen prepared meals and snacks is a great way to tailor your meal while helping meet recommended daily fruit and vegetable intakes. My favorite part about frozen fruits and vegetables are that they are affordable for your wallet, nutritious as they pass down your gullet and delicious to your palate.
A study conduced by the Frozen Food Foundation and University of Georgia compared the nutrient content of eight commonly purchased frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables: blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, green beans, corn, spinach, cauliflower and green peas.
Each fruit and vegetable had been analyzed under three different conditions: frozen; fresh (on the day of purchase); and fresh-stored (after ﬁve days of storage in a kitchen refrigerator).
The study results reveal that, in many cases, the nutritional value – namely the amounts of Vitamins A, C and folate – of frozen fruits and vegetables is greater than that of fresh-stored produce owing nutrient degradation resulting from long storage time.
Does that change your opinion of frozen foods? Maybe take a stroll down that isle next time you are shopping and stock up on some delicious fruits and vegetables as well as some frozen prepared meals for those nights that you are in a rush, or just want something different for a change. A lot of time my family will pick up a frozen meal that we might not want to buy all the ingredients for to make ourselves and you would be hard pressed to be able to tell the difference if it was made from scratch or not, as long as you are buying quality brands.
Even as recently as this week we have bought some delicious frozen items and they all were fantastic additions to our weekly meal routine. With cooler weather creeping in, and busier than ever with holidays, and company filtering in and out, a frozen meal is a blessing when things are hectic.
One night we had Healthy Choice's 100 percent natural pumpkin squash ravioli, a savory tasting ravioli that even my daughter throughly enjoyed, and she is one picky eater. As a side we had some of Birds Eye's farm fresh mixture, of broccoli florets, cauliflower and carrots. This made for an extremely filling, healthy and flavorful weeknight treat that didnt take long to prepare at all.
Later in the week, we had some of the savory flavors of Stouffer's creamed chipped beef on toast (known as S.O.S. to some), paired with Green Giant steamers Backyard Grilled Potatoes and Marie Callendar's Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. This was a comfort meal feast, if I might say to myself. My daughter had an extra helping of the macaroni as well, because it was just that good.
Bed time snacktime has become almost synonymous with Hot Pockets these days, as that's all my little one ever seems to want. I can feel good knowing that she is having a full belly of deliciousness when we pull one out of the microwave before bedtime.
Friday night we are saving for one of our favorite treats, and what my daughter has been calling "da-weenies" ever since she could speak. Buitoni's Spinach and Cheese Tortelinis. Paired with some frozen veggies and french bread, this is another complete meal, healhy and delicious from the frozen food isle. Not only am I saving money by buying some frozen foods, but I am also feeling better knowing that they are just as good for you, if not better than other varieties.
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