Frozen or fresh – this debate has been going on ever since freezers were invented, and will no doubt continue for many years yet. There are certain times when fresh food is best to buy, such as when it’s in season, or on sale, but frozen food is always there year-round.
Research suggests that keeping foods frozen can preserve nutrients, as the nutrients in fresh food degrade over time when they are stored. For optimum nutrition, choose frozen for the following foods:
1. Spiralized Vegetables
Spiralized veggies are often sold fresh in cartons, and they’re lower in carbs than pasta, so are a great way to make your meals healthier. The problem is that fresh versions of these vegetables often go bad in the fridge before you get chance to eat them.
Luckily, they can be found in the frozen section of your supermarket too. Defrost and reheat when you need them, and put the rest back in the freezer.
Berries are picked and flash-frozen at optimum freshness, so they keep all their nutrients. Raspberries are often expensive when bought fresh, so have a look in the frozen section instead. You can use them in warm recipes too, as they have a better texture and taste than fresh ones when warmed from frozen.
Broccoli is full of nutrients like calcium, fiber and vitamins, but after it’s been in your fridge for a while, the nutrition content starts to go down. Buy frozen broccoli instead, and use it as you would fresh.
4. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash can be laborious to prepare, so having it frozen makes it much more convenient. You can have frozen to reheated butternut squash within five minutes, while peeling, cutting and roasting fresh ones can take hours.
These are one of the best fruits to buy frozen when out of season. The freezing preserves the antioxidants, while fresh blueberries out of season lose their antioxidant properties during transport and storing. Add frozen blueberries to smoothies, oatmeal, juices and more.
Spinach is one of the most nutritious green veggies around, and frozen spinach is far cheaper than fresh. Use it whenever you need it, and put the rest back in the freezer.
Frozen avocado is becoming more widely available is stores now, and is great if you like to add avocado to smoothies, or use it in sauces and dressings.
8. Bell Peppers
If you prefer cooked bell peppers to fresh, the frozen sliced ones are a good choice as they retain more vitamin C and antioxidants than chopped fresh ones do. Chopped vitamin C becomes oxidized, so if the peppers are frozen straight away the nutrient is preserved, while fresh chopped ones lose it. Frozen peppers are also generally cheaper than fresh ones too.
Frozen kale is cooked the same way as frozen spinach, and can be added to many dishes. Fresh kale can be tough and bulky, but frozen kale has a better texture after it’s been cooked.