Have you ever wondered if fresh vegetables are better for you than frozen vegetables? This is a common question that many people ask themselves while shopping for produce at the grocery store.
Frozen vegetables are often more affordable and more convenient compared to fresh veggies. However, they do have their downfalls.
3Natives is dedicated to serving our communities healthy and delicious meals. Each of our locations use fresh ingredients to make our signature wraps, salads, acai bowls, smoothies, juices, and breakfast items.
Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of using fresh and frozen produce.
Are Frozen Vegetables as Nutritious as Fresh Ones?
Frozen vegetables are slightly less nutritional than fresh options. Most fresh fruits and vegetables that are intended to be frozen are picked at peak ripeness, which is when they contain the most nutrients.
Nutrients and water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B and C are lost during the blanching process. This is when the fresh vegetables are submerged in boiling water or oil for a short period of time. After being boiled, the vegetables are then placed into cold water.
The blanching process can help extend the shelf-life of the product, allowing the vegetables to stay fresh for longer.
Some of the nutrients found inside vegetables are sensitive to heat. Because of this, the heat during blanching can cause the vegetable to have less nutrients.
After undergoing the blanching process, the vegetables are then flash frozen. This freezing method uses extremely low temperatures and circulating air to quickly freeze the food.
What are the Pros and Cons of Picking Frozen Veggies over Fresh Ones?
The Pros of Choosing Frozen over Fresh
Frozen Vegetables Last Longer
Fresh vegetables can only last so long in your fridge or on your countertop before they start to become not-so-fresh. Most fresh vegetables can be stored between 1-2 weeks.
Bad vegetables must be tossed into the garbage as they’re unhealthy and unsafe for us to eat. So essentially, every vegetable you throw out could be thought of as wasted money.
Bottom line: Frozen veggies can be stored in your freezer for several months, allowing you to enjoy your vegetables as needed.
Good News: You can Enjoy Your Favorite Veggies Year-Round
Frozen vegetables can be easily transported from one place to the next thanks to their longer shelf-life.
So even if you can’t find those out of season green beans in the fresh produce aisle for that stir frying recipe you’ve been wanting to try, chances are you may be able to find it in the freezer aisle.
Frozen Produce is More Affordable
Frozen vegetables are typically less expensive than their fresh alternatives.
In addition to reduced cost, frozen vegetables can also contain more servings than the fresh option. This enables you to get more for your money.
Fresh produce takes time to prep depending on how you’re using it. For example, potatoes must be washed, peeled, and diced before they can be added into a dish. This can cause meal preparation to take longer and add more dishes to your dirty dish pile.
There are a variety of frozen vegetables available in different sizes, shapes, and cuts. These frozen vegetables often come ready to cook and require minimal prep work from you. So if you’re in a pinch and need a quick vegetable side dish, that package of frozen broccoli may be a good option for a daily dose of vitamins and nutrients.
Many frozen veggies can be found packaged in microwave safe containers, with many brands even offering packages ready-made for steaming frozen vegetables in minutes. This makes them suitable to be cooked in a microwave oven.
Cons of Eating Frozen Produce
Frozen Veggies May Not Be as Healthy
As we discussed earlier, frozen vegetables will not contain as much nutrients as their fresh versions. However, the loss of nutrients is minimal when compared to fresh vegetables.
Frozen Vegetables May Change in Taste and Texture
Like with many other frozen foods, you may notice that your frozen vegetables have a texture or taste that’s different from the fresh option. If texture is important to your dish, we recommend choosing fresh vegetables instead of frozen.
The blanching and freezing processes affect each vegetable differently, so keep that in mind when purchasing frozen vegetables.
Frozen Produce can Contain Additives
While shopping, keep an eye out for frozen vegetables that are made with additives. Before purchasing, take a few seconds to look at the ingredient list on the back of the packaging. Additives can be a variety of ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or seasonings.
Not all frozen vegetables contain additives, so don’t let this keep you from choosing frozen varieties over fresh.
Are Frozen Vegetables Considered Processed Food?
Processed food is food that has been cooked, frozen, canned, or packaged. Processed food is notorious for having higher amounts of sugar and sodium. The most processed foods are prepared meals, such as TV dinners or pizza.
Not all processed foods are bad. Some processed foods, including frozen fruits and vegetables, still contain the same vitamins and minerals as the fresh versions.
Find Fresh Options at 3Natives
Enjoy fresh and convenient healthy food at your local 3Natives. We have over 20 locations across the state of Florida and one location in Owasso, Oklahoma.
Our menu is full of fresh and flavorful smoothies, juices, salads, wraps, and breakfast options that are sure to satisfy. We offer online ordering and delivery at select locations, making us the perfect choice for a quick bite on-the-run.