When you consider frozen vegetables vs fresh you may think fresh is the healthier option. Fresh is not always best, here are some great reasons frozen vegetables are great:
Frozen vegetables are packed full of nutrients.
They are cheap.
They are convenient.
They store for much longer leading to less food waste.
They are tasty if you cook them right.
They are still considered substandard to fresh vegetables, why is that?
Frozen vs fresh – how fresh is fresh?
Frozen vegetables may contain more nutrition than fresh ones. You may know this already, but it’s surprising how many people don’t.
It does of course come down to what we mean by fresh.
If you pick directly from the tree or plant, you will be getting the maximum nutrition the fruit or vegetable contains.
Fruit and vegetables will begin to lose nutrition from the moment they are picked.
Fresh fruit and vegetables in your local shops and supermarkets have probably been through a huge process to get to the shelves.
Moving, handling and preparing fruit and vegetables destroys vitamins and minerals.
Many fresh products come from other countries nowadays, so they may have been in transit for quite a few days. They are then stored and later, moved to the shelves before you buy them and transport them home.
Moving and handling fruit and vegetables diminishes those precious vitamins and minerals.
Fruit and vegetables that come prepared have lost even more of those nutrients because they have been chopped and handled.
Frozen fruit and vegetables are usually picked and fast-frozen close to the source. The fast freezing process means that nutrients do not diminish making them more nutritious than some of your fresh produce.
Rich in vitamins and minerals
Eating a variety of frozen fruit and vegetables will boost your intake of vitamins and minerals. Aim to fill half your plate with a variety of vegetables at every meal.
Frozen vegetables are cheap
The staples in my freezer are:
- Mixed Vegetables
- Green beans
When I do a cost per kilo comparison at my local supermarket, most of these vegetables are, on average, three times less expensive than their fresh counterparts.
The only vegetables I insist on buying fresh are carrots. I just don’t like frozen carrots.
I still buy fresh vegetables too, but these are exclusively vegetables that I eat raw:
- Cauliflower (yep)
- Sugar snap peas
- Trimmed beans
- Baby corns
Nutritious and low-calorie snack foods.
Frozen vegetables come prepared and ready to cook making them a quick option to help you lose weight.
People love convenience foods.
Open a box or a bag, throw it in the oven, and forget about it.
Frozen vegetables are just as convenient and if you know what you are doing, they will taste great.
Easy to store
How many times have you bought home a rainbow of fresh and tasty vegetables?
You put them all in the fridge and feel proud.
How healthy does your fridge look right now?
How does it look a week later when you haven’t used those vegetables?
Not so appealing, right?
Frozen vegetables keep for months. There is no need to choose your dinner based on what is going to go off first.
Frozen vegetable recipe ideas
Frozen vegetables are a great go-to for weight loss. They are fast to prepare and steam quickly in the microwave to keep those nutrients.
I love to cook vegetables in the microwave, it’s so quick. Just make sure you have a container with a lid to hold in all that steam. When vegetables are this quick to prepare you’ll be eating frozen vegetables every day.
Stir-fried – start them off in the microwave and finish them off in the pan with a little olive oil and some fresh garlic. Char them slightly for even more flavor.
Curried – One of my favorites is mixed veg and diced potatoes slow-cooked in a pan with curry spices (I adapted this recipe slightly). Make sure the pan has a lid on and let the vegetables slow steam in their own juice. low low heat for this one.
Ratatouille – With a little chicken and rice, ratatouille is amazing – check out this recipe.
Omelette – vegetables for breakfast? An omelette makes everything ok. Cook up some tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn a few peas, and throw it all inside an omelette wrapper. Protein and vegetables first thing in the morning.
Salads – no not the boring ones. Get creative, salad is so much more than lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. Defrost green beans, peas, and sweetcorn, or let some steamed broccoli cool for some flavor to your salad.
Soups – Pan full of water and a little bit of every vegetable in your freezer. Add some vegetable stock and some diced potato and you’ve got a very healthy lunch or starter. I remove half the vegetables once cooked, throw the rest in the blender and reintroduce the remaining vegetables for texture.
Vegetable rice – This is a staple in our house. Prepare some rice, put a huge bowl of vegetables on cook in the microwave and mix them with some undiluted chicken stock, fresh garlic, fresh basil, and tomato puree. Great for controlling the starchy carb intake.
Roasted Mediterranean vegetables – Add red onions, courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), tomatoes, and peppers to a large baking tray with whole crushed garlic cloves and olive oil. Roast in the oven on moderate heat until cooked through and soft. Mix in a little tomato puree and fresh basil before serving.
Vegetables are not just about weight loss
A nutrient-rich diet high in vitamins and minerals will benefit your overall health.
Vitamins and minerals are vital in maintaining a healthy immune system, digestive system and aids all your bodily functions.
Did you know that one chili far surpasses your daily requirement for vitamin c?
Did you know that vitamin a can come from vegetables as well as meats and that mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight will feed you huge amounts of vitamin d?
Vegetables truly are superfoods and we should give them priority in every meal.
They don’t have to be boring, they can be exciting.
Be creative with your vegetables and you may even find yourself making them the main feature of your meals.