When considering our diet, we are all aware that fresh fruits and vegetables – packed with nutrition that is essential for good health – should make up a large percentage of what we consume each day.
Those who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an healthy diet are more likely to have a reduced risk of heart problems and chronic diseases.
When it comes to meal planning, having access to fruit and vegetables is essential, but it isn’t always as easy or affordable as we may think.
But what about frozen fruits and vegetables? Fresh fruits and vegetables from our weekly shop are more than likely to become forgotten about at the back of our fridge until they become spoiled and unsuitable for eating, which results in a huge waste of food and money over the space of a year.
In a recent FDA article, food waste is estimated at between 30–40 percent of the food supply and wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills.
In 2017 alone, almost 41 million tons of food waste were generated, with only 6.3 percent diverted for composting from landfills and combustion for energy recovery.
Many of us are taught that ‘fresh is best,’ but buying frozen fruits and vegetables may actually help to improve your diet, save lots of time and money, help to reduce waste and even decrease our carbon footprint.
Here are the ways in which we may benefit from buying frozen fruits and vegetables instead:
6 Reasons It Is Better To Buy Frozen Fruits And Vegetables
They are often nutritionally superior. The general misconception of buying frozen fruits and vegetables is that they aren’t as nutritionally effective. However, most fruits and vegetables that have been designated for freezing actually contain just as many nutrients as fresh, and in some cases more so.
The value of freeze packaging is in the manufacturing process – fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and immediately flash frozen, locking in all of the important nutrients and minerals.
In the case of fresh produce, (with farmer’s markets usually being the exception as their fruits and vegetables have been harvested on the same day), much of the nutritional benefits are lost in the time it has been in transit, stored in the product aisles and eventually sold to consumers in supermarkets.
Frozen fruit and vegetables also maintain their colour over time, whereas fresh does not.
They are convenient and a quick option to use. At the end of a busy and stressful day, frozen fruits and vegetables save lots of time during meal preparation as they do not need to be washed, peeled and chopped before they are cooked. This means that they are suitable for everybody, especially those with busy lifestyles and families.
They are generally much more affordable than buying fresh, and they can be purchased and stored in bulk. A large bag of frozen fruits or vegetables will invariably be much cheaper than buying the equivalent amount in fresh produce, and will often be available in supermarkets to purchase as part of 3 for 2 offers.
A bag of frozen fruit or vegetables lasts much longer than fresh, requiring only a small amount for each meal – simply use what you need and put the rest back in the freezer. This not only is cost-effective, but also helps to reduce our carbon footprints, packaging and general waste, which is great for the environment.
They are incredibly versatile. A well-stocked freezer with plenty of options allows for lots of interesting meals. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be blended into smoothies, soups and stews in seconds, or can be added to incredible stir fry dishes, added into yummy chicken pot pies, sautéed as a side dish with garlic, put on cereal or yogurt for a healthy snack and even mixed in with overnight oats.
They can be eaten all year round and aren’t susceptible to changes in the weather or season. While it is easier to buy fresh fruits and vegetables during the spring and summer months, buying frozen fruits and vegetables when the temperature drops also allows our favourite produce to be consumed out of season.
Give it a try – see how buying frozen fruits and vegetables can help to improve your diet, health, wallet and save you time!