Fresh vs. Frozen Food
Here at Scrumpt, we’re all about FRESH, LOCAL and SEASONAL. But as an on-the-go parent with convenience top-of-mind, trekking to the farmers’ market, sorting through mounds of produce and preparing the fruits and vegetables your family needs may not always fit into the agenda. While eating fresh local produce is wonderful (and highly recommended!), there are times when healthy foods need be convenient in order to find their way into your family’s busy schedule. So next time you’re rushing home from soccer practice and looking to get dinner together in a pinch, avoid the drive through and reach for a bag frozen veggies!
Frozen produce doesn’t require any prep. Simply throw vegetables into a steamer or a pan with olive oil. Frozen fruit is great in smoothies or as a topping for oatmeal.
So are frozen fruits and vegetables just as healthy as the fresh stuff? You bet! Fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen at the prime ripeness for vitamins and minerals. The nutrients within frozen fruits and vegetables are locked-in, unlike grocery store produce that may sit on a truck, then in the store, and finally in your refrigerator. What’s more is that frozen produce is often more affordable than fresh, especially when an item is out of season.
When shopping in the freezer section, take note of the following to make the healthiest choices for your family:
Look at the ingredients label; the healthiest choices will only list the fruit or veggie, no other ingredients
Avoid veggies that come with a cheesy or buttery sauce, this adds fat and sodium
Keep an eye on “best by” dates; even frozen produce will degrade after some time
Enjoy fresh local produce when you can, and allow frozen fruits and vegetables to fill half of your plate when you need a quick bite!
Amrie Weiss is a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for a variety of clients, offering services such as nutrition counseling, analysis, education, speaking, and writing. In addition, she volunteers for the local Celiac Support Association and several garden-based education programs. Amrie earned a bachelor’s degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship at UC San Diego Medical Center. She serves on the board of the San Diego Dietetic Association and is a member of the California Dietetic Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To learn more about Amrie and the services she provides, please visit amrieweissrd.com.
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