The pros of frozen food
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Eating healthy takes effort – and planning! Summer’s bountiful harvest makes eating well more simple, but what to do during the other months of the year? Surprisingly, frozen fruits, vegetables and meats can throw a big punch of vitamins and minerals into your everyday meals! Not convinced? Read on to learn the benefits of frozen foods.
Frozen food can be healthy - As far as nutrition goes, frozen produce can in fact beat out fresh vegetables and fruits. What is the logic behind this? The frozen produce is picked at its peak and then immediately frozen, locking in nutrients, flavor and texture; while fresh fruits and vegetables may be transported and sit in grocery store for weeks.
Frozen fish and meat also stack up well against their fresh counterparts. According to the FDA, freezing meat and poultry does not affect the nutritional value. And with today’s advanced freezing technology, fish can be flash frozen quickly after being caught, even sometimes on the fishing boat! Experts advise to slowly thaw fish and meat to keep the flavor intact.
What to look for at grocery store - There can be unhealthy frozen foods. Do your body a favor and read the nutrition facts. Lots of packages will claim to be “healthy” or “low-sodium” but you cannot be sure until you read the cold, hard facts. Make sure to keep sodium under 200 mg. Frozen food is also helpful with portion control. It’s usually packaged in accurate size portions taking out the guesswork for you, allowing you to effortlessly control your intake of calories. With frozen meat, look at how much it weighs to determine what a serving size would be.
Convenience – There is a reason why 25% of people have passed off frozen food as their own cooking: lack of effort needed to prepare. It’s popular to stock up on frozen food since it’s also reasonably priced. Many people have an assortment of frozen fruits, vegetables and meat in their freezers to use when they wish.
How to properly freeze your own food
Do you want to start freezing food for future use? First, choose the appropriate food – don’t try to freeze fruits and vegetables with high water content like watermelon or lettuce. They will become soggy when thawed. Freeze items like soup, chili, casseroles and meat dishes like meatballs or enchiladas. All food, especially your fresh produce, should be frozen quickly. The sooner it is frozen, the better it will taste.
Make sure your freezer space is kept at zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If the temperature varies even the tiniest amount, your food may spoil. Avoid freezer burn by using moisture-proof plastic bags or air-tight containers. Label the container with the date, contents and baking instructions.
What is your favorite dish you make that freezes well? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know, or leave a comment below!