Myth busters … Are frozen vegetables good for you?
It’s an age-old debate, that’s probably been happening since freezers became a standard fixture in homes. It is the question of whether frozen vegetables are good for you. Are nutrients and vitamins lost in the freezing process? Is fresh always best? What about food waste? So many questions; but we’ve got the answers! Read on to learn whether frozen veggies are good for you.
The simple answer is yes! From a nutritional point of view frozen veggies can be just as good for you as fresh veggies. Picked and packed in their prime, frozen vegetables contain just as many nutrients as fresh veggies. In fact, some studies have shown that freezing vegetables is the ideal way to stop nutrient loss that can occur as vegetables age.
So, what are the pros and cons of using frozen vegetables?
· Decreased food waste – Frozen veg can last for months in your freezer, and you can easily control the portion sizes you need leading to less waste.
· Nutrient dense - Picked and packed in their prime frozen vegetables contain just as many nutrients as fresh veggies. In fact, they can contain more nutrients because they're frozen so soon after being picked.
· Frozen vegetables are usually cheaper and more widely available, making them a more budget-friendly option.
· Imported fruit and veg - Some varieties of frozen vegetables in major supermarkets are sourced from outside of Australia, so if you want to support local producers ensure you read the packaging, choose Australian grown, and shop with smaller grocers.
· Changes to texture - The texture of some vegetables changes after being frozen. This is because water expands when frozen, and as vegetables have a high water content they can swell when frozen and contract when defrosted resulting in an altered texture. To avoid this, it’s best to cook frozen veg from frozen, rather than defrosting them.
So, which is better, fresh or frozen? Much of it is a matter of personal preference, but truthfully, the only wrong way to eat vegetables is to not eat them at all.