This post brought to you by The Frozen Food Foundation. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Simple Green Moms.
You are not even going to believe this right now: it SNOWED today. Yup. Our office desks are right next to a couple of big ginormous windows so we got to witness the first signs of winter weather. Lucky us! =)
We were actually super excited about the snowflakes for about 11.2 seconds until it hit us: winter is HERE. And it is here NOW. Blah. Not only does winter weather mean no more warm sun shiny days. Winter also means no more farm fresh fruits and veggies or reasonable prices in the produce section. Luckily (cue the super hero music!) we can rely on frozen fruits and veggies for our year-round cooking needs. They are convenient, affordable, nutritious and best of all – they are always available! We add them to our dinners and packed lunches pretty much every single day.
The University of California-Davis (UC Davis), in partnership with the Frozen Food Foundation evaluated the nutrient content of eight commonly-purchased frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables and the results were quite impressive. Their study analyzed vitamins B2 (riboflavin), C and E, and B-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A); the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron; dietary fiber; and total phenolics (health-promoting plant compounds).
For this particular study, each fruit and vegetable was analyzed under the following conditions: frozen (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after 10 and 90 days of storage in a freezer) and fresh-stored (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after three and 10 days of storage in a refrigerator). The results revealed frozen fruits and vegetables are most often (or generally) nutritionally equal to – and in some cases even better than – their fresh counterparts.
In other words, freezing fruits and vegetables is basically like pushing nature’s pause button. It is such an easy way to combat things like the cost of fresh produce, the cost of fresh ‘out of season’ produce and issues like fresh fruits and vegetables spoiling before you are able to prepare and eat them. They are also a super simple way for Americans to up their intake of essential nutrients in our diets because nearly 80 percent of Americans fail to consume the recommended amounts of fruit, and nearly 90 percent fail to meet dietary recommendations for vegetables.
Soooooo yes, WINTER is HERE and it is here NOW, but there are no more excuses friends. Since fruits and veggies are major contributors of essential nutrients in our diets that are associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases it just makes sense to eat more. We think frozen fruits and veggies are the perfect way to make sure you stay healthy and stay out of those statistics mentioned above.