I am a big fan of fresh produce. I usually prefer fresh Brussel sprouts, asparagus and salad greens, but I don’t count out frozen fruit and frozen vegetables.
You’ll find me buying frozen broccoli, green beans, cauliflower rice and edamame.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are blanched, boiled or steamed and then packaged within hours of being picked. The process helps lock in both fresh taste and nutritional value.
You will also find frozen produce available year round and in most cases, it’s cheaper than fresh.
Broccoli helps lower cholesterol and detoxifies the body. It’s also a good source of fiber to aid in digestion.
Toss florets with whole-wheat pasta, use in omelets or stir-fry with the protein of your choice.
Brussels sprouts help lower cholesterol and have anti-cancer benefits. Throw them on a sheet pan with a little olive oil and chopped garlic and roast at 400°F for 35 to 40 minutes.
Packed with cancer-reducing antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, spinach is also a good source of iron.
You can add chopped spinach to lasagna, scrambled eggs or any sauce for added flavor and nutrients.
It’s hard to believe how much cancer-fighting power is packed into such a small fruit. Keep them on hand to boost the flavor and nutrients in your protein shakes, or add frozen blueberries to hot oatmeal.
Rich in eye-protecting phytonutrients, green beans also help your bones stay strong, thanks to their high concentration of silicon.
One way I like to use frozen green beans is to sauté with sliced garlic, cherry tomatoes and red-pepper flakes.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that’s great for your vision, and heart-healthy antioxidants.
Throw frozen carrots into stews and soups—do so earlier in the cooking process if you prefer them more tender or toward the end for a little more crunch.
How to cook frozen vegetables
If you are going to be cooking, there are several ways to use frozen vegetables.
It is important to read the directions on the bag or box to give you an idea of how long to cook the vegetable you are using.
Saute frozen vegetables
Most frozen vegetables can be sautéed in 5 to 7 minutes. No need to defrost—just add oil to a hot pan and sauté to the desired doneness. For a flavor boost, try adding herbs and spices to the vegetables while they’re cooking.
Steam frozen vegetables
Steaming is the fastest cooking method. See the package instructions, but most frozen vegetables cook for between 2 and 10 minutes. However, be careful not to over-steam them, as this can lead to a mushy texture.
Roast frozen vegetables
Yes, you can roast frozen vegetables. Most roast nicely in 20 to 25 minutes. Place in a baking dish and flip halfway through.
Use herbs and spices to make the flavor of your vegetables pop.
Keep it simple
I find it is easier to keep it simple. Finding ways to incorporate vegetables into your meals that are enjoyable makes it easier to eat them and get in the needed nutrients.
Do you prefer fresh or frozen vegetables?