For Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month, there's more to the story than fresh or canned fruits and vegetables -- there are also frozen versions!
Frozen vegetables are a great way to add veggies to your diet. They are harvested and frozen while they’re at their ripest, which really gives their flavor a boost. When shopping for veggies out of season, frozen options are a great choice. They’re also budget friendly and last much longer in the freezer than fresh veggies do in the fridge.
There are some dangers to watch out for, though. Frozen foods can be surprisingly high in sodium, even when they don’t have a salty taste. Look for options that are sodium-free. If your food comes with a sauce packet, consider throwing it out or only using part of it — lots of sodium sneaks in that way too!
Just like with frozen vegetables, frozen fruits are harvested at the peak of ripeness. They keep well in the freezer and their flavor is bright and fresh. Plus, they’re often less expensive than fresh fruits.
Toss some frozen fruit into a smoothie or defrost it and puree it for a versatile sauce that can top anything from pancakes to desserts. Frozen fruit is also perfect for baked goods — just check the recipe to see whether you should defrost it first.
In order to make the most healthful choice, select frozen fruits that are just that: fruit. Steer clear of sweetened options — the fruit will be sweet enough as is. Plus, quite a bit of added sugar can hide in frozen fruits. Steer clear of those extra empty calories and choose 100% fruit options instead.
Want to share this information with your clients? Here's a free fruit and vegetable handout, just for you!
And don't miss these wonderful educational posters from the Nutrition Education Store...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.