Frozen Fruit + Vegetables vs. Fresh – Is There A Nutritional Difference?
Frozen fruit and vegetables vs. fresh — is there a difference nutritionally? We’re checking out what the research has to say about the vitamin and antioxidant content of frozen produce compared to fresh. Plus, a delicious Frozen Raspberry Banana Nice Cream recipe!
March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Going Further with Food.” This means not only aiming to get the most bang for your buck from your meals nutritionally but also working to combat a major problem in our society while we’re at it — food waste.
Frozen fruits and veggies get a bad rap when it comes to nutrition. People often think they aren’t as healthy as fresh produce. But including frozen produce in your diet is an awesome way to fight food waste.
In today’s episode of “The Sitch,” we’re looking at what the research has to say about frozen vs. fresh fruits and vegetables.
I’m also sharing some delicious ideas for working more frozen fruit into your diet!
Frozen Fruit + Vegetables vs. Fresh
Many people think that frozen produce lacks the same nutritional value as fresh produce.
I’m going to get right to the punch line:
that’s simply untrue.
Fruits and vegetables are picked and frozen at peak ripeness, and studies show that they retain a comparable vitamin, mineral, and phytochemical content to their fresh counterparts.
In fact, many fruits and vegetables actually retain more nutrients when they’re frozen than when they’re eaten fresh.
One study showed that the vitamin C content of corn, green beans, and blueberries was actually higher in frozen samples, while the content in strawberries, carrots, spinach, peas, and broccoli was the same as in fresh produce.
Another study showed that one type of blueberry actually had a 29% increase in antioxidant activity after 3 weeks of cold storage.
A third study also showed that fresh blueberries had a greater loss of phenolic compounds over 10 days compared to blueberries that were frozen for 90 days.
This is likely due to the fact that produce can lose nutritional value the longer it sits out past its harvest date due to enzymatic activity and oxidation.
Between transit time to the farm to the distributor to the market, time spent on grocery store shelves, and then time spent sitting in your fridge – come on, we’re all guilty of waiting until the last minute to eat our fruits and veg – produce is exposed to air and light, which causes chemical changes in its composition.
This is why I like to incorporate both fresh and frozen fruit into my diet — to reap the benefits of each.
The benefits of fresh fruit are obvious. It tastes delicious! But there are so many benefits to frozen fruit as well.
It’s convenient, lasts longer, and costs less.
FAVORITE FROZEN FRUIT RECIPES
One of the main ways I use frozen fruit in #whitskitch is to make what I call “faux yo” or “nice cream.”
It’s basically frozen fruit “yogurt” and it’s made by simply pureeing frozen fruit in a high-powered blender or food processor with a little splash of non-dairy milk.
One of my favorite combos is frozen raspberries and bananas which makes a beautiful pink sorbet, or as I call it, “Raspberry Bliss Nice Cream.”
- 2 frozen bananas
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- ⅛ cup non-dairy milk
- Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Serve immediately!
I also like tossing frozen raspberries into my Super Seed Oatmeal. The berries melt as the oatmeal cooks infusing it with incredible flavor.
You can also enjoy frozen raspberries straight from the bag with a square of dark chocolate for an evening treat.
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Weigh-in: Do you eat frozen fruits and vegetables? What’s your favorite way to eat frozen fruit?
*This post is sponsored by The National Processed Raspberry Council. I thank you for your support of #whitskitchapproved companies that allow me to do what I do, bringing you the most up-to-date evidence-based nutrition information!