Fresh vs frozen – which is best?
Australians are notoriously poor vegie and fruit eaters, coming no- where near the recommended target of five veg and two fruit each day.
How can we increase our intake?
Part of the problem is that fruit and vegetables, when they are fresh, have a pretty short shelf life. We need to aim to make them more available and accessible. One way to do this is to have plenty of fruit and vegies in your freezer, so you can can have them any time.
Are frozen fruit and veg as nutritious as fresh?
Recent studies have shown that, some frozen produce may be just as nutritious, if not a little more so than fresh. Sound strange? Well, here’s the reason – some fruit and vegies might not be a peak freshness when you eat them. It often takes quite some time for produce to get to the supermarket and it may sit on the shelves for a few days before you buy it. It then may be in your fridge or in your fruit bowl for a day or two before you eat it. Some of the water soluble vitamins (B and C), tend to be lost as the produce sits around.
Fruit and vegetables are often “snap-frozen” almost as soon as they are picked, therefore are at their most nutritious. The nutrients are almost “frozen in” and will not deteriorate if kept frozen until consumption.
Recommendations for keeping up your fruit and vegie intake
Where possible, eat your fresh produce – ideally, of course from your own vegie garden, if you are fortunate enough to have one, or perhaps from your farmers market or local green grocer. This way, there is not too much time from harvest to the table. The best way is to eat your fresh produce early in the week and then move on to your frozen produce. This way, you are keeping up your intake, along with all the vitamins, minerals and very importantly fibre.
Some ideas for frozen fruit and veg:
- Make a quick stir-fry using a 600g bag of pre-cut frozen mixed vegies. Add some meat, if liked, and some low salt and sugar sauces. This will provide a family of four with two serves of vegetables each.
- Squeeze the liquid out of frozen spinach and use to bulk up curries, frittata and soups
- Throw a handful of mixed frozen berries into a smoothie or a bowl of yoghurt for a delicious and nutritious snack, or part of a meal. One cup of berries counts as one serve of fruit
- Blitz frozen mango into a simple and delicious sorbet.