This post brought to you by The Frozen Food Foundation. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Cookin’ Chicks.
Being a mom of three small children, my life is kind of crazy. Add in one dog, soon to be two, and lots of errands/chores, etc., it doesn’t leave much time for dinner prep. Although I absolutely love cooking, I also love finding short cuts to get dinner on the table quickly, and have everyone enjoy it. One of my shortcuts is buying frozen food. Whether it is a bag of frozen fruit to use in our morning smoothies, or buying a bag of frozen veggies to add as a side dish to our dinners. Not only is it quick to the table, but I know that I am serving something healthy for my family.
Did you know there was a study conducted by The University of California? In partnership with the Frozen Food Foundation, a study revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables are most often (or generally) nutritionally equal to – and in some cases better than, their fresh counterparts. For the 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). Knowing that, it definitely makes me feel good about cutting steps on dinner prep by using frozen.
Freezing fruit and vegetables is nature’s pause button and an easy way to combat things like the costs of fresh produce, the cost of fresh out of season produce, and issues like fresh fruits/vegetables spoiling before you’re able to prepare them. Not only are they generally more affordable, but they are also convenient. Rather than buying fresh broccoli and having to cut off the stalks, you can buy a bag of broccoli florets that is ready to go.
Nearly 80% of Americans fail to consume the recommended amounts of fruits, with nearly 90% failing to meet dietary recommendations for vegetables. With the ease of buying frozen, that is too high a number, and can easily be fixed. Given the increase in the rates of chronic diseases among all age groups, eating a diet rich in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is more important than ever. Whether adding frozen fruit to your smoothies, oatmeal, fresh breads, or serving veggies with dinner; freezing makes meals much easier to prepare for.
So, next time you are at the grocery store, I recommend grabbing a few bags of your favorite fruits/veggies and adding them to the meal plan. Not only will it cut time off your “to do” list, but it will also help your family get the recommended values they need.