While tossing groceries into our cart, it’s always nice to have a few fresh vegetables in the mix. But since the options vary depending on the time of year and where you live, many of us have to rely on the freezer section to get our daily dose of green. But are frozen vegetables as healthy (or tasty) as their fresh counterparts?
A study conducted by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found the vitamin content of frozen vegetables to be pretty much the same as fresh ones — if not higher. Peas and broccoli were found to be even more nutritious than the fresh options, likely because they're selected at their peak ripeness and kept in that state. Fresh vegetables are usually picked a bit earlier to account for the time traveling to grocery stores and sitting on the shelves. The experts at Fruits and Veggies: More Matters say this is the same when it comes to canned vegetables, too.
But what about the flavor? This comes down to water content — vegetables with more water will never taste as good when frozen. The folks at America’s Test Kitchen broke down some of the most common options in a handy visual guide:
With their high water-content, it makes sense mushrooms and bell peppers should be avoided, so keep a keen eye out for those popping up in bags of mixed frozen vegetable medleys.
At the end of the day, it’s always a good idea to pack your meals with plenty of veggies, no matter which form they're in when they enter your home.
Canned, frozen, or fresh: Eat ‘em up!