You may remember the saying, “Fresh is best.” You might even still believe it! But thanks to a growing body of research on the nutrition benefits of produce we now know that fresh produce isn’t any better than frozen. In honor of National Frozen Food Month this March, we’re going to be busting some myths today around frozen fruits and veggies!
Great Nutrition: A number of studies show that there are minimal differences in the nutrient content of frozen versus fresh produce and in some instances, frozen has even more nutrients than fresh! Frozen fruits are generally picked at peak ripeness, when they’re most nutritious and the freezing process helps lock in those nutrients. In fact, Wild Blueberries are frozen fresh within 24 hours of harvest, when their flavor and antioxidant goodness are at their ultimate peak!
Less Food Waste: Another benefit to choosing frozen fruits and vegetables is their long shelf life! Fresh fruits and vegetables are at greater risk for spoilage and food waste, but frozen allows you to buy in bulk without the worry of your produce going bad.
Higher Consumption: In fact, one study found that people who purchase frozen fruits and vegetables consume significantly more produce than those who don’t purchase frozen. So if you’re looking to increase your fruit and veggie intake, frozen produce may be your answer!
Smaller Grocery Bill: Purchasing frozen produce can also help keep your grocery bills down. Frozen fruits and vegetables are generally less expensive than fresh. For instance, a 10-ounce bag of frozen fruit is about the same price as six ounces of the fresh fruit. The USDA has a nifty interactive chart you can use to compare the cost of fresh vs. frozen produce.
Enjoy When Ready: I love stocking my freezer with frozen produce because it takes the pressure off of having to consume it all within a short period of time. With frozen produce, I can eat it when I’m ready for it, rather than when it’s ready for me. With 99% of the Wild Blueberry crop being frozen, I can always count on having Wild Blueberries on hand in my freezer.
My latest recipe using frozen Wild Blueberries capitalizes on the trend for grain bowls or “Buddha Bowls.” While this recipe calls for fresh produce, feel free to substitute it with frozen. You can easily substitute Swiss Chard for frozen spinach, and I recently heard that you can now find frozen avocados on the market, too! Wins for frozen produce all around!