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Frozen Fruit is Cool! It’s Great Tasting, Nutritious and Convenient
Eating right is important to every one’s health and wellness year-round. During the winter months, purchasing “fresh” produce can be limited. And if you do buy fresh, most likely many of the fruits and vegetables are out of season and have traveled thousands of miles to arrive at your local supermarket. This is when many people will turn to the freezer aisle, where ample amounts of healthy frozen fruits and vegetables are always available. The goal is to get people to turn to frozen fruit and vegetables all year round, especially frozen Wild Blueberries.
Unfortunately, frozen fruits and vegetables, have a bad rap and people committed to eating healthy don’t think buying frozen is cool despite the fact there is plenty of evidence that supports frozen is just as good as fresh.
For two decades, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated at a minimum, frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalent to fresh produce, and may exceed the fresh produce in certain circumstances. According to the FDA, frozen Wild Blueberries are just as nutritious as fresh and may even retain their nutritional value longer. They have other advantages, too:
• 4-season availability
• Excellent value
• The same antioxidant goodness as fresh
• Quick and easy preparation
• Dependable quality, with no waste or spoiling
• No added sugars or preservatives
• Retain their taste, texture and shape in cooking
And more recently, a study by the University of Georgia funded by the Frozen Food Foundation revealed that the nutritional value — namely the amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and folates — of many frozen fruits and vegetables are generally the same as the fresh version. And, that the nutritional value of some frozen fruits and vegetables was even greater than that of fresh.
The reason — as soon as a fruit or vegetable is harvested, it begins to lose nutrients, so depending on how long it takes to get to the consumer a lot of the nutritional value could be lost. Many fresh fruits and vegetables must travel great distances to reach a supermarket and then they sit in the display before being purchased where they may then sit in a home refrigerator for several days. During that time, the nutrients escape; even faster when the fruits and vegetables are exposed to heat and light. For more information on the study, visit here.
Frozen for Peak Flavor and Nutrition
Most frozen vegetables and fruits (like Wild Blueberries) are frozen immediately after harvest, so all the goodness is locked in. Wild Blueberries, which are frozen fresh at harvest, are preserved at their peak and maintain their rich flavor and antioxidant goodness. They also maintain their shape, color, flavor and nutritional value in cooking and baking.
According to Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets. Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.
Getting Your Fruits and Vegetables – Let Me Count the Ways
A study from the University of California – Davis published in 2013 in the online version of the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture confirms that canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables provide nutrients needed for a healthy diet, and exclusively consuming fresh fruits and vegetables ignores the nutritional benefits provided by canned products.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines urge Americans to increase their fruit and vegetable intake regardless of type (canned, frozen, fresh and dried), yet Americans are far from meeting fruit and vegetable goals. In an article in Eating Well magazine from 2007, writer Rachael Moeller Gorman wrote “Americans typically eat only one-third of the recommended daily intake (three servings instead of nine) of fruits and vegetables, so if you’re in a bind, a vegetable in any form is better than no vegetable at all. “ http://www.eatingwell.com/
Easy Ways to get More Fruit in Your Family’s Daily Diet:
Making smoothies at home has increased in popularity as more and more Americans look to get healthier. It’s because smoothies are quick, nutritious and easy to take on the go for busy families. Frozen fruit like Wild Blueberries are a wonderful smoothie ingredient and reduce the need for ice. So, make your own smoothie (make one batch for the family or let each person make his/her own). Start with one or two types of frozen fruit: Wild Blueberries, strawberries, peaches, blackberries… If you want to add bananas add fresh or freeze overnight (tip – let a frozen banana sit at room temperature for 4-5 minutes before trying to peel). Add any combination of kale, peanut butter, honey, protein mix, chia seeds…. Add milk, almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk.
Add to oatmeal and cereal
For a super kid-friendly dish use with pancakes or waffles for breakfast or dinner.
A nutritious and delicious dessert – combine a fruity sorbet with orange juice, banana, strawberries, and frozen Wild Blueberries.
Sprinkle on a salad.