Vegetables for commercial packaging are not picked as early as those that will be shipped fresh around the globe and are able to ripen on the vine longer.
According to wikipedia the FDA in 1998 found frozen veggies have the same nutrients and health benefits as fresh vegetables.
A 2003 Austrian study found frozen vegetables to be nutritionally better than out of season imported fresh vegetables.
Commercially frozen and packaged produce are frozen fast so that the ice crystals that form are small and cause as little damage as possible to the cell structure, thus having less impact on the texture.
Freezing as home will take slightly longer because we don’t have as powerful freezers as the commercial plants do, but the results are still good. Just don’t try to freeze more at once than your freezer can handle.
Blanching vegetables is required to stop enzymes and preserve quality, killing bacteria is a bonus.
Commercially frozen produce are also cut, washed and peeled saving time for busy cooks.
Tips For Picking Frozen Store Bought Vegetables:
- Feel the bag before you buy it. Is it full of ice? Pick a different bag. That is often a sign that the veggies thawed and where refrozen at some point.
- Reseal the bag or put veggies in a new freezer quality bag after opening to keep in the nutrients and prevent freezer burn.
- Get your frozen goods last at the store and bag them together to keep them cold. If it’s hot out or they will be in the car for long bring a cooler on our shopping days.
- Put frozen foods away first, than refrigerated and last the shelf stable items like fresh fruits and vegetables, bread and baking supplies.
Frozen Vegetables Recipes
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
Healthy Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe
Garlic Green Bean Recipe
Homemade Refried Beans Recipe