Why buy produce frozen?
As long as there are no additives (check the ingredients label to make sure that the fruit/vegetable is the ONLY ingredient listed, as few can contain added sugar/salt/oil) there are several reasons why it’s perfectly OK to buy produce frozen.
🥭Perfectly ripe: produce is picked at peak ripeness and then immediately flash frozen, to maintain freshness and taste 🥭Additive-free: produce quality is preserved by blanching and then immediately cooling. This process removes the enzymes that would break down the fruits/veggies, which serves as a natural preservative 🥭Budget-friendly: frozen produce is a cost-effective alternative to fresh since you can buy at bulk. There’s also no worry of wasting spoiled product. Typically, grocers have to recoup money from fresh produce spoilage; not so with frozen 🥭Convenience: it’s always waiting for you in your freezer fresh, already peeled and cut 🥭Versatility: use frozen fruits in smoothies, or thaw if that’s your jam (mangoes are my favorite to buy frozen for both these purposes) 🥭Lasts: the produce will last as long as it’s kept frozen 🥭Nutritious: fresh produce is picked just before it’s ripened to be able to arrive fresh in store; contrasted with frozen, it’s picked and frozen at its ripest which means it keeps its vitamin and antioxidant content as the day it was picked
You will almost always find that you can get more for your money when buying frozen produce. For me, the best place to buy is at Costco, where you can get even more bang for your buck.
As with all produce, I always opt for buying organic, when I have the option available.
One of the best (and obvious) ways to enjoy frozen fruit is with smoothies. You don't even need to add ice, since the frozen fruit serves this purpose! It is already chilled and it will not break down in the blender the same way that a fresh fruit would, resulting in that nice, thick consistency. Consider adding some frozen berries and kale, a banana, almond milk, 1-2 dates, chia seeds and/or ground flax to the blender for a nutrient and antioxidant -packed smoothie. Or, opt for a tropical blend by choosing frozen pineapples and mangoes, instead.
I also frequently thaw a bowl of frozen fruits for a chilled treat. Simply thaw in your refrigerator overnight or leave covered on the counter for an hour or so before digging in.
You can also add a couple of cups of mixed frozen veggies to your rice in the rice cooker (or steam it while your rice is cooking if you want to eat the veggies separate). One of my favorite, not to mention, EASY, meals is a not-fried-fried-rice. To make, combine quinoa and brown rice in a rice cooker, and throw in a couple of cups of mixed veggies, along with some spices. Let it cook as you would normally cook your rice. While the rice is cooking, crumble up some tofu (ALWAYS organic or at the very least, non-GMO), season it with your favorite spices, saute with some tamari and sprinkle on nutritional yeast while cooking. Once the tofu and rice are done, mix together and serve with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. SO YUMMY!
Share the ways you like to use frozen fruits and veggies in the comments!