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Using Fresh and Frozen Produce … What’s the Difference?

Who doesn’t love fresh fruits and veggies? In-season produce may sometimes be more flavorful and certainly the price is usually just right, but there are times you may need a fruit or veggie that isn’t in season.  So, is it okay to go the frozen produce route?

 

The short answer is yes!  Frozen fruit and vegetables are a convenient and nutritious alternative to fresh. When it comes to good nutrition, all forms of fruits and vegetables matter—fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice. With 200+ options and a variety of convenient packaging to make fruits and vegetables easy to store and easy to serve, there’s bound to be something to please everyone! All forms of fruits and vegetables count toward your daily recommendation.  Read More

 

Most fresh produce that is bought in the supermarket is picked prior to it being fully ripe and then transportation and storage (depending on the type of produce) can take anywhere from 3 days to 12 months, where vitamins begin to decline.  Fresh produce is best eaten immediately after harvest.  Frozen produce is picked at peak ripeness and then washed, blanched, and frozen within hours of harvest.  However, the blanching process can result in a loss of some nutrients like vitamins B and C. 

 

I’ve pulled together a few recipes featuring frozen produce.  Start your morning with this Blueberry Breakfast Casserole.  You’ll use your slow cooker, so you can throw everything together the night before and have it ready when you wake up.  You’ll need cubed French bread, frozen blueberries, cream cheese, sour cream, brown sugar, milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.  You’ll cook on low setting for 4-5 hours and enjoy.

 

Crock-Pot-Blueberry-Breakfast-Casserole-2
Courtesy of Crock Pot Ladies

 

Oven Roasted Broccoli is a delicious side dish.  It’s also quick and easy when you’re using frozen broccoli flowerets.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the frozen broccoli on the sheet and sprinkle on olive oil and a seasoning of your choice (this recipes opts for Montreal steak seasoning).  Roast for 20 minutes, take out of the oven, stir, and return to roasting for another 10-15 minutes.

 

 

Oven-Roasted-Frozen-Broccoli-above
Courtesy of Budget Bytes

 

This recipe for Vegetable Soup combines both fresh and frozen ingredients.  Onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, frozen green beans, frozen corn, and frozen peas are combined with vegetable stock, canned tomatoes and herbs to create this healthy soup.

 

vegetable-soup2-srgb.1
Courtesy of Cooking Classy

 

Stay warm and I’ll be back next Monday with some delicious recipes for kale and collard greens.

 

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