Fresh Isn’t Always Best

Fresh Isn’t Always Best

Fresh Isn’t Always Best

Eating veggies and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. But it can be expensive and produce doesn’t have a long shelf life. What to do? Keep your cool- head to the freezer. 

For some reason we’ve got it in our heads that we must eat fresh produce if we want to be healthy. It is true that plants and fruits tend to hold the most nutritional value at the time of harvest, they lose their nutrients during the shipping and shelf life. If you truly want to eat fresh, nutritious produce, visit your local farm stands regularly and eat the produce as close to purchase date as possible.

Or stock your freezer. Frozen fruits and veggies are flash-frozen almost immediately after harvest, which locks in nutrients and keeps them from degrading.

In a recent study published by the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, researchers measured the nutritional content (vitamin C, vitamin A and folate) of three types of produce—fresh, frozen and fresh-stored (purchased fresh and then refrigerated for 5 days)—over a 2-year span. Frozen produce won out overall.

The takeaway-

Fresh can be best if you consume it immediately after it is harvested.

Frozen is a budget friendly and nutrient dense way to get in those greens and fruit.

The steam in the bag frozen veggies are awesome to have on hand for a quick side dish.

Frozen fruit can be used to top your favorite breakfast like yogurt, oatmeal or pancakes. It is perfect for making smoothies.

If you prefer buying local and fresh YOU CAN FREEZE YOUR FRESH PRODUCE.

Here’s How:

  1. Chop up greens like spinach or kale and put it into ice cube trays.
  2. Fill up your blender with fresh spinach leaves and add a bit of water to blend.
  3. Pop them out to throw into smoothies.

You can do this with any veggies you like to give your smoothie a healthy boost. Great way to sneak in extra veggies!

You can do the same with herbs. Chop up some basil and freeze in an ice cube tray. Pop out a cube to throw into a pot to make sauce, soup or whatever your cooking heart desires.

You can find your local farm stands and farmer’s markets at Localfarmmarkets.org.

Live Well.

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