It’s that time of year again, when many fresh fruits and vegetables either start disappearing from the produce section, wear a painfully inflated price tag, or just look a lot less colorful and delicious than they did weeks or months ago. Before you cross them off your menu for the winter, know this: Studies show that the differences in nutrient levels between fresh and frozen are so minor that they would be unlikely to have an impact on overall health. While fresh produce starts out with higher vitamin content than frozen, it may lose much of its nutrition by the time you eat it, depending on the distance to its final destination, how you store it, and for how long. As long as frozen fruits and vegetables aren’t packed with added sugar, salt or syrups, they are a perfectly healthy way to get your daily quota. Look for produce frozen under a process called “individually quick frozen,” or IQF, for the best quality.
Here, ideas for making sure fruits and veggies are on your plate all winter long: 1. Blend Fruit Smoothies:
A great place to use frozen berries, bananas, and mango chunks, the consistency of the frozen fruit adds creaminess to your drink, and you don’t need to use ice.2. Enjoy Warm Winter Soups:
Throw in as many frozen veggies as you want! Cleveland Clinic’s Roxanne Sukol, M.D., walks you through the easy steps right here
.3. Sauté Away:
Frozen vegetables work well in sautéed dishes, especially in our Cauliflower Fried “Rice”
. Even the cauliflower, in florets or already riced, can be found frozen.4. Make Pasta Primavera:
Toss frozen veggies into the pasta pot a few minutes before draining. So simple!