We are met with a barrage of nutritionists who constantly tell us to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables with much emphasis on the word fresh. It seems that the world of frozen foods is too often snubbed by chefs and foodies. There’s no need to be snobbish about it and while I absolutely totally agree that fresh probably is best, there are 7 jolly good reasons to buy frozen.
Products are frozen at their peak of quality and many fruits and vegetables are frozen very quickly after they have been picked. Birds Eye for instance claim their peas go from the field to the freezer bag within hours. This means the freshness is locked in. Consider this against buying so called fresh peas from the store shelf without knowing how far they’ve travelled and how long they’ve been there waiting for someone to buy them.
2. Shelf Life
Fresh fruit and vegetables naturally decay. If you do a weekly shop, come the end of the week, your green stuff that was brightly colored and crisp when you bought it is slightly wrinkled, a bit bruised and fairly limp. One of the main reasons to buy frozen is the seriously extended shelf life.
3. Reduced Waste
Unless you are supermom, there is always a time when you throw fresh stuff away because you don’t eat it in time or it wasn’t as fresh as you thought it was and it goes bad before you prepare it. This doesn’t just apply to fruit and vegetables but this a good reason to buy frozen meat and fish products too.
Frozen is perfect to help with long term meal planning – knowing there’s always something in the freezer means you can either plan in advance or not worry if you are late doing your grocery shop or even if unexpected visitors turn up.
5. Ready to Use
I have to admit that one of the main reasons I buy frozen vegetables is because I am inherently lazy. I just don’t like wasting time peeling and chopping vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I actually eat a lot of fresh veggies, mainly raw, but during winter for example when it’s comforting stews, soups and casseroles that are cooked forever, frozen are perfectly good enough. Also, some things are just a serious hassle to prepare – like mango!
Personally, I would rather eat a vegetable or fruit that was frozen when it was totally fresh than some of these tasteless pappy things that are forced to grow out of season or flown thousands of miles around the world. I just wish they could find a way to freeze strawberries so they don’t mush on thawing.
If you don’t drive or don’t live close to major outlets or farmers markets, sometimes to buy frozen is the only way you can get hold of some ingredients. For example, every cookery program on TV features lovely fresh seafood. I live 90 miles from the sea and in a town of 150,000 people there is not a single dedicated fishmonger. You can only buy fresh from the supermarket and even then it may have been thawed from frozen anyway.
Freezing is the best food preservation method we have. As a single person I find it really helps my budget too. I can buy a large pack of peas that are better value for money and not have to worry about the waste. Having frozen fruit means I can whip up a tasty dessert or a smoothie whenever I want and with a range of frozen herbs I can add flavour whenever I’m cooking.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that to buy frozen is a way of life, all I reckon is that it is disparaged far too much and we shouldn’t be ashamed of making the full and best use of our freezers. Is there any food you won’t eat frozen?
Top Photo Credit: iboy_daniel