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Should You Buy Frozen Vegetables?

What is frozen vegetables?

Frozen vegetables are a type of frozen food that is made by processing fresh vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, beans and cucumbers and then freezing them in small packages at the lowest possible temperature and as quickly as possible.

How are frozen vegetables made?

After the fresh vegetables are picked, they will be pre-cooled. The raw vegetables are screened in a low-temperature environment between 0-10℃. Then they are washed, peeled, and cut. After that, according to the different varieties of vegetables, use hot water, steam, microwave and other ways to kill microorganisms, biological enzymes inactivation treatment, thus to extend the preservation time and flavor quality of vegetables. Finally, the vegetables are rapidly cooled to -18~-20℃ in the -30℃ freezing workshop.

Pros of frozen vegetables?

  1. Preserve nutrition. Frozen vegetables are usually frozen in the peak of vegetable maturity, when the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables is just the highest, you can lock the most nutrients, antioxidants, retain the freshness of vegetables and nutrients, which will not affect its flavor. And frozen vegetables are not just one kind of vegetables, but in many cases a mixture of vegetables. By combining a variety of mixed vegetables have reasonable nutritional value and can provide a more complete vitamin.
  2. Save time. When you don't have much time to go to the market and can only make a big purchase every weekend or once every two weeks, keeping vegetables fresh becomes a problem. But if you make them into frozen vegetables, or just buy ready-made frozen vegetables, you can not only extend the freshness of vegetables to 1~2 months. Also, frozen vegetables purchased at the supermarket are usually already peeled and diced, which can save your time and effort while reducing household food waste.

Is frozen veggie as healthy and nutritious as fresh vegetables?

Many people believe that frozen vegetables are not as fresh and nutritious as fresh vegetables, and think that frozen foods are unhealthy. However, the latest research shows that the nutritional value of frozen vegetables is actually higher than that of fresh vegetables. Once harvested, fruits and vegetables slowly degrade and lose nutrients, and when most reaches the market shelves, it is not as fresh and nutritious as when it was first picked. Sometimes farmers will harvest fruits and vegetables before they are ripe in order to facilitate long-distance transportation or to maintain a better appearance, so the time for fruits and vegetables to develop complete vitamins and minerals will be reduced. In addition, fruits and vegetables will be exposed to a lot of heat and light during the transportation process, degrading some nutrients, such as the more fragile vitamin C and vitamin B1. Quick-freezing prevents rapid nutrient loss and preserves taste and flavor, making it more stable than vegetables that have been stored for long periods of time.

Is frozen veggie cheaper than fresh vegetables?

Frozen vegetables are also a little cheaper than fresh vegetables because of their longer shelf life and sales period, etc.

Fresh spinach

$2.38/10 oz

 23.8 ¢/oz

Great Value Chopped Spinach

$1.00/12 oz

8.3 ¢/oz


Fresh Marketside Broccoli Florets

$2.78/12 oz

23.2 ¢/oz

Birds Eye Broccoli Florets

$5.68/ 52 Oz

10.9 ¢/oz

※Data from Walmart

How to preserve frozen vegetables?

  1. After buying frozen vegetables, take them home and put them in the freezer layer (usually -18℃). But be careful not to buy too much at a time, even if the life of frozen foodis extended in the fridge, over time, fat will be oxidized, vitamin content will also be reduced, the quality and taste will deteriorate. It is best to buy the amount that can be eaten in two months at a time.
  2. Do not pile all the food together, because different foods stored in the same space will spread bacteria between each otherand spoil the food. Different foods are best stored in fresh bags or safe boxes in separately.Avoid putting them together with other raw fish, meat, poultry and other products. Opened or broken packaging frozen food should be eaten as soon as possible.
  3. Frozen food can be well dividedin accordance with the amount of each meal. Avoid freezing and thawing frozen food repeatedly, which is easy to breed a large number of bacteria, and nutrition will be lost, not to mention the poor taste.

How to pick good frozen vegetables?

  1. Try to choose big brands

Generally speaking, no matter in the cold chain transportation or production and processing, big brands have more guarantee in quality.

  1. Pay attention to the shelf life

Although the shelf life of frozen food is long, but still you should pick those products that are close to the production date. When eating, try to eat the frozen food near the expiration date.

  1. Buy from a reliable supermarket with perfect freezing conditions

The most important thing that affects the nutritional value of frozen food is not the freezing itself, but the cold chain preservation in the sales chain.

The entire preservation process should be strictly monitored so that the frozen veggies would not thaw. But the cold chain in many places can not be guaranteed, easily leading to microbial multiplication and affecting the nutritional value and safety.

Therefore, when buying frozen food, you should first see if the freezer and refrigerator are in good condition. If the veggies are no in intact freezing conditions (especially some supermarkets will turn off the power of the freezer at night), you’d better not buy them.

  1. choose no ice crystals products

If the vegetables are freshly frozen, the texture is uniform, and there won’t be any ice crystals in the package. However, if the temperature fluctuates in transportation and storage, large ice crystals and ice cubes will be formed, and the veggies inside may be adhered. At this time, the food quality has been damaged, the taste and flavor will be greatly reduced. Therefore, in the selection of frozen vegetables, you should carefully observe the state of vegetables.

  1. when shopping in the supermarket, buy frozen food last

Many people put frozen food into the shopping basket as soon as they arrive at the supermarket, and then shop for 1 or 2 hours before checking out and leaving. But the temperature in the supermarket is not low, and the bacteria begin to camp on your frozen food as soon as you take them out of the freezer.

So, when you go to the supermarket, please buy frozen food last. If you can't eat it right away, put it in the freezer immediately after you buy it.

How to make homemade frozen vegetables?

    1.Wash the vegetables.

  1. Sort them out and remove those unwanted stems and leaves.
  2. Cut them into small pieces.
  3. Blanch the vegetables in boiling water. Blanching time varies for different vegetables. For example, beans and carrots are blanched for 3 minutes, while potatoes and broccoli take 4 minutes; leafy veggies only need 2 minutes.
  4. Cooling off. After blanching, vegetables should be submerged in cold water as soon as possible. The cooling time should be the same as the time of blanching. If the vegetables stay in water for too long, they will become wrinkled. If they are not cooled long enough, they will become sour.
  5. Dry the veggies. Use kitchen paper or a clean towel to absorb the water.
  6. Divide them in sealed bags and place the processed vegetables in the freezer.

Tips on cooking frozen vegetables

  1. You can cook them without thawing. Frozen vegetables of any kind can be cooked without thawing because they are usually cut into small pieces, so it's okay not to thaw them before cooking, and just wash them briefly. In addition, the texture of frozen vegetables will become soft and rotten after being thawed, which will affect the taste.
  2. Do not add frozen vegetables too quickly. Most frozen vegetables are heat-treated and cut into small pieces when they are prepared, so they cook faster than fresh vegetables. In fact, the best way is to refer to the recommended cooking time on the package, and then calculate the most suitable time to add these frozen vegetables.