Frozen foods are the easy and economical solution to be able to enjoy our favorite foods all year round. Although frozen products are not the basis of the diet, many of the foods found in supermarket freezers are more nutritious than fresh ones. In most cases, naturally frozen products may contain more vitamins and minerals than refrigerated fresh vegetables, as they have the highest nutritional value at the time of collection.
However, this does not mean that all frozen foods are the same. First we need to separate the food we find in the freezer. There are natural foods, ie those that were collected and frozen immediately, such as vegetables and fish and frozen preparations, ie products that have been previously cooked and all that the buyer needs to do is to reheat them before consumption. The products of the second group are usually high in salt and fat.
On the other hand, the frozen vegetables are already clean, we find them whole or chopped and ready for cooking. In addition, because there is so little time between harvest and freezing, these products retain the nutritional properties of fresh vegetables, while their vitamins and minerals are even higher. For example, the amount of vitamin C supplied by fresh spinach consumed within three days of harvest is lower than that found in frozen spinach.
The freezing method is an amazing achievement of technology, when used properly. But we can not ignore the fact that, since they first appeared on the market, frozen foods have been associated in our minds more with various vegetables than with quality, well-cooked food. Today in the freezer of the supermarket you can find - in addition to vegetables - pies and ready meals, which retain all their nutrients. The secret lies in the quality, well-cooked raw materials and their proper freezing process.
The pros & cons of frozen products
- Provided the ingredients are first class, commercial frozen meals may be of better quality than refrigerated ready-to-eat meals because they do not require preservatives.
- Freezing is a smart method of preserving food
- The freezing method extends the duration of seasonal products, especially soft fruits such as blackberries, currants, etc.
- Research has shown that frozen vegetables often have more vitamin C than fresh ones.
- Refrigeration alters the texture of many vegetables such as cabbage, beans, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots
- Frozen foods often lag behind in appearance
- Only a very small percentage of frozen foods are certified organic.