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Fresh vs Frozen Vegetables

If you are anything like me, the thought of planning your groceries for a meal five days away is just ludicrous! I can barely decide what I want for lunch today let alone dinner on the far side of the week! Because my fresh produce would often go bad by the time I conjured up a recipe to use it in, I now tend to buy my veggies frozen. But where do frozen veggies leave me in regards to vitamins and mineral content? Am I receiving the same nutritional benefit compared to it’s fresh counterpart? 

What is snap freezing?
Today, companies such as McCain and Birdseye employ Snap Freezing (the process of freezing vegetables to -18 degrees within hours of picking) to lock in vitamins and minerals of the vegetable before transporting.

Why do we need to ‘lock it in’?
The more time passed after picking, the more a vegetable’s vitamin and mineral content will deteriorate. Usually by the time we eat fresh vegetables they may be up to a week old, reducing their vitamin content up to 50%. 

What do the professionals say?
“Fresh fruit and vegetables may have to travel for several days before they reach our supermarkets and along the way their vitamin and mineral content can decline. Frozen fruit and vegetables are ‘snap frozen’ after picking meaning that they retain their nutritional value all the way from the farm to your freezer. So, if you don’t have the luxury of having fresh picked veggies from your garden, frozen fruit and veg are a great option to have on hand.” Alison Patterson, Advanced Sports Dietitian, Sports Dietitians Australia.

On the flip side
Although frozen vegetables may have more vitamins locked into them, there are vegetables that you just can’t have frozen. That Bok Choy would be pretty worse for wear after spending a week in the freezer. And there is also the consideration that fresh veg tastes better.  

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