When it comes to fruits and vegetables, there’s been a long-running debate: Do frozen and fresh produce pack the same nutritional punch?
Einstein Healthcare dietitian Theresa Shank says that especially most of the time, frozen fruits and veggies will give you more vitamins and minerals than fresh produce.
“After being harvested, they are flash-frozen and then they’re packaged,” says Shank.
“Fresh vegetables, they don’t hold their nutrients as well, if they’e not grown locally, because they’re transported, and they’re exposed to heat light – all can cause degradation of nutrients,” she adds.
Shank says produce handlers also use high technology to preserve the appearance of even long-distance foods.
“A lot of root vegetables, they’ll cover with a wax coating – like parsnips, and thet will help retain color,” she says. “So they’ll look like they’re fresh right out of the garden, however, they;re not. they’ve just had a protective coating.”
But look for the ones frozen without salt, sauces, and other additives.
In addition, Shank says, off-season frozen fruits and vegetables are often a far better buy, because you only need to prepare what you need. The rest stays in the freezer.