Frozen vegetables are cheap and last a lot longer than fresh vegetables - which further saves money by reducing food waste. But are frozen veggies as nutritious as the fresh kind? Do some people favour convenience and saving money over the nutrient content?
Well, I have some good news. Frozen veggies are packed full of nutrients, and if anything, they sometimes may actually pack higher levels of nutrients than the fresh veggies! That's because veggies are mostly snap frozen - which means that soon after they are picked, they are frozen. This allows the nutrients to stay locked into the veg, and it also means that the veg are getting less light and oxygen, which helps them retain their nutrients even more. Further, frozen veg usually just contain veg and no other nasties or preservatives, but it's worth checking the ingredients.
So, if you feel like you can't 'afford' fresh veggies, I have a great solution: buy the frozen veg! If you like to buy canned veg, they are also packed with nutrients, but they also have high levels of salt, preservatives and sometimes sugar in them - these ingredients help to increase their shelf life. You can reduce the salt content by draining and rinsing the canned content until all residue has been washed off. But even then, I would pick frozen over canned, any day!
Fruit is also no different. If a type of fruit is expensive, purchase the frozen type (I'm thinking of berries here and I know a lot of you would agree with me).
So, in conclusion, both fresh and frozen veg are as good as each other! But if you decide to buy the frozen kind, always remember to check the labels and make sure they are Australian produce. Our beautiful country grows some amazing fruit and veg, so make sure you're giving back to our hard working farmers by buying Australian made & owned.
Joyce Haddad, Director of A Dietitian's Mission, is an Adelaide based Dietitian/Nutritionist and Master Personal Trainer with a passion for health and wellbeing. ADM aims to help the public make informed and realistic nutritional choices and ensure everyone has a healthy relationship with their body and with food.