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Yes, it’s true. When it comes to produce fresh is best. However, there are circumstances when the frozen variety can save the day. Perhaps you are craving something that is out of season or would rather cut down on prep time so you can cook dinner on a busy day.
Why Buy Frozen Veggies?
Frozen veggies are harvested at their peak, blanched and flash-frozen, which helps preserve flavor, texture and many of the original nutrients. They are certainly a better option than canned vegetables because they haven't been preserved with sodium.
Now, some vegetables perform better than others in the freezer. Here’s a list of some frozen veggies that are worth buying:
I always keep a bag or two of organic frozen corn kernels on hand. They add a hearty touch to soups, chowders, frittatas and burrito bowls. A great way to get more flavor out of frozen corn is cook over high heat in a cast iron pan to ‘blacken’ it. Let it cool and toss into dishes like this Mexican-inspired salad.
One of the main benefits of buying frozen okra is to cut down on prep time. Although okra is sold whole it’s nice to buy it already sliced. This way you can just add it to a pot of gumbo, for instance. Sliced frozen okra is also great in Indian-style dishes and this easy vegan recipe.
What's the real reason I love keeping edamame (soy beans) in the freezer? Having instant access to a healthy snack. Just toss shelled or whole edamame in boiling water, drain and sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt...yummm! These nutrient-dense beans are also a great addition to stir fry dishes, couscous, and this red quinoa salad.
A perennial favorite of many, frozen green peas are a must in my freezer. They are ready in a pinch and are delicious tossed into risottos (risi e bisi, anyone?), soups, crostini and much more. When thawed they make a great base for hummus - just blend with garlic, olive oil and salt. Also, they are an awesome finger food for babies and toddlers.
Ok, I'll fess up. These I don’t buy frozen but I always store in the freezer. If you cook spicy foods often then it’s a good idea to buy chilies in bulk, wash and dry them then store in a plastic zipper bag in the freezer. When you need them just run the chilies under warm water for a quick thaw and chop as usual. This ensures you’ll never run out of chilies when the mood for a spicy kick sets in. We recommend this cornbread recipe with red and green chilies.
What frozen veggies do you adore? Tell us below or on Facebook.