Updated: Apr 9, 2022
If I've asked myself this question, I might assume someone else has too. Do fruits and veggies lose nutrients when frozen? Is the fresh version healthier? Often, I fail to eat all the produce I've bought. I honestly despise throwing away food but when I see that weird fuzzy fungi stuff growing on my strawberries, I know I have no choice. Sounds familiar?
Any plant-based amateur or vegan will know how frozen veggies can play an important role in one’s transition. The convenience of having them readily available for a stir-fry or soup makes them a must-have for anyone starting out on a plant-based diet. They can be boiled, steamed, roasted or simply thawed. Sprinkle your favorite spices on them and voilà, a super nutritious meal.
We add them whole to most of our soups or we purée them for my favourite: a creamy butternut squash soup. We thaw frozen riced cauliflower and blend it into our mashed potatoes, so the kids won’t notice the extra portion of vegetables. And trust me, they don’t. Insert evil laugh here...
Since our gut bacteria thrive on fiber variety, we purchase lots of mixed frozen vegetables containing different types and colors of veggies, to maximize nutrient and vitamin diversity. Remember that the colors are the vitamins and antioxidants. An optimal diet for the gut bacteria in our microbiome should consist of at least 30 plant varieties per week, and frozen fruits and veggies are an easy way to accomplish that without the worries of wasting food that spoils.
But are frozen fruits and veggies as healthy? Yes! Most have exactly the same nutrition as the fresh version, and some have more! Most frozen produce gets harvested at the peak of ripeness. They're then flash frozen immediately after, preserving most of the nutrition. After that, they're officially preserved for shipping in freezing cold containers. Sometimes, frozen fruits and veggies can actually be healthier than their store bought "fresh"