Do Frozen Vegetables Lose Nutrients?
Are frozen vegetables as healthy as fresh?
The very common question we asked about vegetables is that do the vegetables lose nutrients when we freeze them? The short answer is no and here’s why.
Freezing fruits and veggies helps in retaining the nutrient content in them. But you need to blanch some of the vegetables before freezing.
Blanching is the process of putting the vegetables in the boiling water for at least 1 – 3 minutes and then putting them in the ice-cold water. After sometimes strain and put them in the plastic seal bag and freeze it.
In this process, you may reduce certain nutrients but the amount of it does not make a lot of difference. You still can have a lot to consume. On average the amount of nutrient reduction is:
- Vitamin C – 25%
- Folate – 35%
- Vitamin B1 – 10%
The blanching process is done to destroy some of the enzymes as enzymes are heat sensitive. So, when you freeze it, it will last longer in the freezer.
There are some vegetables that you do not need to blanch, you just need to chop them up and put them in a sealed plastic bag or box to freeze them. They will last for at least six months.
The vegetables you need to blanch include:
- Asparagus – 2 mins
- Green Beans – 3 mins
- Broccoli – 3 mins
- Brussel sprouts –3 mins
- Cabbage – 1 min
- Carrot– 2 mins
- Cauliflower– 3 mins
- Eggplant– 4 mins
- Squash– 3 mins
The vegetables you do not need to blanch include:
- Green pepper
How do you cook frozen vegetables without losing nutrients?
The cooking methods are very important when you cook frozen vegetables and fresh vegetables. Some of the vegetables you consume should be raw to have the best nutritious value. The other half can be cooked. The best way to consume them is sautéed and the next best way is to steam those veggies.
The long cooking times and high heat are the reasons that low down the nutrients from frozen and fresh vegetables. Try to cook your frozen produce on low heat.
Can I eat frozen vegetables every day?
Frozen vegetables can be a good addition to your diet, but the right way of the freezing process is important to follow in this manner to save their nutritious value.
You can keep the frozen vegetables in the freezer for up to three months but for maximum freshness, we suggest you consume the bag of your frozen produce within three weeks. If you are eating fresh produce vegetables, then consume them within a day or two as fresh vegetables don’t come with a long lifespan and start losing the nutrients right after harvesting.
Can you freeze spices?
Spices stay best if you keep them in a dry cabinet, but you can keep them in the fridge or freezer for up to six months if you have a habit of buying them in bulk and refilling your counter jars with them. However, the shelf life of powdered spices is 2 – 3 years.
There are some spices like saffron that have a different lifespan. So, it’s time to answer the question: can you freeze saffron?
This expensive spice can be stored properly for even a much longer time in a cool and dark place. Storing saffron in the freezer for up to three years can have no bad impact on its color and flavor.