If you usually rely on frozen and canned foods, you may be wondering what the best frozen vegetables are (and what they are really as good as fresh)?
Will they be spicy and watery or will they taste just as good as they did when they were harvested from the field?
Unlike fresh produce, which is often harvested before Reaching its peak flavor and then being shipped long distances before hitting your local supermarket, frozen vegetables are harvested and typically stored at the top of their game.
If you want to stock your freezer smartly, frozen vegetables are often healthier — and sometimes healthier — than fresh vegetables and can cost significantly less.
There’s really no difference in quality between store brands or name brands, but keep an eye on the front of the package to find different cuts or veggie preparations.
For example, broccoli florets are the tops of broccoli, while broccoli “cuts” include the stems. (It’s a matter of preference and texture.)
Here are some easy-to-find options for packing your freezer with ready-to-go nutrition.
Cauliflower has tons of uses, but when you buy it frozen, be sure to drain the florets to avoid waterlogging. This will ensure the cauliflower mash is perfectly creamy (and not watery) every time.
(You’ll want to use only fresh cauliflower for things like buffalo wings and fried cauliflower. No frozen.)
Note that cauliflower rice often holds its texture and shape better than the florets.
Whether you want to add more vegetables to any meal or make a low-carb rice swap, look for frozen cauliflower rice at your supermarket.
A staple in classic frozen vegetable medleys, corn is one of those vegetables that is better for you frozen than fresh.
Fresh corn has 6.26 grams of sugar per 100 grams and frozen corn has 3.36 grams. When cooked, it provides 5 grams of protein per cup.
Thaw your corn, then toss it in salads and soups and salsas for sweetness and crunch.
3. Butternut squash
Stuck in your freezer for butternut squash spirals (or other premade vegetable noodles) is like keeping a box of pasta in your pantry. They are perfect for quick and healthy meals.
The key with veggie noodles (and frozen vegetables in general) is to choose the kind that don’t have any added butter, cheese or sauce.
Butternut squash puree is another frozen staple to keep on hand for soups, side dishes, and even oatmeal.
Many leafy salad greens are not freezer-friendly. (Yo, frozen lettuce!) However, spinach, kale, and other hearty dark greens like collards freeze well.
Use them in omelets, smoothies and other dishes. (Frozen spinach can actually retain higher levels of folate than fresh.)
Be sure to really drain your frozen spinach. really After thawing well. Place a clean dish towel and test your grip strength by wrapping it completely.
Broccoli is a delicious low-carb vegetable that is also good for weight loss. It contains many important minerals and vitamins along with fiber.
Broccoli freezes well and retains its nutrients.
Thaw your broccoli, then saute until crisp with lots of lemon zest and black pepper. Or keep it simple and steam or microwave until tender yet crisp.
6. Green peas
Frozen green peas are the perfect kitchen shortcut because they’re just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts and take no time to toss into soups, sauces, or even salads.
They’re an easy way to sneak in more veggies and provide 9 grams of protein per cup.
Pair frozen peas with some cauliflower rice and a baked chicken breast, along with your favorite sauce, for an easy-to-make (pun intended) healthy dinner in no time.
7. Green beans
With only two calories per bean (or 31 calories per cup), green beans are a delicious, low-calorie side dish that’s loaded with fiber.
They are delicious steamed and served plain or fried until crispy.
Keep a bag on hand for nights when you want a little more green on your plate for very little effort.
Mushrooms provide dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals but are low in calories. However, frozen mushrooms come straight out of the bag.
Enhance their flavor and texture by roasting them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until most of the moisture has evaporated.
Then when your mushrooms start to brown add the rest of your ingredients.
They’ll add plenty of rich flavor and umami to omelets, soups, tacos and more for relatively few calories.