Are they nutritious?
Frozen foods can be filled with as many nutrients as fresh foods. Technology now allows food producers to freeze food very quickly, which helps to protect the food’s nutrients. Frozen food can be a more affordable option in some stores or communities and may provide access to vegetables and fruit when local varieties are out of season. They also last longer than fresh foods which can help balanced meals come together when there is less time to shop.
We can freeze our own foods! Buying larger amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish or meat when in season or on sale and then freezing ourselves can create big savings. Be sure not to buy more than you can use and to freeze as soon as you can to maintain the nutrients in the food. Freezer bags or airtight containers can help to minimize the air/oxygen that can cause a decrease in quality from ice crystals forming.
Which frozen foods are recommended?
• Vegetables without added sodium. Choose frozen vegetables that do not come in a sauce most often. This limits the amount of added sodium. Look for packages where the only ingredients are vegetables.
• Fruit without added sugar. Choose frozen fruit that does not come in a sauce or syrup. This limits the amount of added sugar. Look for packages where the only ingredients are fruit.
• Frozen fish or seafood. Choose unbreaded fish most often as this limits the amount of added sodium and fats. Look for packages where the only ingredient is the fish or seafood.
• Whole grain breads, bagels and buns. Keep your bread longer by freezing it. Slice it before freezing if it does not come sliced to make it easier to pull out a single serving.
• Nuts and seeds. Protect the healthy fats in nuts and seeds from going bad (rancid) by storing them in the freezer.
• Cooked whole grains. Help a meal come together quickly by cooking and freezing extra whole grains like brown rice, barley or quinoa. Reheat thoroughly in the microwave before serving or add into a stir fry, soup or casserole.
For more information
Canada’s Food Guide has more reasons for you to buy frozen vegetables and fruit here.