Is Frozen Fruit As Good For You As Fresh Fruit
Im going to give you some facts and a few myths surrounding this subject so you can understand the question. You need to know how frozen fruit can be as good for you as fresh fruit so you can make the best decision for your health.
To begin with, any fruit is good for you if its good for you. There is no such thing as a bad fruit. Fruit that is good for you does not have to be healthy for you to eat it. Frozen fruit that comes in bags is still very good for you because its still fresh.
Another question that often arises when people are considering is frozen fruit as good for them as fresh fruit is about whether it is more nutritious.
As long as the packaging is still fresh, no it isnt. It is true that frozen fruit will generally contain more vitamins and minerals than fresh fruit. There are exceptions. However, fresh fruit is often better for you and it has some antioxidants which help prevent a number of diseases.
Whether frozen fruit is better for you than fresh fruit is one that may be based on what kind of food choice you are making. If you are eating the same food over again, fresh fruit might actually be healthier for you because of the many benefits it has.
However, if you eat lots of fresh fruit, then frozen fruit might be better for you.
The Benefits Of Fresh Fruit
According to Cleveland Clinic, “The sooner you eat produce after it’s harvested, the better its nutrient profile.” This is one reason that fresh, in-season local fruit is so beneficial. But not only is it high in nutrients, it also offers a variety of other benefits. Here are a few to keep in mind.
- Flavor: If you’ve ever tasted a ripe strawberry at the peak of picking season, you know that nothing compares. Whether you gravitate toward berries or stone fruit, you’ll taste the best, most vibrant flavors in the midst of harvest season.
- Access: Simply put, when a fruit is in season, there is more of it available. When there is more of a fruit available, it’s easy to find at your local market or grocery store. You can easily load up on pears, oranges, watermelons, or whatever in-season fruit you love.
- Prices: There’s a good reason apple prices go down every fallwhen there is more of something available, there is less demand. If you take advantage of fresh fruit that’s in season, you can enjoy more of it for a lower total cost.
Fun Ideas With Frozen Fruit
Its still cold outside and fresh fruit wont be growing locally for months. Dont despair! Fruit that has traveled a long distance cant match locally grown fresh fruit in flavor or nutrients, but frozen fruit can come a close second. Since its flash frozen at the peak of ripeness, frozen fruit often tastes better and retains more of its vitamins than the fruit that has been shipped in from far away.
But thawing that frozen fruit and eating it with a spoon might not be your favorite idea. Frozen fruit doesnt have the same texture as fresh, so its not the same as a crisp apple or tender pear. It might need a little preparation.
Here are five ideas that are actually better with frozen fruit than with fresh.
First, waffles or pancakes are always great with fruit, but frozen berries microwaved for a couple of minutes soften into a warm sauce that stands in beautifully for syrup.
Angel Waffles start out with 4 oz of egg whites from the carton of egg whites you can buy at the grocery store. It takes about a minute to whip them into peaks with your electric mixer. Mix up your regular batter and fold in the egg whites before pouring into the waffle iron. Your waffles will be light and crisp, even with whole grains. But toaster waffles are a healthier breakfast with frozen berries instead of syrup, too!
For breakfast or dessert, try a classic French Clafoutis. Its traditional to use cherries, but frozen cherries mean no pits!
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How To Use Frozen Vegetables And Fruit In Smoothies
One of the great things about making smoothies with frozen produce is its convenience. Its already cleaned and cut up, meaning all you have to do is put it in your blender with any other ingredients youd like and press blend.
In most cases, you dont have to wait for frozen fruit or veggies to thaw before putting them in your blender, especially if you have a high-powered blender. If you dont have a high-powered blender, you might want to let the frozen produce thaw for five minutes so that its easier to blend.
Using Frozen Veggies And Fruit In Smoothies
Most people like their smoothies to be cold, making frozen vegetables the optimal choice for adding to nutritious smoothies. Not only does frozen vegetables make smoothies cool in temperature, but it also tends to create a creamier texture than fresh fruit.
At Blendtopia, we use frozen fruit in most of our smoothies, creating blends that are equal parts delicious and nutritious.
While fruit tends to be a staple ingredient in smoothies, dont forget about veggies! The incredible thing about smoothies is that you can easily add vegetables like frozen spinach or frozen cauliflower and not even know theyre in thereor at least theyll become much more palatable.
For example, Blendtopias Detox Smoothie is jam-packed with greens, but the veggie flavor is significantly masked by other tasty ingredients, including organic pineapples, organic bananas, and organic lemon juice powder.
You can put any veggies in your smoothie that youd like, from greens to broccoli to celery. Mix it up daily to ensure youre getting a diverse range of nutrients.
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Nutrients In Both Fresh And Frozen Produce Decline During Storage
Shortly after harvesting, fresh fruits and vegetables start to lose moisture, have a greater risk of spoiling and drop in nutrient value.
One study found a decline in nutrients after 3 days of refrigeration, when values fell to levels below those of frozen varieties. This is most common in soft fruits .
The vitamin C in fresh vegetables begins to decline immediately after harvesting and continues to do so during storage (
For example, green peas have been shown to lose up to 51% of their vitamin C during the first 2448 hours after harvesting .
In vegetables stored chilled or at room temperature, antioxidant activity declined .
However, although vitamin C can be easily lost during storage, antioxidants like carotenoids and phenolics may actually increase.
This is possibly due to continued ripening and is seen in some fruits .
Certain vitamins and antioxidants begin to decline immediately after harvesting. Therefore, its best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as soon as possible.
Fruits & Veggies: Frozen Vs Fresh
Which is better, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies? At first its easy to see why fresh food makes the most sense but what if you want a specific ingredient thats out of season or hard to find where you live? While eating locally and in season is ideal from a nutritional and cost standpoint, there are times where you simply want something thats out of season, like berries in your morning smoothie.
When produce is out of season, choosing frozen can mean getting more nutrients from your fruits compared to fresh. The elements that can reduce nutrient levels in produce include: Time since harvest Exposure to heat, light or oxygen
Since frozen fruits and veggies are frozen within hours after harvest then kept very cold and sealed away from light and oxygen, the freezing process can lock in precious nutrients.
If we compare frozen organic wild Maine blueberries versus fresh organic blueberries that travel all the way to Boston from Chile, not only are the frozen berries local and higher in nutrients, they are also about a third of the price! Did you know that on average, a fruit or vegetable grown in the United States travels 1,500-1,800 miles from the time its picked to the time it reaches your plate?
Here are tips for how to choose the best frozen fruits and veggies: Look for produce thats loose in the bag and still in individual pieces, not one solid chunk Choose vegetables and fruits free of sauces or additives Check expiration dates on the package
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Why Use Frozen Fruit And Vegetables In My Smoothie
There are a number of benefits to making a smoothie with frozen fruit or vegetables. Although fresh ingredients can be great and healthier than frozen, they can be costly and may pass their best ripe stage very quickly. For smoothie lovers who have busy lifestyles and want an easy way to prepare, frozen ingredients are ideal they can simply be taken out of the freezer and popped straight into the blender! No chopping, cutting or separating at 6 am when you need to get out for work. However, a faster serving time isnt the only reason why frozen fruit and vegetables can be a great replacement for fresh fruit and veg. Frozen ingredients are:
Quicker to prepare Hold in healthy nutrients Create a better smoothie texture
For families living on a budget, frozen fruit is just as tasty and doesnt have to break the bank! In fact frozen vegetables in particular can be bought at a very reasonable price and will provide you with the brilliant nutrition our bodies need. Frozen fruit and veg will have more nutrients than the fruit and veg you bought that was left on the side for over a week! This is because the fruit is no longer fresh if you dont use it immediately, but the frozen fruit will retain its nutrition. Finally, you will see frozen fruit and veg in a range of smoothie recipes because once blended, the frozen ingredients give the smoothie a tasty thick texture.
How Packaging And Processing Affects Produce
Produce selected for freezing is harvested when it’s at its peak of quality. Vegetables and fruits are the most nutritious when they’re ripe and freezing is the best way to preserve that goodness.
Before freezing, many vegetables are washed, peeled and sometimes blanched for one minute in boiling water and then transferred to an ice bath. While blanching preserves the veggies’ color and flavor by inactivating natural enzymes that can cause them to spoil, water-soluble nutrients such as vitamins B and C may also leach out.
Fruits are typically not blanched before being frozen. However, some fruits, such as peaches, may be peeled before freezing, which can alter their fiber and mineral content. “That could be a reason to go for the fresh version still intact with the skin,”Laura Smith, RD, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
“Depending on where you live, sometimes that vegetable isn’t even comparable to the frozen,” says Danielle Lockard, RD, with Crozer-Keystone Health System in Springfield, Pennsylvania.
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Is There A Difference Between Homemade And Shop
Many shop-bought smoothies are made from cheaper, more processed ingredients such as fruit purées and juices. These purées concentrate sugars whilst removing many of the nutritional benefits of the whole fruit such as the fibre, phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Some shop-bought smoothies are also sold in sizes larger than the recommended 150ml portion size and have added nutrients such as B vitamins as well as vitamins C and E.Homemade smoothies, on the other hand, contain all of the fibre and will be naturally vitamin-rich because theyre freshly made and ideally consumed straight away.
What Are The Best Frozen Vegetables
- Broccoli: This is definitely a frozen veggie staple. Fresh broccoli tends to spoil rather quickly, and most of the time, we dont need the whole head at once. In order to prevent food waste , choose frozen broccoli instead. Although its cancerpreventative agent, sulforaphane, is greatly decreased during the pre freezing blanching process, we dont have to miss out on it. This study found that adding daikon radishto frozen broccoli that was then allowed to thaw supported sulforaphane formation. This substance is abundant in uncooked radish, horseradish, red radish, mustard, cauliflower, and arugula.
- Brussel sprouts: In order to avoid the mushy texture that comes from defrosting Brussel sprouts, try to cook them without thawing first. Roasting them in a sheet pan with some olive oil, garlic and black pepper is a tasty way to prepare these little balls of antioxidants .
- Cauliflower: Being in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower is chock full of nutrients and powerful antioxidants. Frozen cauliflower rice is super convenient since you dont have to go through the process of ricing it. Just thaw and prepare as a great alternative to rice or couscous.
- Carrots: Frozen carrots are very versatile in that you can just toss them right out of the bag into a soup, stew or braise. Orange fruits and vegetables are highly recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2015, and with their high content of beta carotene and antioxidants, carrots certainly comply.
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Fresh Fruit And Vegetables
Most fresh fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe. This allows them time to fully ripen during transportation.
It also gives them less time to develop a full range of vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants.
In the US, fruits and vegetables may spend anywhere from 3 days to several weeks in transit before arriving at a distribution center.
However, the USDA states that some produce, such as apples and pears, can be stored for up to 12 months under controlled conditions before being sold.
During transportation, fresh produce is generally stored in a chilled, controlled atmosphere and treated with chemicals to prevent spoiling.
Once they reach the supermarket, fruits and vegetables may spend an additional 13 days on display. Theyre then stored in peoples homes for up to 7 days before being eaten.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are often picked before they are fully ripe. Transportation and storage can take anywhere from 3 days and up to 12 months for some types of produce.
Why Are Avocados And Coconuts Not Included In The Zeropoint List
Avocados have more calories and fat than many other fruits and guacamole is easy to overeat. Coconuts are also more caloric than many other fruits. For example, 1 cup of raw coconut has 283 calories and 1 cup of sliced avocado has 234 calories, while 1 cup of sliced mixed berries has only 84 calories and significantly less fat.
While healthy, we believe these are foods that can be easily overconsumed and therefore it is important to track them.
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Freezing Makes Carotenoids More Accessible
Orange juice is a popular ingredient in smoothies, but did you know that this beverage, too, can provide a bigger health boost when frozen? A 2018 study carried out by researchers at the University of Seville has found that freezing orange juice makes its orange color more intense indicating an increase in carotenoid levels. Carotenoids are part of an anti-cancer diet and support eye health. Freezing them makes them more bioaccessible, thus enabling greater intestinal absorption.
Can I Eat Too Much Fruit
Fruits and vegetables arent magically calorie-free just because most of them are ZeroPoint foods. But we encourage you to eat fruits and vegetables because they are nutritious, satisfying, and tasty.
If youre eating more fruits and vegetables than you used to, but youre using them for healthy snacks, to bulk up your meals, or as a tide-me-over when youre down to the last few SmartPoints for the day or week, then great! If youre overeating bananas because theyre free, you might want to pull back a bit.
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Frozen Vs Fresh Foods: A Note About Cooking Methods
Whether you opt for fresh or frozen, a key factor in retaining health-giving nutrients is the way that you cook your food, vegetables in particular. Options include boiling, steaming and stir-frying.
Boiling is the least healthy choice when it comes to preparing veggies, with Renee advising: ‘If you boil your veg to death, you lose the water-soluble vitamins.’
Steaming is generally a better option. Steam your veg or put them in the microwave with a little water until theyre just warmed through,’ advises Renee. Take a look at our pick of the best steamers to get started.
However, stir-frying is the best way to retain most nutrients when cooking vegetables, according to Renee. ‘Cook veg in rapeseed oil,’ she says. ‘If it stays crunchy, you feel like youre eating your veg.
How To Make A Frozen Fruit Smoothie
Making frozen fruit smoothies isnt rocket science. A little down below, youll find my favorite frozen fruit smoothie recipes.
If you want to create your own smoothie recipes, heres how you can do it.
If you want to avoid the five major mistakes people make when making smoothies, check out this article: How Long Do Smoothies Last?
1. Start with a Liquid Base
When were making frozen fruit smoothies, we want to start with a base. Its best to always have some liquid in our smoothies. One serving usually needs about ½ 1 cup of liquid. Good options are:
- filtered water
- nut milk
- soy milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, etc.
- dairy milk
- fruit juice
The lowest calorie version is obviously plain water. Unsweetened nut milk or coconut water can also be a healthy, low-fat, and low-calorie choice.
Adding too much fruit juice may spike your blood sugar levels, so its best not to overdo it.
Also, be careful with coconut milk , as its high in fat and calories.
2. Add Some Frozen Fruits
After youve chosen your liquid base, its time to add some fruits to your smoothie. Id recommend using both frozen fruits and fresh fruits in smoothies.
If youre using too many frozen ingredients, it can make your smoothie too slushy.
If you dont use any ice or frozen fruits, your smoothie wont taste as good as it could.
Every smoothie I make will have some frozen ingredients in it.
You can completely skip the ice, and add some frozen fruits or veggies instead.
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