Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Frozen Produce: My Favorite Kitchen Staple. Heidi Diller, Albertson's. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

Need a meal in a hurry? Trying to limit your shopping trips? Want to save money? Try frozen produce!

I refer to frozen fruits and veggies as my favorite kitchen staple. What’s not to love? Frozen produce is affordable, it’s always there when I need it, plus it’s super convenient. And what could be better than those single-serve or re-sealable packages? As a working mom of teenagers, I never know who will be home for dinner, so the ability to easily portion and store for a later time fits our ever-changing schedules.

Nutrition
I like to think of frozen produce as nutrients held in suspended animation. That’s because frozen fruits and vegetables are processed within hours of harvest, thereby essentially "locking in" their vitamins and minerals. Some studies show frozen produce items may even be nutritionally superior because the vegetables are allowed to ripen longer before they are flash frozen. So, if you don’t have a plan to eat your fruits and vegetables right away, try frozen ones instead.

How to Use Frozen Fruits & Veggies
Frozen fruits and veggies can be the foundation of a range of super-fast dishes, from smoothies and soups to stews and sides.

Here are 6 of my unique, family favorites …

    • Frozen Bell Peppers & Onions. Sauté frozen red and green bell peppers and onions with sliced chicken and fajita seasoning mix. Serve with whole wheat tortillas.
    • Frozen Butternut Squash. Microwave frozen butternut squash in minutes. No need to peel, cut, seed, or purée–it’s ready to go straight from the box. Drizzle with honey and thyme.
    • Frozen Edamame. Need a new snack? Try frozen edamame. Just defrost, season with a dash of salt or lemon pepper and serve.
    • Frozen Green Peas. Frozen green peas are crunchy and sweet and retain their flavor for months. Just heat and serve or add to soups, rice and curry dishes.
    • Frozen Corn. Add frozen corn to soups, chili, cornbread, and salads. Frozen corn is king in taste and nutrition.
    • Frozen Blueberries. Frozen blueberries are priced right and available year round. Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, meatloaf and salsa.

Heidi Diller, RD
Corporate Nutritionist
Albertson’s

Fruit & Vegetable Recipes
Video Center: Selection, Storage, and Preparation of Fruits & Vegetables.

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