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Free Up Time And Capture Nutrition with Frozen Veggies!

Insider's Viewpoint: Christina Meyer-Jax, Nutrition Communicator, General Mills

We all know we should be eating more vegetables, but we also have busy lives that require less kitchen time. How can we partner quick and nutritious in the vegetable world? It’s time to explore the frozen vegetable aisle benefits.

You may be asking, can frozen vegetables really be full of nutrients? Scientific studies show that certain nutrients in frozen vegetables are “locked-in” and maintained following the freezing process. When you minimize the “hold time” between harvesting and freezing you can capture nutrients and quality.

It would be ideal to have a farmer’s market available year round, with fresh picked vegetables direct from the garden. The reality for many Americans is the growing season is brief and the options for fresh local vegetables are limited during the winter and spring seasons.

Here are some reassuring facts on frozen:

  • Raw vegetables have similar nutrients as frozen
  • Nutrients in frozen vegetables are well preserved for extended time (up to 12 months)
  • Freezing retains Vitamin C and A

And some great benefits:

  • Convenient. Another benefit of frozen veggies is convenience. There can be no more excuses of not meeting the adult daily needs of 2-4 cups of vegetables. They are cleaned, cut, and ready to go!
  • Economical. Frozen vegetables can often be more economical during the winter months, when fresh produce has to be shipped from far distances.
  • Time-Saving.Getting more time to enjoy life, without sacrificing nutrition…now that’s a fresh idea!

Looking for new ideas for using frozen vegetables this fall? Check out this 30 minute or less recipe to warm you up:

Southwest Chicken and Couscous
Prep Time:
25 minutes
Makes:
4 servings
  • 1 cup frozen bell pepper and onion stir-fry
  • ½ cup frozen niblets corn
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans with cumin and chili spices, undrained
  • 1 package (9oz) frozen cooked southwest-seasoned chicken breast strips
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked couscous
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Directions:

  1. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add stir-fry vegetables to skillet; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until crips-tender.
  2. Stir in corn, salsa, beans and frozen chicken. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is thoroughly heated.
  3. Meanwhile, heat water to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff couscous with fork; spoon onto serving plates. Top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl; mix well.
 
Per serving:
470 calories
79g carbohydrate
29g protein
11g fiber
1g saturated fat
30mg cholesterol
790mg sodium

Christina Meyer-Jax MS, RD
Nutrition Communicator
General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition

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