There is a sadness that comes with opening the crisper drawer of the fridge to find limp or soggy veggies; or noticing that your oranges have gone mouldy in the fruit bowl.
If you’re like many Kiwis, you’ll be concerned about the effect of food waste on our environment.
To combat this, there’s a simple solution and it’s to do with the way you shop.
Many of us have had the ‘fresh is best’ mentality drilled into us when it comes to fruit and veggies. But frozen options are often just as nutritious as fresh (and sometimes they’re even better).
Here are a few good reasons to embrace frozen fruit and veg.
1. Eat out of season
If you love mango in your smoothies, you can still enjoy it mid-winter if you keep some frozen mango chunks in your freezer.
Frozen summer raspberries taste just as good as fresh ones in your muffins. Eating from the freezer (especially fruit) means you can tuck into all of your favourites year-round.
Tip: got some bananas that are overripe? Peel and freeze them in chunks and add them to your smoothie.
2. Reduce food waste
Many people shop weekly or even fortnightly, so it makes sense that just before you need to hit the supermarket you may have a near empty veggie stash. This is where your frozen finds can come in.
A bit of frozen corn and peas can be a great finishing touch on your meal. A frozen medley of carrot and beans can be added to a stir-fry without losing any taste points.
Tip: eat the fresh produce just after you shop, and then tuck into the frozen stuff later in the week.
3. Enjoy the nutrition benefit
The frozen fruit and veg have the nutrients locked in often just hours after being picked. Think about a head of fresh broccoli that has been a week in transit to your local store, to then sit on the shop floor for several days before you buy it. By the time you cook it up at home it could be two weeks old.
Compare that to a snap frozen variety, and you’ll know that this will have more antioxidants and fibre than the (not so) fresh option in your fridge.
Tip: if you find that frozen veg don’t taste as good as fresh, try a different brand. There is a big difference in the tastes and textures of frozen vegetables. Also try steaming instead of boiling to stop the veggies losing flavour.
4. Save money
Have you ever bought fresh peas? They’re ridiculously expensive. Frozen peas have to be one of the most economical ways to add some fast greens to any meal.
Frozen veg works well in soup, and making an economical meal from a bag of broccoli with some stock and stilton is very satisfying.
Tip: frozen berries are great for adding to cakes, muffins, sauces, smoothies and puddings. Unless you’re serving them fresh (on top of a cake for instance) you will save a lot of cash buying frozen ones instead.
Which veggies do you always buy frozen? Are there any that you haven’t tried? We would love to hear from you in the comments.