Vegetables – Fresh or Frozen

Posted by on Dec 1, 2013 in Blog, Frontpage | Comments Off

Vegetables – Fresh or Frozen

In nearly every supermarket, today’s consumer can find an abundant supply of fresh vegetables year-round. Fresh vegetables add color and variety to any meal.  The characteristic signs of freshness are brightness, lively colors and crispness. Vegetables are usually at their best quality and price at the peak of their season. When vegetables are in-season, buy them fresh and ripe. “Off-season,” frozen vegetables can give you a high concentration of nutrients. Not everyone one is comfortable with cooking vegetables, – fresh or frozen.

Frozen vegetables can be blanched in hot water or steamed to kill bacteria and arrest the action of food-degrading enzymes,frozen-vegetables which can cause some water-soluble nutrients like vitamins C and the B vitamins to break down or leach out. Then flash-freezing can lock the vegetables into a relatively nutrient-rich state.

Fruits and vegetables destined to be shipped to the fresh-produce aisles around the country typically are picked before they are ripe, which gives them less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Outward signs of ripening may still occur, but these vegetables will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the vine. In addition, during the long haul from farm to fork, fresh fruits and vegetables are exposed to lots of heat and light, which degrade some nutrients, especially delicate vitamins like C and Thiamin. Consumers can often find vine ripened fruit and veggies at local Farmers’ Markets.

To make fresh vegetables add salt to a pot of boiling water and drop in the fresh vegetables and bring it back to a boil for about 3 minutes . When cooking frozen you need a very hot pan, so that you can quickly caramelize the vegetables to aid in retention of some of their crispness. Vegetables can be tossed in a hot pan and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or the same can be done with fresh for 3 minutes.