If you’re looking for a shelf-stable or convenient way to work more fruits and vegetables into your day, consider canned or frozen produce. These options can be just as good as their fresh counterparts. But is one better than the others? It’s really about your personal preference. Each one has its advantages…
- It’s hard to beat the flavor and freshness of local produce during its natural growing season. Enjoy it right away and freeze extras for the future. Buying local is also a great way to help support your local farmers.
- Why local produce? Think about the taste of a peach you just picked off the tree. Then think about the taste of a peach that’s been sitting in the fridge or on your counter for a week.
- There’s a big difference, right? Produce that’s out-of-season or grown elsewhere has to travel farther to get to your fridge, which means flavor and texture might deteriorate en route.
- When making a salad or uncooked dish, choose fresh fruits and veggies for texture and flavor.
Fresh fruits and veggies make excellent snacks when paired with hummus, cheese or nut butter.
- Frozen produce is picked at the peak of the season and retains most of its nutrients for a long period of time. Most frozen foods can be stored for up to 8 months.
- Frozen produce is convenient. It’s already been washed and chopped, plus it can usually be added to recipes without thawing.
- If your favorite fruit or veggie is out of season, look for it in the frozen section. Like your fresh options, it’s picked at the peak of awesomeness, then frozen instead of traveling over sea and land.
- Smoothies are often easier to blend when you use frozen fruit.
- Canned foods are economical and often a great value.
- Canned fruits and vegetables are easy to store and the foods are already washed and chopped into smaller pieces.
- Canned fruits and vegetables are shelf-stable and retain most of their nutrients. Many can safely be stored for years.
- Look for canned fruits and vegetables with no or low added salt or sugar. Rinse canned vegetables to reduce the salt content.
- If BPA in canned products is a concern, choose brands that don’t use BPA liners, like Earth’s Best Organic, Amy’s, Health Valley or Muir Glen.