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Vegetables… Fresh, Frozen, or Canned?

19 Jan

So I have a guilty pleasure, or at least what I used to think was a guilty pleasure.  I have recently fallen in love with chopped frozen broccoli.  Now for a while I considered this to be a guilty pleasure because I ASSUMED that I was not getting all of the nutrients that I needed because it was frozen.  I decided that it was important for me to do my research and share my findings with you.

So here is what I have found in a nutshell…

So as a very loose and general rule, fresh vegetables are nutrient rich.  If you really want to ensure that the quality of the vegetables that you are purchasing has not been compromised, it is important for you to talk to your local vendor and ask about the processing of their fresh vegetables. Some vegetables may not have the maximum amount of nutrients because they tend to be picked well before ripeness, before they have had the time to build the natural nutrients from the vine or tree.  They may still ripen on the outside, but may not have all of the desired nutrients because of premature picking.

Frozen vegetables may be more nutrient packed than the fresh vegetables at your local supermarket because the frozen vegetables are flash frozen at the peak of their ripeness shortly after harvesting, which is when the vegetables have the most nutrients. When purchasing canned vegetables, as in anything, it is important for you to read the labels.  Things to look out for are added salt, sugar, and syrup.

In the preparation of vegetables in any case, to ensure that you are getting the most nutrients out of your vegetables, it is best to lightly steam or quickly stir fry (substitute oil or butter with cooking spray). Stay away from boiling (ground vegetables i.e. potatoes and the like are an exception).  I would say that the main rule is to not overcook your vegetables.

Here are some delicious vegetable recipes…

Dressing Up Your Greens

Gandules Por Favor

The Versatile Portabella Mushroom

Mmm take a bite out of that! 

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