Within a healthy and balanced diet, it is fundamental and essential to consume every day fruits and vegetables, which stand out for being extremely healthy and rich in essential nutrients, fundamental for the correct functioning of our organism.
Many nutritionists advise eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day as a way of enjoying a healthy and as balanced diet as possible. As you know, fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, water, fibre… in short, all those macro and micronutrients that we need every day.
But in our daily life, it is usual that we are assailed by some related doubts, especially after the increase in the sale of frozen vegetables. Do these tend to lose nutritional benefits when they are frozen?
Is it true that frozen vegetables and fruits are losing profits?
There is some controversy about this, because although originally it tends to be thought the opposite, the truth is that frozen fruits and vegetables offer the same benefits and essential nutrients.
Why? Mainly because these foods have been blanched (i.e. cooked in boiling water or steamed for a very short period of time) and frozen within a few hours of being selected at their peak of freshness.
This is in case they are blanched on fire, because in case they are frozen as they are, practically their nutritional qualities are maintained. Moreover, it is considered that the loss of nutrients is almost imperceptible.
On the other hand, it is true that frozen foods tend to lose some organoleptic properties, not only in terms of external appearance but also in taste. That is to say, it is common that their taste is somewhat more neutral, and their appearance is obviously not as striking as that of fresh vegetables or fruits.
However, this does not mean that it is not always best to choose fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, as a way of ensuring that they provide the correct benefits and nutritional properties.
And what about frozen vegetables and fruits at home?
We must bear in mind that, as various scientific studies have shown, frozen foods contain almost the same amount of essential nutrients (i.e., especially vitamins, minerals and fibre) as they did before they were frozen.
Moreover, in the case of frozen vegetables, it is most common that before freezing they go through a small processing, which means a slight alteration in the food. But basically it is observed in their organoleptic qualities (taste and appearance), and not in their nutritional benefits.
How to freeze vegetables and fruits correctly?
To ensure that the food we are going to freeze retains all its properties, it is very important to freeze it as quickly as possible. In this way we will manage to preserve its nutritional properties and, to a greater extent, its organoleptic qualities. In addition, it is equally important that the temperature reaches -40ºC.
But what about the food we freeze at home? It’s actually simpler than you think. Just follow the steps below:
How to freeze fruit at home:
Wash the fruit you’re going to freeze well. Then dry it well and divide it into rather small portions.
Put the pieces of cut fruit in bags designed for freezing (those that can be sealed hermetically are ideal).
Close the bag tightly and store in the freezer.
How to freeze vegetables at home:
Wash the vegetables well, better separately to get them better cleaned. Then dry it well.
Cut the vegetables into pieces.
Put water in a saucepan and put it on the fire. Then put ice water in another pan. When the water starts to boil, quickly dip the vegetables in it, being careful not to burn yourself, and then quickly dip them in the ice water as well.
Then dry them well and put them in the freezer bags. Close them tightly, and finally put them in the freezer.
Ready! Both frozen fruits and vegetables can last up to a year in the freezer. Effectively maintaining all their virtues.
This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.