8 foods that are worth buying frozen

The Daily Meal

View gallery

.
Frozen Foods

(Frozen Peppers - Credit: Thinkstock/iStockphoto )

Get rid of that guilt from buying frozen fruits and vegetables — you're actually doing your diet some service.

Let’s face it, we as human beings are pretty much always looking for an easy way out, especially when it comes to cooking, and buying frozen foods is one route we often take.

There’s no arguing it — frozen fruits and vegetables are convenient. They're pre-washed and often available pre-chopped, and they come in compact little boxes or bags that will sit in your freezer and wait patiently for you to remember that you even bought them, whenever that may be.

On top of that, most frozen foods are cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and the savings only increase if you're the type that regularly throws out the two-day-old "fresh" broccoli you brought that began to brown before you could use it.

But even with convenience and cost covered, there’s still a bit of guilt associated with buying frozen. Everyone’s crazy about farmers’ markets and CSA’s these days, so we should always buy fresh, right?

Not necessarily.

For those of you who shudder every time you open the glass door in the frozen food aisle, this will make you feel better: frozen fruits and vegetables aren’t just convenient; they can be better for you, too.  

That’s right — those solid little packs of chopped spinach or blueberries may be a better alternative than their fresh counterparts because they offer you convenience and in most cases, more nutrition. Health expert Dr. Lori Shemek, founder and owner of DLS HealthWorks, explains why: The basic principle behind it is that when frozen fruits and vegetables are preserved, it’s done at the peak of their season, when they’re freshest and the most nutrient-dense. So with that taken into consideration, Shemek has listed eight of her favorite fruits and vegetables that she says are best to buy frozen, for your health’s sake and your wallet’s. 



Red Bell Peppers (Pictured on top left)

There’s no argument against the health benefits of a bell pepper: just half a medium bell pepper provides a daily dose of vitamin A and twice as much vitamin C as an orange. These two vitamins help neutralize free radicals that, in turn, helps reduce heart disease, some cancers, and cataracts… that is, if they are fresh. The bell peppers you find sitting on your produce stand could be more than few days old, which is why nutrient-dense foods like red bell peppers are key to remember when considering frozen versus fresh vegetables.

Buying frozen bell peppers is a little more expensive than buying fresh, with prices for fresh being around $0.21 per ounce* and frozen being around $0.37 per ounce, but it’s worth the extra dough considering the amount of nutrients that are saved, and of course, frozen peppers are pre-cut, cored, and seeded.

(See more: Taste test: Baked ham)



View gallery

.
Frozen carrots

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Carrots

Even though carrots are almost always available year-round, their super-food qualities become a moot point when they turn rubbery after only a few days in the refrigerator.

Frozen carrots are an excellent option because all of those high levels of beta carotene (which can be converted to vitamin A) and antioxidants have been locked into the vegetable. Carrot cryogenics ensure that those powerful health benefits like improved vision, beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-aging will never go away. Buying pre-cut fresh carrots will cost you around $3 at an online grocery store like Peapod, while 2 cups of pre-cut frozen carrots will cost you $1.49. 




View gallery

.
Broccoli

(Photo: Thinkstock/Hemera)

Broccoli

Broccoli, like cauliflower, is a member of the cruciferous family. However, broccoli is the only one with a sizable amount of sulforaphane, a potent compound that boosts the body's protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals. It helps fight breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers, and it’s low in fat, high in fiber, and high in vitamins C and A.

If that’s not enough, it’s a valuable source of calcium, containing as much calcium as a glass of milk. With all this being said, broccoli’s freshness is short-lived, and its nutrient density degrades as it begins to spoil after only a day in your fridge. Buying frozen broccoli, which costs $1.39 for 1 pound, is a much better decision than buying a head of fresh broccoli for $1, which is typically only half of a pound.



View gallery

.
Cherries

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Cherries

Fresh cherries are pretty difficult to find in stores out of season, but when you can buy them frozen, you can enjoy them all year long.

For just $5 on Peapod, you can get 12 ounces of cherries that are loaded with the same antioxidants as the berries we discussed earlier. The deep red pigment that gives cherries their color is also from anthocyanin, and a good amount of it helps to reduces inflammation. Not only that, but the anthocyanin found in cherries may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer. Choose the tart cherries when buying them frozen, because they’re slightly lower in sugar than the sweeter varieties.  



View gallery

.
Spinach

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Spinach

While spinach is known as one of the most nutrient-rich super-foods, it starts losing its nutrient value the minute it gets picked. Those boxes of fresh spinach you buy at the grocery that cost around $4 for less than 1 cup lose most of their nutrient content after only eight days of sitting in the fridge.

Frozen spinach, at around $2 for 10 ounces, remains a super food for weeks on end, and remains full of micronutrients such as antioxidants, folate, and carotenoids that help reduce degenerative disease, heart diseases, and certain cancers. 



View gallery

.
Cauliflower

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto )

Cauliflower

Another cruciferous vegetable you’ll want to buy frozen is cauliflower. Due to its compounds known as isothiocyanates, cauliflower can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and just a ½-cup serving provides 45 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Buying a 16 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower at $1.39 is a much better deal than a 12-ounce bag of fresh cauliflower for $3.49, both nutritionally and financially. 




View gallery

.
Berries

(Photo: iStock)

Berries

Frozen berries such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are a better value frozen because they start losing their nutrients moments after being picked. Fresh berries that sit on the shelf at your local grocery store can be days old, and don’t even get us started on buying them fresh out of season.

Berries should be eaten at their peak because they contain high levels of antioxidants known as anthocyanin, the colorful pigments that give berries their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red. These antioxidants are known for a number of health benefits, most notably their use as anti-inflammatories and for cancer prevention. Even better, they’re cheaper frozen, because on online grocer Peapod, you can get more than 1 cup of frozen blueberries for less money than only 1 cup of fresh, so you’re saving money even before you have to throw out those rotten fresh blueberries. If you want to maximize your antioxidant benefits from berries, go organic and go frozen. 




View gallery

.
Butternut Squash

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto )

Butternut Squash

A super-food, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of beta-carotene (a deterrent against breast cancer and macular degeneration), potassium, folate, and vitamin B6 — nutrients that are essential for both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against birth defects, and by buying butternut squash frozen, you’re ensuring you get all of those nutrients no matter how long you wait to cook it. And, you do save a little money, because the price per ounce for pre-cut, fresh squash will cost you around 32 cents, whereas the price per ounce of frozen squash costs around $0.25.


Click here to see 8 Foods You Should Never Freeze

More from The Daily Meal:

Best Cooking Apps for Your Smartphone

Easy and Awesome Cheez-It Recipes

9 Kitchen Myths Busted

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Kendall Jenner’s See-through Top Leaves Photographers Seeing Stars

      Kendall Jenner dazzled the crowd in a black and white plaid gown as she walked the runway for Givenchy’s fall/winter 2017-2018 collection at Paris Fashion Week on Friday. But it was on the streets of the City of Light on Saturday where the 21-year-old supermodel really left photographers seeing stars.

      People
    • After Being Stared Down by a Couple in Cracker Barrel, This Dad Received a Note About Parenting

      When Kevon Smith Sr. sat down for breakfast at Cracker Barrel with his son Kevon Jr. in Willoughby, OH, he had no idea he was going to make headlines just for being a good dad. Kevon noticed a couple staring and smiling at him and his 3-month-old son, and although he was confused, he just went on with the meal. "I noticed this older couple over in the corner," he said. "They kept smiling at me and I was looking at my son like, 'What is going on?'" But when Kevon left the restaurant, it all made sense, as he saw a note on his car from the couple praising his parenting along with cash to cover his breakfast. "Today your meal is on my wife and me," it read. "Enjoy that baby as long as God intends.

      PopSugar q
    • Julie Bowen Faces Criticism for Joking About Barron Trump During Inauguration

      Julie Bowen has come under fire for her comments about Barron Trump. Julie Bowen made Donald Trump’s inauguration more fun to watch, but not everyone appreciated her witty banter. The Modern Family star, who often details the funny antics of her own three sons, posted a few Instagram photos during the ceremony focusing on Barron Trump, the 10-year-old son of the new president and his wife, Melania.

      Yahoo Celebrity
    • Punter Pat McAfee Fired Off A Tweetstorm About The Colts GM Right After He Was Fired

      The Indianapolis Colts fired GM Ryan Grigson on Saturday. It seemed like a move that needed to happen, as Indy’s on-field performance over the last few years has declined while rumblings of a rift between Grigson and Chuck Pagano have been out there for a while. McAfee has been in Indianapolis since 2009, so he’s seen the inner workings of this organization before and during the Grigson years.

      UPROXX
    • Is There a Hidden Meaning Behind Melania Trump's Tiffany & Co. Inauguration Gift?

      On Friday morning during the traditional welcoming to the White House of the incoming president and first lady by the outgoing president and first lady before the inauguration, Melania Trump presented Michelle Obama with a gift from Tiffany & Co.

      Yahoo Style
    • The Fried Chicken Everyone Is Talking About In Your State (52 photos)

      With help from our friends at Foursquare , we found the best-rated fried chicken spots across America. Did we get your state right? From Delish

      Delish
    • Sick of robocalls? Here's how to stop them on your home phone and smartphone

      Robocalls continue to plague homeowners — especially senior citizens at home all day with a traditional land line — and the volume is worse than ever. American consumers and businesses received an estimated 29.3 billion in unwanted telemarketing calls in 2016, based on the YouMail Robocall Index released this week. Texas received the most statewide robocalls in the U.S. for the seventh consecutive month, with 283.1 million calls received in December, according to the index. The 817 area code ranked 9th in the nation in robocall volume with 22.6 million calls. Dallas and Houston made the Top 10 among cities. At the same time, the number of robocall complaints to the Federal Trade Commission increased

      Miami Herald q
    • Here's what Trump's executive order really means for Obamacare

      In one of his first official actions, President Trump signed an executive order late Friday that directed federal agencies to use their authority to relieve individual Americans, businesses, state governments and others from “burdens” placed on them by the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress billed the order as a first step in their push to repeal Obamacare. So, does this mean the new president has scrapped the 2010 healthcare law “on Day One,” as he once promised he would do? Or is this just more talk from the new president? As with everything about Obamacare, it’s complicated. Here’s what Trump’s order did, and what it didn’t do. Has Obamacare

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Ivanka Trump Has a Princess Moment in Carolina Herrera at Inaugural Balls

      For inauguration events, Ivanka Trump wore three Oscar de la Renta ensembles. But for the grand finale, the first daughter switched things up and opted for a piece from Carolina Herrera.

      Yahoo Style
    • Bella Hadid Wears Totally Sheer Shirt Without a Bra -- See the Daring Pic!

      The 20-year-old model was spotted out in Paris on Friday.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Packers late into Atlanta after being fogged in at home

      The Packers' charter flight was unable to land in Green Bay's Austin Straubel International Airport in Wisconsin on Saturday due to heavy fog. The Packers then boarded a bus and headed 125 miles south to Milwaukee to catch the plane and depart for Atlanta, according to multiple reports. The charter flight was scheduled to depart Green Bay at 2 p.m. U.S. Central time (2000 GMT).

      Reuters
    • Trump's First Executive Orders: Attacks ObamaCare, Raises Taxes

      Donald Trump signed several executive orders just minutes after the end of his inaugural parade. The earliest of them were designed to remove protections for middle-class homeowners, appoint people to his cabinet in contravention of law, freeze regulation of businesses, and make a symbolic gesture against the Affordable Care Act. So far, he has not yet begun construction on his border wall or begun to deport undocumented immigrants. He had previously promised to do both things in the first hours after taking office. Chief among the orders was one that allowed confirmation of Trump's nominees for defense secretary and homeland security secretary. James Mattis and John Kelly, respectively, were

      refinery29.com q
    • The Patriots have been holding back and that should scare the bejeezus out of the Steelers

      Even with Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the regular season, the New England...

      Business Insider
    • Michelle Obama was given a gift and didn’t know what to do with it and we’re like “girl, same”

      If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a gift, you know it can sometimes be kind of awkward. Don’t get us…

      Hello Giggles
    • Scarlett Johansson Reveals She Used Planned Parenthood When She Was 15 at Women’s March

      Scarlett Johansson got personal during the women’s march in Washington D.C. on Saturday as she spoke out about women’s health issues. “‘Have you been to the gynecologist yet?’ That was the question my mom asked me at 15 when I informed her about a change that I noticed in my body,” she said. “I’m not the type to divulge facts about my personal life, but I feel that in the face of this current political climate, it is vital that we all make it our mission to get really, really personal.

      People
    • ‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Will Marvel Recast Daredevil?

      'Daredevil' lead Charlie Cox expressed uncertainty surrounding his potential role in the next 'Avengers' movie. Is a recasting on the horizon?

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Warren Buffett: Americans Should ‘Overwhelmingly’ Support Trump’s Cabinet Picks

      On the eve of the presidential inauguration, all eyes were on another businessman — multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the central figure in HBO’s upcoming documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett,” which held its premiere on Thursday evening at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. “[Buffett’s] legacy is still yet to be determined — whether that be as the... Read more »

      Variety
    • Barron Trump plays peekaboo with nephew while his father signs first presidential documents

      President Trump's 10-year-old son, Barron, played peekaboo with his nephew, Theodore, while his father was signing his first official documents as president.

      Yahoo News Video
    • Bye-bye fillings! Alzheimer’s drug lets teeth repair themselves

      So long fillings! Researchers from King’s College London have developed a method for stimulating the renewal of living stem cells in teeth, using a drug developed to help with Alzheimer's.

      Digital Trends
    • Photos of the day - January 21, 2017 (24 photos)

      A man dressed as Abraham Lincoln stands with protesters at the Women’s March on Washington during the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency in Washington, D.C.; Iranian firefighters remove the debris of the Plasco building, which was engulfed by a fire and collapsed in central Tehran, Iran; and Syrians walk through the destruction in the old city of Aleppo, Syria. These are some of the photos of the day. (AP/EPA/Getty/Reuters) See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.

      Yahoo News Photo Staff