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

    • Fox News Host Brenda Buttner Dead at 55

      Brenda Buttner, host of the Fox News show Bulls and Bears, has died after a battle with cancer. She was 55.

      People
    • Trump's Russia scandal takes an unexpected turn

      On Friday afternoon, FBI Director James Comey delivered a classified, hour-long briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia scandal, and soon after, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent “formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to the committee’s investigation” into the controversy. We don’t know much about how the briefing went – committee members were tight-lipped following Comey’s presentation – though Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted late Friday that he’s “now very confident” that the committee will conduct “thorough bipartisan investigation” into Russia’s “interference and influence.” Reading

      MSNBC q
    • Dozens fired after skipping work to participate in 'A Day Without Immigrants' protests

      Across the U.S. employers fired hundreds of protestors who skipped work to participate in rallies.

      CNBC.com q
    • All Of Emma Watson’s Looks From The Beauty And The Beast Press Tour (3 photos)

      It’s only T minus 25 days until we get to watch Emma Watson dazzle us on the big screen as Belle in Disney’s new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. We’ve already gotten sneak peeks of how the actress looks wearing that iconic yellow dress and—allegedly—her rose-covered fairy tale wedding gown, and while we’re admittedly obsessed with the epic costume design in the film, we’re equally excited about the prospect of seeing Watson’s personal style throughout the movie’s press tour. Given the fact that she’s been a muse for major designers and is regularly at the top of best-dressed lists for awards shows and other red carpet events, we know she’s going to serve us some seriously good looks. That said, we’re keeping track of all Emma’s fashions leading up to the film’s release on March 17th, so check back often to see her latest looks as well as what designers she’s wearing.

      The Zoe Report
    • UFC fighter asks for Ronda Rousey after knocking out her boyfriend

      Derrick Lewis brought up Travis Browne’s past domestic abuse allegations and took a step further when he brought up his opponent’s current girlfriend, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

      Cagewriter
    • Elderly Woman Stuck in Chair for Months Found `Molded` to Chair

      Residents in a Springfield Township neighborhood had no idea one of their neighbors was living in squalor until emergency vehicles lit up their typically quiet street, the Toledo Blade reported.

      Tribune
    • Melania Trump's sister shows rare behind-the-scenes look

      (CNN)Melania Trump is beginning to forge her own path as America's first lady, assembling a team of aides and advisers. But the name of one longtime confidante, and perhaps her most trusted friend, won't be announced with a news release or statement or a new title: her sister, Ines Knauss. Knauss, Trump's older sister, lives just blocks from Trump Tower in the Trump Park Avenue property, public records confirm. She was Trump's maid of honor at her 2005 Palm Beach wedding, People magazine reported at the time. And the first lady called Knauss "an incredible woman and a friend" in her July speech at the Republican National Convention. And the sister of the famously private Slovenian-born first

      CNN q
    • Doctor gets life in prison after intentionally botching spine surgery in Dallas County  | Courts

      They heard from Philip Mayfield, who cries when he thinks of all of his son's football games that he hasn't been able to watch because he often passes out from chronic pain, and Barry Morgaloff, who limps with a brace and a cane as a result of irreparable nerve damage in his spine. They heard from Jeff Cheney, who woke up paralyzed from the neck down on his right side, and Jackie Troy, who talks in a permanent whisper and almost died from an infection after she was left with puncture wounds in her throat after Duntsch performed neck surgery on her. "I'm just trying to stay focused and be thankful that I'm one of the lucky ones in this situation," said Troy, who's alive to talk about her encounter

      Dallas Morning News q
    • Brenda Buttner Dies: Fox News ‘Bulls And Bears’ Host Was 55

      Brenda Buttner, host of Fox News Channel's Bulls and Bears , has died after a battle with cancer. She was 55. The news was confirmed by Your World 's Neil Cavuto, who shared a special tribute to Buttner during the show. "She took stock of life much more than any stock in life,” Cavuto said. “It’s what separated her from everyone else in this business. Not just dollars, you see, Brenda had depth." He continued: “Let it be known that Brenda Buttner made us want to watch a…

      Deadline
    • When a Pimp's "Bottom Girl" Does the Dirty Work, She's Often the One Who Ends Up Punished

      A particularly poignant example comes from a 2012 case Melton tried as a San Antonio prosecutor. Melton went after a pimp who had sold a 16-year-old girl for sex over two years. The girl suffered horrific abuse at his hands—she was raped, impregnated, and forced to have an abortion. When she tried to run away, the pimp carved his initials into her forearm. The pimp got a 20-year sentence. A year later, the same girl was 19 and headed to prison herself. A federal judge sentenced her to three years for helping her new pimp recruit a San Antonio high school student. Melton said what happened to the girl, who never received treatment, broke her heart. "It's a great example of the cyclical nature

      ELLE q
    • Milo Yiannopoulos Could Be Fired by Breitbart Over Pedophilia Comments (Report)

      Milo Yiannopoulos could stand to lose his job as editor at Breitbart News over newly unearthed comments he once made about pedophilia, the FOX Business Network reported. According to the financial network “there is a fierce internal debate at Breitbart over whether he should remain with the website over his latest comments,” with some at the right-wing site telling Fox News that Yiannopoulos could be dismissed as early as end of the day Monday. Yiannopoulos was disinvited from Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Monday after a video of him talking about pedophilia resurfaced over the weekend.

      The Wrap
    • Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Keep It Cute at the NBA All-Star game

      Other than three-day weekends, there’s nothing we love more than seeing Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, and Jay Z looking happy as a family.

      Hello Giggles
    • Rob Kardashian Shares His ‘Favorite Pic’ with Daughter Dream Following His Split from Blac Chyna

      Rob Kardashian took to Instagram Monday to share a throwback snap of himself and daughter Dream Renée days after news broke that he and Blac Chyna have called it quits. “My favorite pic of us,” he captioned a sweet photo of himself holding Dream, now 3 months, with his eyes closed and hers open and alert. Chyna, 28, and Kardashian, 28, split “a while ago,” a source close to Kardashian told PEOPLE Thursday.

      People
    • Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another

      Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

      Inside Edition
    • One month of Trump: What voters think – and why that matters

      After 30 days in office President Trump has done one thing for sure: He’s polarized American voters more than any US chief executive of the last 30 years. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents loathe his performance, per approval polls. This is a reminder that most of the people who put Trump in office are content to wait and see how his policies develop.

      Christian Science Monitor
    • Police say newly freed gang member killed California officer

      LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gang member who was recently freed from jail killed his cousin and stole his car Monday then shot and killed a California police officer and wounded his partner before being wounded himself, authorities said.

      Associated Press
    • Watch the moment DeMarcus Cousins found out he was traded to New Orleans

      This won’t be the last time DeMarcus Cousins wears a NOLA jersey. New Orleans hosted the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, and then stole headlines away from the festivities just as the game was ending on Sunday night, when the Pelicans agreed to terms with the Sacramento Kings on a deal that would keep three-time All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in The Big Easy for good. News of the trade, reported by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, came down around the same time players were set to meet with the press for postgame interviews.

      Ball Don't Lie
    • Priscilla Presley Confirms She's Caring for Granddaughters as Lisa Marie Presley’s Husband Is Investigated for Child Abuse

      Priscilla Presley has broken her silence over her daughter Lisa Marie Presley’s bitter custody battle and confirmed she’s caring for her twin granddaughters. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for “all” your positive support,” she wrote above a photo of the sisters smiling and cuddling one another.

      Us Weekly
    • NCIS: LA Recap: Mole Hunt Ends With Another Betrayal, Hint at Big Exit

      CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles concluded its long-running mole storyline on Sunday night, but not before raising the curtain on another snitch, letting one shady sort slip away and seemingly setting the stage for a cast member’s sad swan song. When last we tuned in, “Sullivan” aka CIA Officer Ferris had taken Kensi hostage, drugging her […]

      TVLine.com