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

    • David Cassidy: Looking Back at the Former Teen Heartthrob’s Ups and Downs

      The actor had won hearts worldwide as the hunky, young star of The Partridge Family in the 1970s. Despite unbelievable fame, the decades that followed were marked with turmoil for Cassidy, now 66. At the peak of his early career, Cassidy played some 350 concerts in 17 countries while releasing 10 Partridge albums, eight solo albums and 17 singles, PEOPLE reported in 1983.

      People
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Rob Kardashian just shared his “favorite pic” with Dream after his split from Blac Chyna

      Though he hasn’t exactly had a stellar couple of months, Rob Kardashian just shared a photo with his daughter, Dream, that (hopefully)…

      Hello Giggles
    • I Tested 12 Sheet Masks and These Are the Best Ones (8 photos)

      I'll be honest: before I started working at Health.com, my skincare routine was nonexistent, and removing eye makeup and washing my face before bed was as far as I took my lazy-girl regime. So when I learned about sheet masks, the beauty treatment popularized in Korea that lets you multitask while you get your skincare on, I was sold. Since I don't have any serious skin issues (I'm lucky to have pretty clear, even-toned skin that only gets dry in the coldest days of winter), I decided to try sheet masks that run the gamut of treatment options. Over the past three months, I tested masks that promise detoxified pores, hydration, and a skin-glowing boost. VIDEO: 8 Great Face Masks In the end, I tried 12 different sheet masks and put their powers to the test. I followed the specific directions on the back of each mask and took note of my first impression when applying the mask. Then I noted my skin's appearance upon removal and later my skin's appearance a full day after the treatment. In the end, only a few of the sheets delivered on their promises, but those that did have become repeat purchases.

      InStyle
    • Disturbing video shows man dragging dog behind motorized wheelchair

      MISSION, Texas -- Police in southern Texas have arrested a man after a neighbor filmed a video of him allegedly dragging his dog by a leash behind his motorized wheelchair. The incident happened Wednesday evening in a neighborhood in Mission, Texas, near the U.S. border with Mexico. A neighbor, Melissa Torrez, told CBS affiliate KGBT she saw the man dragging the struggling German shepherd and confronted him. “I turn around. I see him dragging his dog from the middle of street. ... I’m out of my car yelling at him, asking him, ‘What are you doing? What’s wrong with you?’ And he just keeps going, telling me to mind my own business, it’s his dog he can do whatever he wants,” Torrez told KGBT. Torrez

      CBS News q
    • Dog Surrendered at Shelter Comes with Heart-Wrenching Owner’s Manual from 8-Year-Old Child

      Rhino Lightening has a super name because he is a super dog. Rhino was a tad too rambunctious for the family’s two small children, so they brought him back to the Humane Society of Utah to find his perfect forever home. The multi-page plea includes specific instructions for the shelter and Rhino’s new family.

      People
    • ‘Partridge Family’ Star David Cassidy Reveals He Has Dementia

      David Cassidy, star of the hit 70s TV series “The Partridge Family,” revealed on Monday that he is battling dementia. “I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” Cassidy said in an interview with People Magazine, adding that his mother and grandfather had also suffered from the degenerative brain disease. Last weekend, Cassidy struggled to remember lyrics to songs he has been performing for decades and staggered off the stage during a concert in Agoura Hills, California.

      The Wrap
    • Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union & Chris Bosh Ditch All-Star Game For Miami Boat Trip (VIDEO + PHOTO)

      1 2/20/2017 11:23 AM PST Dwyane Wade wasn't an All-Star this season ... but that didn't stop him from livin' it up like one with his old teammate, Chris Bosh, and their wives on a boat trip in Miami!! The Bulls star didn't make the team for the first time in 12 seasons, but it clearly doesn't look like he had a case of FOMO ... especially with his gorgeous wife, Gabrielle Union, showing off her killer bikini bod. Bosh also got the All-Star treatment with a foot rub from an on-board masseuse. Meanwhile, LeBron James -- the last member of the Big 3 -- had 23 points in 19 minutes in Sunday's game for the East. Everybody wins.

      TMZ q
    • Walmart Cashier Pays Half of Grocery Bill for Family of Five: ‘I Think Y’all Need a Blessing!’

      A South Carolina mother of three, was “absolutely blown away” when a Columbia Walmart cashier insisted on covering half of her $200 grocery bill —with her personal credit card. On Friday evening, Ashley Jordan and her husband, Michael, were shopping with their 1-year-old baby daughter, Kinseigh, at the store while their other two children Cayleigh, 5, and Aubreigh, 3, stayed at home with a sitter.

      People
    • So What Happened Last Night In Sweden? Donald Trump Saw It On Fox News – Update

      Updated 2:07 pm Sunday, with Trump response  President Donald Trump has explained his Sweden comment: He saw it on Fox. “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” he’s just tweeted. My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19…

      Deadline
    • 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
    • Emmanuel Sanders' wife says in divorce case that he skipped a Broncos practice to party

      The gloves are off in the divorce case between Denver Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders and his soon-to-be ex-wife, and she might even get him in trouble at his job. Sanders did miss practice last Nov. 21, the Monday after the team’s bye week, and the Broncos said then it was due to the pending birth of his child. It’s possible, after seeing the nasty claims made public by TMZ (which said the court docs were “angry”), that Sanders’ wife said he lied to the team just to cause an issue with the Broncos.

      Shutdown Corner
    • Entertainment Tonight
    • Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another

      Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

      Inside Edition
    • 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
    • David Cassidy Reveals He Is Battling Dementia: ‘A Part of Me Always Knew This Was Coming’

      David Cassidy is battling dementia. The 66-year-old actor, widely known for his starring role as Keith Partridge on the 1970s series The Partridge Family, reveals to PEOPLE that he is fighting the memory loss disease. Of his mother’s struggles, Cassidy recalls: “In the end, the only way I knew she recognized me is with one single tear that would drop from her eye every time I walked into the room.

      People
    • 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