We all want to prepare fresh healthy food, but when is it an advantage to pull out the frozen bag? During the winter months frozen vegetables are an obvious choice because so many things are out of season. However, studies have shown that preparing some vegetables from frozen actually contain more vitamins and minerals.
In order to preserve freshness and be able to transport their products to the market in sellable condition, much of our produce is picked before it has fully ripened on the vine. Frozen blueberries, corn and green beans have been found to contain more Vitamin C than their fresh counterparts. Why? The technique of flash freezing seals in all the nutrients as soon as they are picked. For example, fresh peas lose half their Vitamin C in the first 24 - 48 hours.
The real key to maintaining the most nutritional value is really in the preparation! Because many vegetables are water-soluble, boiling them for long periods of time in water allows many of the vitamins to leach out. Your best bet for "keeping in the good stuff" is to use methods that cook them quickly with little to no water. The microwave or stovetop steaming are best.
If you are shopping at a local farmer's market, by all means buy the fresh! But during the winter or if you can't make it to purchase the farmer's produce, here is a list of vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals prepared from frozen:
4. Brussel Sprouts
7. Pearl Onions - I use these for Beef Bourguignon and soups because they are so easy!