Home cooking is starting to make a comeback but it’s not like the home cooked meal your grandmother used to make. If the words free-range, grass fed, antibiotic free, hormone free, organic, local and/or non-GMO are not somehow included in the dinner menu you are probably feeling a bit nutritiously inferior. Forget the all the hype and go old school, to the freezer section. It’s the ordinary frozen foods found right in your local grocery store that may end up being the healthiest and won’t break the bank account at the check out line.
What you may not know is that some frozen foods are actually better for you than the supposedly fresh ones. The flash freeze method was invented in the 1920’s. Before this vegetables were frozen at slow temperatures causing large ice crystals to form in food, damaging its fibrous and cellular structure and robbing it of taste and texture. A man by the name of Clarence Birdseye created the flash freezing technique that freezes veggies superfast and keeps them super cold. This ensures that only small crystals form and preserve much of the vitamins and freshness.
Since the 1920’s technology has advanced and a couple of new tricks have been invented to improve quality. Blanching fruits and vegetables before freezing deactivates the oxidation process that causes browning, degrades colours and nutrient content. The best part is that blanching actually increases the fibrous content of the foods making it even better and lower glycemic.
The downside to blanching is that the water-soluble vitamins C and various B’s decrease in nutrient quality somewhat. Steaming is preferable to blanching before freezing but it’s more expensive which is why most manufactures don’t do it. This is where label reading comes in. The packaging should tell you the process that went into freezing. So keep an eye on brands that steam rather than blanch. It seems that all other vitamins and nutrients are not affected by flash freezing so you don’t have to fee like you are lacking in the nutrition department or guilty that you are feeding your family second grade food.
5 Tips For The Perfect Freezer Feast:
So, in the hectic schedules of Christmas concerts, office parties and open houses, save some time (and sanity) and serve up some veggies
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