More plant-based and vegetarian food options are becoming commercially available in your average grocery store and market. As dietary lifestyles change and average people become more informed about healthy eating, it begs the question.What is better, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies?
You may have heard conflicting information online regarding frozen produce options. Many people also swear by eating only fresh fruits and veggies. At PlantX, we believe that it’s all about meeting each individual's needs while maintaining a proper nutritional intake of vitamins and minerals.
Whether you eat only fresh or a mixture of fresh and frozen produce, each has its own set of benefits.
Here are some pros and cons of eating fresh and frozen produce. Read on to learn about the differences and benefits of both types of products and make the right decision for your dietary needs.
Fresh Fruits & VegetablesPros
Depending on your area, usually, there is a wider choice of available fresh produce in the market. Because fresh produce doesn't need any further processing, there are more options in regards to the types of produce available, as well as the option of picking seasonally ripe fruits and vegetables.
When harvested in season, fresh produce will have the perfect texture and taste. Imagine that crunch and juiciness of that first bite of a fresh piece of fruit.
Easily lose moisture. Unfortunately, fresh produce eventually loses moisture hours or days after harvest which can affect both the taste and texture.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can also spoil in a few days if they’re not properly stored or not used quickly enough due to lack of preservatives.
Apart from the change in taste and texture, fruits and veggies can also lose some of their nutrient value after 2 days.
Storage and food travel can cause nutrient loss, too. If the place of the harvest is far from the market, this can be a problem. You should purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables from your local farmers market when possible.
Usually harvested before the nutrient level peak is achieved. Farmers take the travel time and storage into consideration, so they often harvest the fruits and vegetables a little early.
Lastly, fresh produce tends to be more expensive, especially if they are a seasonal product such as squash or avocado.
Frozen Fruits & ProducePros
They’re great for making blended smoothies and other frozen treats like healthy popsicles and ice cream. During processing, the moisture found in the produce is frozen, making smoothiesand ice cream more creamy and rich. Smoothies that are made with fresh produce tend to be more watery when blended and may need additional items like dried kale or steel-cut or sprouted rolled oats to be thicker.
Frozen food can be stored for longer if kept in the right container and temperature.
Flash freezing produce allows for water retention and preserving the nutrient value. Unlike with fresh produce, the nutritional value of frozen fruits and vegetables doesn’t diminish with storage and travel.
Most frozen fruits and vegetables tend to be less expensive in comparison to fresh produce.
Using frozen produce also allows you to have less food waste, as you can use what you need and store the rest for later.
With all that in mind, purchasing produce that’s frozen also has its own sets of disadvantages.
There are fewer options when it comes to purchasing frozen fruits and veggies at the market. Not all fruits and vegetables taste good when frozen, and many companies focus on a few types of produce for their products. You won’t find frozen dragon fruit anywhere unless you froze it yourself!
The flash freezing process can sometimes make starchier fruits more mealy in texture. This may not be a problem depending on what you are using your frozen fruit for as the difference is not noticeable when blended.
Before flash freezing, fruits and vegetables are often blanched first. During the blanching process, heat-sensitive nutrients like Vitamins B and C may be diminished.
Freezing may also reduce the antioxidant content of fruits and berries.
Frozen fruits and veggies also often contain preservatives in order for them to maintain longer shelf life. When you can, shop organic!
Remember that seasonality plays a role in the taste and nutrient level of the products available in the market. If the fruit or vegetable you’re looking for isn’t in season and has to be imported, frozen produce may be the better option so you can still get the best nutritional value. To get the best out of fresh food, buy the ones locally grown in season at your nearest Farmer’s Market and get to know the local farmers in your community as well! You can find loads of interesting recipes for a healthy plant-based breakfast, lunch, and dinner on our recipe page. Don't forget to check out our awesome plant based meal delivery options too! PlantX delivers freshly made meals to your door every week, no prepping or cooking needed, and never frozen.
There isn’t a clear-cut right and wrong way of consuming fruits and vegetables. Each option comes with advantages and disadvantages. But with this list, you can make better decisions about the food you buy and be better informed about how they can help your plant-based journey.