In the winter time, fresh produce is often difficult to find and afford. Also, our lives can get pretty busy, and we may not have a bunch of time to spend on cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables. So when you can’t get fresh produce or don’t have time to prepare it, what should you do? Buy it frozen, or buy it canned?
Here are my thoughts on these two options:
Canned foods may be cheap, but you are losing lots of nutrients when you buy canned foods. Often times the foods are cooked at a high temperature, causing it to lose many of its nutrients. Canned foods are also packed with salt and preservatives in order for it to stay “fresher” longer. Also, canned fruit is usually canned in syrup that has a bunch of added sugars that you don’t need. So, in other words….canned foods are probably not your best option. But things like beans, beets, and pumpkin are fine to buy canned, just make sure you RINSE the beans and beets to remove as much salt/preservatives are you can. Rinsing goes for any canned foods you eat, always always rinse off canned produce! Rinsing removes preservatives, sugars, salts, and other chemicals they may be on the food.
Now onto frozen foods…
Frozen foods are often frozen when the food is in season, ripe, and fresh. This ensures you that you are getting produce that is at its best. Also, most of the time these foods are not cooked prior to freezing, and therefore most all the nutrients are left intact. Frozen food is a great option when your favorite foods aren’t in season. Most of the time when you see strawberries in the dead of winter, those strawberries took a very long journey to get to your grocery store. This means that they lost lots of nutrients while on their way to your grocery store. But with frozen foods, they are frozen as soon as they are picked, and those nutrients get locked in place. Frozen foods are often times cheaper than fresh, and can be kept in the freezer for a very long time. Also, I am talking about frozen whole foods (peas, carrots, broccoli, berries, fruit, etc.), not frozen dinners….big difference! Make sure you look on the ingredients list to check for any added preservatives.
So my final thoughts on canned vs. frozen?
Definitely try to buy frozen over canned, due to the nutrient preservation in frozen foods. Also, canned foods often times have many more preservatives in them than frozen foods do. Fresh is almost always better, but when it isn’t available, stick with the frozen produce!