How to cook frozen vegetables healthily

How healthy are frozen vegetables?

Status: 04/30/2021 5:44 p.m.

Frozen vegetables often contain more vitamins than fresh vegetables or vegetables that have been preserved in jars or in a can. Some ingredients in frozen ready meals are problematic.

The term frozen food is used to describe food that has been preserved by so-called deep freezing. Before deep-freezing, vegetables are usually blanched to reduce the number of germs.

If vegetables are frozen quickly, the ice crystals in the cells and intercellular spaces of the plants are so small that no damage occurs and the nutrients are largely retained. They can be preserved almost perfectly, especially with so-called shock freezing (below minus 30 degrees). A thin layer of ice around the vegetables prevents liquids and nutrients from escaping.

Fresh vegetables quickly lose vitamins

Frozen vegetables usually contain more nutrients than vegetables in jars or cans, but also than fresh vegetables that have been stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Because light and heat cause the nutrient content in fresh vegetables to drop significantly over time.

Immediately after harvesting, vegetables begin to crumble and wilt. This means that important nutrients, especially vitamins, are lost. For example, peas lose over 40 percent of vitamin C in the refrigerator within just two days of being harvested, and as much as 80 percent for spinach leaves.

Ingredients in frozen ready meals

Unlike pure frozen vegetables, frozen ready meals often contain ingredients that consumer advocates consider to be problematic, for example:

  • Dyes
  • Flavors
  • Preservatives
  • Flavor enhancers
  • binder
  • sugar

It is therefore important to pay attention to the list of ingredients when buying frozen ready-made meals. Some manufacturers advertise that they do not use additives in their frozen products.

Frozen Food: Tips To Buy

So that the nutrients in frozen vegetables are retained, the so-called cold chain must not be broken. That means:

  • The temperature in the supermarket refrigerated shelf should be minus 18 degrees or less. If ice has formed in the chest, the cooling is not working properly.
  • Only buy frozen products with undamaged packaging.
  • Do not put frozen food in the cart until you have finished shopping.
  • Use a special insulating bag for transport home or place several frozen products next to each other to keep the cold better.

Defrost frozen food properly

In order to maintain the quality of frozen products, consumers should be careful of a few things when defrosting and preparing them:

  • Always thaw frozen food in the refrigerator. The goods can spoil at higher temperatures.
  • When thawing, the food should lie dry and not come into contact with the thawing liquid. In the case of poultry, salmonella can collect in the thawing water!
  • If possible, consume frozen products within 24 hours after thawing.
  • Frozen vegetables should not be thawed, but prepared frozen, as otherwise they can lose nutrients. It is best to cook briefly, but over a very high heat.
  • Frozen pizzas, potato products and bread rolls should also be prepared in the frozen state.
  • Products that are consumed cold - such as smoked fish, fruit or cakes - must be completely thawed beforehand.

Frozen food: Is it possible to freeze it again?

Hardly any frozen product lacks the information that it should not be frozen again after it has been thawed. However, according to the German Deep Freeze Institute, it is possible under certain conditions to freeze defrosted food again - especially with cooked or highly heated food.

  • The thawed products should be frozen again as quickly as possible because microorganisms can spread when thawed.
  • Frozen products should be reheated thoroughly before consumption to kill possible germs.
  • When freezing again, important nutrients are lost because the food in its own freezer does not cool down as quickly as with shock freezing. Therefore, you should estimate the required portions as precisely as possible before preparation in order to avoid re-freezing.

Do restaurants still cook properly?

Instead of frozen pizza at home, a freshly cooked dish in a restaurant? You can't rely on that: In many restaurants, at least some of the dishes are manufactured industrially. more

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Market | 05/03/2021 | 8:15 pm