One of the practical reasons for buying fruits and vegetables frozen is they’re seasonal and often need to be imported from other countries. “In order for berries to be ripe by the time they get to us, they are often picked in their pre-ripe form and they further lose some of their nutrients during their long travel to your grocery store,” says Cassandra Suarez, MS, RDN, CPT of Boston, Massachusetts. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are a better value frozen when out of season because they begin to lose their nutrients moments after being picked. Check out these delicious breakfast smoothie recipes.
We have good intentions when we buy a big bag of carrots but as the week wanes on and our days are rushed, we find ourselves eating take-out or microwaving frozen dinners instead of eating the carrots. “Frozen carrots are an excellent option because of the high levels of beta carotene and antioxidants have been locked into the vegetable through the freezing process, ensuring that it’s powerful health benefits like improved vision, beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-aging don’t disappear,” says Suarez.
Mangoes tend to be over-ripe or under-ripe in the store. Plus mangoes are a bit time consuming and messy when it comes to peeling and slicing them. “Frozen mango is always a staple in my freezer,” says Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD, of Street Smart Nutrition. A bag of frozen mango has more potential uses than just making a smoothie. Harbstreet thaws her frozen mango and uses it in parfaits, on salads, and in mixed grains for a tropical twist.