Americans are typically lacking in their fruit and vegetable consumption, only eating about one third of the recommended daily servings.
Frozen fruits and veggies are packaged at their nutritional peak, so they are just as healthy as their fresh counterparts. The differences are minimal between the two, with frozen fruits and veggies slightly lower in water-soluble nutrients such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, because they can break down during the blanching/freezing process.
Fresh varieties, on the other hand, are usually picked before they are allowed to fully ripen, therefore they are not able to develop their peak nutrition.
Both are simple to incorporate into meals. Fresh fruit, for example, is great as a snack or mixed into a salad, whereas frozen fruit is convenient for smoothies or as a Greek yogurt topper.
If you plan on cooking your fresh veggies, they retain the most nutrition when lightly steamed, and frozen veggie mixes are quick and nutritious to toss in a stir-fry.
Whether fresh or frozen, eating any fruit or vegetable is better than none at all!
Berry Yogurt Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
• 3/4 cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries)
• 1/2 banana
• 1/2 cup non-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
• 1/2 cup water
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
Nutrition information per serving: 182 calories, 0.5 gram fat, 33 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 56 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber
Emily DelConte, Kali Garges, Amy King, Kelly Markiewicz and Meghan Martorana write this column and are registered dietitians at EVOLUTION — Nutrition Counseling by Dietitians in Bristol, East Greenwich, Newport and Providence. They adapt the recipes from public domain or copyright-free recipes.