Happy Fall Everyone!
As much as I love the summertime, fall in New England is something special! The leaves are changing, the weather is nice, and it happens to be my favorite season for cooking! There are plenty of veggies in season for roasting, plus the hearty fall flavors are a hit!
A question I get often is, what type of veggies and fruits should I buy? Are we limited to only buying fresh produce if we want the healthiest choice for our families, or do canned or frozen veggies offer some nutritional value? Here’s the skinny on fresh, canned, and frozen veggies so you can add more produce to your life without being concerned about nutrition.
Fresh Produce: The best choice when available!
Tip: Buy local produce in season for best price, flavor, and nutrition!
|Local produce will travel short distances||May travel far distances out of season|
|No preservatives needed||May not be accessible outside of growing season|
|Helps to support your local farmers||Can be more expensive than frozen / canned|
|Taste great when in season||Short shelf life|
|Provides optimum nutrient profile|
Frozen Produce: The next best choice for freshness, cost and off-season accessibility!
Tip: Frozen fruits / veggies are great in smoothies!
Keep frozen produce around for days you can’t get to the store.
|Blanched and frozen at peak ripeness||May not “thaw” well|
|Fairly affordable||More expensive than canned produce|
|Accessible year round||Limited availability of organic choices|
|Healthy with no added sauces||May contain sauce with added sugar / salt / fat / other additives.|
|Provides nutrient profile similar to fresh produce||Not as shelf stable as canned produce|
|Can be frozen for 8-10 months|
Canned Produce : The most affordable choice that can be a great supplement in your diet.
Tip: Look for low sodium / unsalted varieties when buying canned produce.
|Most affordable version of produce||Lowest nutrient profile|
|Most accessible version of produce||May lack in flavor|
|Shelf stable for long storage||Often contains added sodium and/or sauces|
|Convenient||Limited availability of organic choices|
With the right combination of fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables you can eat plenty of nutritious produce year round that won’t break the bank! If you’re looking for what produce is in season right now, refer to https://nutritionsynergy.org/2019/06/21/summer-produce-is-here/ for a chart of seasonal fruits/veggies.
Stay cozy everyone!