Fresh VS Frozen
A lot of us are stretched for time when it comes to trying to prepare healthy and delicious meals at home for ourselves or our family.
Juggling work, exercise, a social life, and spiritual self care, it's all too easy to turn to unhealthy food options that are quick to make.
I haven't owned a microwave for years, however, there are many "frozen foods" that I do buy.
Fruits and vegetables!
Many people assume fresh foods will always be the most optimal in terms of nutrition, but that really depends what you are comparing it against.
If you can grow your own foods and consume immediately after harvest, awesome!
But many frozen fruits and vegetables can actually be more nutrient dense than their fresh alternatives at the grocery store.
Frozen vegetables are picked at optimal nutritional and freshness levels and their nutrient density is preserved by freezing.
Compare that to many vegetables that would be picked either unripe (to ripen on the way to the store) or have sat on the grocery store display for a few days, losing potency.
PROS and CONS
Of course a farmer's market is a great option when looking for something that was picked as recently as possible, and will have superb antioxidant and health benefits.
But frozen veggies are also there ready to use when you need them, and extremely less likely to end up being thrown out due to spoilage.
With 40% or more of our food being wasted, this is a great perk.
Of course freezing does require more energy consumption to ship, and frozen goods always require packaging, so there can be pros and cons.
But I'd be curious to know if the net reduction in food waste didn't counteract the energy use overall.
Not all foods can be frozen well – salad greens and tomatoes, for instance, don't work – but one of my personal favorites to buy frozen is wild blueberries.
There is a study that showed blueberries had a 29% increase in antioxidants after 3 weeks of cold storage.
I use frozen blueberries in my smoothie almost everyday.
Foundation for a "Rob Smoothie":
• About a cup of frozen wild blueberries
• 1 banana1 tablespoon chia seeds
• 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
• 1 teaspoon cacao powder
• 1 teaspoon medicinal mushroom powder blend
• A scoop of green superfood powder
• 1 celery stalk1 handful of organic greens
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• Sometimes 1 tablespoon almond butter
• Add water or nut milk and blend
I want to point out I never measure anything. I encourage people to always eye it out and trying using what you have, and add in other fresh foods that need to get eaten. That could be an apple, part of an avocado, part of a zucchini even!
*I'm not claiming this meets all my nutritional needs, or is suited for everyone on every diet.
This is just a nice way for me to sneak in a bunch of nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats in a way that tastes great to me, and is satisfying without added sugars, starches, or any processed foods (other than the nut milk).
I hope it gives you some inspiration to use smoothies as a way to get dense nutrition into your diet!
But remember, frozen veggies can be a great option to have around for easy steaming, boiling or sautéing without the worry of food spoiling if you don't eat it fast enough.
And best of all, frozen foods are almost always cheaper than their counterparts!