Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Why I Love Frozen Produce

Here we are right in the middle of January. I don't know about you, but I feel like everything in my life has been frozen for a while.

I have a huge pile of frozen mittens and socks sitting by garage door, cold and soggy and waiting to be thrown into the dryer. I have milk in my garage, because I can buy 4 gallons when I am at the store and put two of them in the garage since the temperature outside hasn't been above freezing for almost 3 weeks!

I have actually been sleeping with a pair of thick fuzzy socks on because my feet are freaking frozen!

So it seems like a strange time to be talking about frozen fruits and vegetables, but it is actually the Most Perfect time.  Fresh spring and summer produce from the farmer's market has never seemed farther away. Don't you miss it? I know that I sure do in the middle of January when the sad little flavorless strawberries sit in the grocery store and cost a fortune.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked and packaged at the peak of their freshness and season. That means that the flavor is not only better, but the nutrition and vitamin content are higher. That means that you are getting a better - and better for you product than something that has been traveling halfway around the world.

You buy a lot of wonderful items frozen. Everything from pomegranate seeds to onions and peppers diced and put together in a package.  You can have juicy peaches and sweet young peas.

Spend some time browsing the frozen produce section of your local markets.  Although onions aren't hard to come by, I love buying them frozen mixed with peppers to add flavor and health benefits to any dish that I start with ground beef.  I love the mixed veggie mix that has carrots, peas, green beans and corn in it. My Alice and Charlie eat it almost everyday with whatever I make for lunch. They just love to eat it with their fingers. You can add a bag of frozen broccoli to any pasta dish and I have recently started buying the pre-shelled edamame and adding to Asian dishes for extra protein.

If you love smoothies, you can't beat frozen fruit and if you are a real ice cream lover, You are going to go crazy making your own "ice cream" with just frozen bananas and milk. I buy bananas when they are on super sale and if I don't have time to make banana bread (of if I peel one for Charlie and he doesn't finish it all... )  I freeze them in a ziploc and then take them out and pop them into the blender to make ice cream - you can add a dash of cocoa and make chocolate ice cream.

While it might seem like the whole world is frozen right now and that it might be a miserable thing in some ways. Frozen fruits and vegetables are amazing. And you don't even need mittens to explore your frozen food aisle -  Just stay away from the cardboard pizzas.