Are frozen vegetables just as healthy as fresh? Here are some tips to boost your nutrient intake with recipes that feature frozen vegetables!
Fresh vegetables are amazing. I love being able to chop them up and throw them in salads. But what happens when some of my favorites are out of season?
Some of us stay out of the frozen aisles because we’ve been trained to think that everything down there is not good for you. But that’s not the case! Frozen produce can be used in place of fresh for many different situations, and today I’m going to show you healthy ways to use those frozen vegetables.
Are frozen vegetables healthy?
Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh! For one thing, they’re frozen almost right after being picked so they retain all of their nutrients.
Compare that to some fresh vegetables, who are picked before they’re ready and shipped far away to your grocery store. In that process, they’ve probably lost some of their freshness.
The one thing to look at with frozen vegetables is the ingredients list. Make sure that the vegetables are the only ingredient and don’t have added sauces or cheeses- that adds extra calories and fat.
Are frozen vegetables cheaper than fresh?
When in-season, fresh vegetables are really cheap. But at other times, it’s actually cheaper to buy frozen vegetables! I’ve seen them as cheap as $1.00 for a 16-oz bag, which gives you about 4-5 servings.
Healthy Ways to Use Frozen Vegetables
Roast them in the oven
Wait, did you know you can actually roast frozen vegetables in the oven?? I honestly had no idea I could do this until recently. It’s a game-changer, and gives a nice change to the regular microwave cooking.
This post from Slender Kitchen has a handy chart of how long to roast your vegetables. You’ll need a high temperature- 450 degrees- to make sure all the condensation is lost while cooking.
You can also use an air fryer to roast frozen vegetables! I hate heating up my house in Summer, so my air fryer has become my best friend. This post from My Crazy Good Life shows you how to roast your vegetables using an air fryer.
Put in soups
Soups are SUCH a good way to use frozen vegetables because everything’s meant to be soft. Just throw in a couple bags of veggies and you’re good to go! Here are a couple favorites:
Add to casseroles
Casseroles don’t have to be unhealthy, or hard! I love how I can add frozen vegetables to casseroles- especially since sometimes casseroles can be time-consuming. Here are a few to try:
Use in stir fry/curry
Oh man, I use frozen vegetables in Asian dishes all the time. Those bags of frozen stir fry vegetables are SO convenient- They’re cheaper than buying all the individual ingredients that I may not use all of!
When I make my Egg Roll in a Bowl, I toss in a bag of those stir fry veggies after I cook the ground turkey and let them get soft for a few minutes before adding the coleslaw mix. It’s a super easy way to get in an extra serving of vegetables!
Use in certain salads
Because frozen vegetables tend to be soft after cooking, most of them would not be good in a salad. However, peas and corn are an exception!
I discovered recently that cooked and cooled peas are an excellent addition to regular salads. And corn can be added to a delicious Mexican salad. Here are a couple other salads to try:
Steam as a side dish
If you don’t want to get fancy, you can totally just steam a bag of vegetables in the microwave. This is my go-to with most dinners because it’s super easy.
I like mine with simply salt and pepper, but you can drizzle a bit of olive oil or melted butter and even a sprinkle of cheese if you want to mix things up!
Put them in smoothies
There are a few vegetables I’d put in a smoothie. And to be honest, I won’t ever make a smoothie without adding one! I’ve used tons of fresh vegetables, but do frozen vegetables work too?
Believe it or not, frozen butternut squash in a smoothie is AMAZING. They work just like ice cubes and give your smoothie a creamy texture while giving you tons of nutrients.
I’ve also used frozen spinach, but have heard that frozen pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and kale work really well also.
What are your favorite ways to use frozen vegetables? Leave a comment and give us ideas!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.