It’s National Frozen Food Month! If you’re like a lot of people, you might use your freezer regularly. Learn the chilling facts about the benefits of your favorite frozen foods and some common misconceptions.
Frozen Produce Isn’t Nutritious
Frozen fruits and vegetables can lose some of their nutrients in the freezing process. Even though they might not be as nutritious as freshly-picked fruits and vegetables from your garden, they can actually be more nutritious than fresh produce from the grocery store. This is because out-of-season produce is generally picked before it’s fully ripe so that it can withstand a long shipping process, while frozen foods are generally picked at peak ripeness and frozen right away. This means that in general, frozen fruits and veggies are a nutritionally sound choice.
Frozen Dinners are Bad For You
There are quite a few brands out there that specialize in making healthy frozen dinners, so you might find that they are a healthier choice than you think. This is especially true when compared to certain other convenience foods, such as food from fast food restaurants.
You Can’t Re-Freeze Frozen Foods
If you thaw out frozen food and cook it, you might think that you can’t refreeze it. However, this is not the case. This is often given as a suggestion, since the quality can suffer, but you and your family can eat refrozen food without any issues. If it’s eaten relatively quickly, you might not even notice a difference in quality.
Frozen Food is Expensive
In many cases, frozen produce is actually more affordable than fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly when you are buying out of season. Don’t assume that frozen food is a bad financial choice. Instead, consider comparing prices on the items that you are shopping for so that you can make the right decision.
You Shouldn’t Freeze Food Beyond Expiration Dates
When it comes to meat, you can in fact stretch it beyond its expiration date by freezing it. Remember, the dates on frozen foods are just a guideline. This means that your family generally won’t get sick if you eat frozen foods after their expiration date, although you might notice a difference in quality.
Freezer Placement Does Not Matter
Set to the appropriate temperature in your freezer to maintain better quality foods. Reserve room at the front or in the door of your freezer for foods that will be consumed first.
Anything Can Be Frozen
Just about anything can be put in your freezer and frozen. However, some foods do better in the freezer than others. For example, many people do not have good luck with dairy products like milk, cream cheese or shredded cheese in the freezer since they notice a major difference in quality. However, milk can be shaken up and still used, and cream cheese can be used in recipes, although it might not taste as good if it’s eaten as-is after being frozen. Freeze blocks of cheese rather than shredded cheese if you want to maintain quality as much as possible.