Monday, February 21, 2011

Tips: Frozen Vegetables vs. Canned Vegetables

Given my last post on frozen foods you may be thinking I don't see a place for them in the kitchen.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  Frozen vegetables can be a time saver and with constant sales a money saver as well.  Whats great about frozen vegetables is even with all of the big name brands and store name brands out there, they are all under the same guidelines about how soon they have to freeze the the vegetables after they are picked.  This can lead to frozen vegetables being "fresher" than the ones in the store, and for many of them a much better pick over the canned alternative.

Great Canned Vegetables: 
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a great canned...fruit.  They don't need to stay firm and can pack a lot of flavor and ease.  You can buy the tomatoes in any size you want (small diced, diced, whole, crushed, sliced) so you can add it to your dish however you desire.

Beans:  Beans are another great option.  They come out perfect from the can as long as you wash off the starchy liquid they are in, and don't need to be soaked over night to be used.  A can of beans can add a great bump in protein to any dish.

Great Frozen Vegetables 
Broccoli:  Broccoli is a great frozen vegetable to add to pastas, curries, or as a side dish.  You can often find the store brand on sale for around a dollar for a large bag of it making it a great deal.  Boil the broccoli in salted water for around 7 minutes and it will come out green and crisp.

Asparagus:  Asparagus is something that I generally would suggest buying fresh however frozen can work nicely for pasta and side dishes, especially the asparagus cuts.  Cook it in some salted, boiling water for 5-7 minutes and then drain.  Asparagus should never ever ever ever be bought in a can.  When you open the can you will be hit by a very strong asparagus smell and droopy, soggy, mushy asparagus.

Spinach:  Occasionally you can find store selling fresh spinach for 99 cents to 2 for $5 in the stores.  However, if you are trying to make creamed spinach or add it to a sauce or soup, frozen spinach can be a great substitute.  Cost wise it is usually more effective to buy one block for frozen than it is to buy the same amount fresh and then wilt it down.  Make sure you salt and pepper the spinach before you add it to the final dish so that the natural flavors get kicked back up to life.

Most Anything Else:  Corn, carrots, peppers, and on and on can now all be bought frozen.  If the store selection doesn't look great check out the freezers and see what is on sale.  It can be your best friend in trying to add some fresh veggies to your diet on the cheap without sacrificing any of the flavor or nutrition.

No comments:

Post a Comment