The Deep Freeze!

Eat This, Not That — By on November 1, 2009 5:00 PM

frozenGreens

Freezing seasonal food can be a great way to enjoy it during the Winter months. Here are some things you should know about how to freeze your food or what frozen food is best to buy.

* Fresher doesn’t always mean healthier!- Sometimes frozen foods can be much cheaper and healthier than fresh! One study found that veggies, such as greenbeans and spinach, lost 75% of their vitamin C after being stored in the fridge for one week! Or what about this, ready to drink OJ has less than half the vitamin C of frozen OJ and loses ALL of its C within 4 weeks of opening the package! If you go to a local farm or farmstand, buy your veggies and fruits in bulk and freeze them that day. You will have beautifully preserved frozen veggies all Winter long!

* Frozen foods are better for the environment!- If you are buying your veggies and fruits out of season and fresh, they need to be grown in hothouses and tropical climates, then shipped all the way to your neighborhood market to sell. That’s a waste of a lot of electric and gas.

* No freezer burn!- Water is always trying to escape from your meats and veggies and drift down to the cooling coils of your freezer. Once that happens you are left with the dreaded freezer burn! To avoid this taste nightmare, remove the meat from its package, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then slip it into a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.

* Aways keep a full freezer!- Can you believe that having a full freezer will not only keep your items nicely frozen but lower your electric bill. Why? Chilling air requires more energy than chilling food.

* If you are buying prepackaged frozen foods, be watchful for the following:

1) Watch for quantity of salt in the food. Salt and other preservatives help the freezing process but aren’t great for your health. Read the labels carefully.

2) Inspect the packaging. You want a package that has been vacuum sealed. Extra air means extra moisture-which as we know- leads to freezer burn. And don’t buy packages that are covered in frost-these packages may have been handled improperly!

3) Keep it cool. Make your frozen food purchases the last items that get thrown into your shopping cart. Unpack them first when you get home.

Happy Freezing!

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