When To Choose Fresh, Frozen Or Canned Produce

vegetables 3Nutrition and taste are important factors to think about as you are getting more advanced in your culinary online programs, and this especially crucial when it comes to selecting your vegetables and fruits.

On average, Americans don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, according to Eating Well magazine. This is especially true during the winter months, when fresh produce is typically unavailable or expensive.

Although canned vegetables typically lose a lot of their nutrients during the preservation process – especially items like pumpkin or tomatoes – frozen vegetables can be just as healthful as their fresh counterparts – it’s all about where and when! Here are some helpful tidbits about selecting vegetable and fruit options as you learn to cook online:

When in doubt, buy fresh!
If the veggies and fruits you need for your recipes are in season, grab a bag and get to your local farmers market! This is especially great during late spring, throughout summer and into early fall, when a ton of produce is in its prime. Since fresh produce is easier to harvest and ship during this time period, much of the produce you will find, especially from local farmers, will be less expensive than their frozen or canned counterparts.

Need another reason to buy fresh? Fresh food tastes great and is very healthy for you! When fruits and vegetables are picked ripe, they contain loads of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay alert and keep going. You know the difference in taste between biting into a piece of fresh fruit and eating frozen fruit – there is just no comparison!

When to buy frozen produce
If you’re cooking during the winter months when produce is sparse, or if your vegetable isn’t available in season, frozen produce will still work for many of your recipes, as many companies will begin the freezing process when produce is at its ripest form. However, keep in mind that vitamins and nutrients eventually lose their punch – and flavor – when stored too long in the freezer.

When to buy canned produce
If you’re in a pinch, or a recipe specifically calls for it, canned goods will work just fine. Just make sure to look for low-sodium versions or rinse your produce after opening. According to the National Institutes of Health, canned goods typically add a lot of salt and preservatives that may alter the taste of your dish.

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