Since I work full time and blog
part time full-time, and do my best to take care of my husband and an elderly parent, it can sometimes get ridiculously busy, especially on weeknights.
Yes. I love to cook, but I also like to sleep occasionally. However, I want my family and I to eat healthier, but since I usually go to the grocery store only once a week, I don’t always get to use up the fresh produce before it goes bad. Yet I still want to incorporate fruits and vegetables into my family’s diet, and not just skip them altogether.
The nice thing is freezing fresh fruits and vegetables is like nature’s “pause button” to keep the fruits and vegetables nutritious. Freezing also allows us to eat our favorite out of season vegetables any time of the year. For those reasons, and due to convenience, I always keep frozen vegetables on hand to add into soups, casseroles, stir frys, and any quick weeknight dinner. In addition, I keep frozen fruit on hand as well because it is great for adding to breakfast smoothies or a last minute dessert.
One of the easiest and fastest dinners to make on a weeknight is an Asian stir fry or Mexican fajita skillet dinner. I love the convenience and variety of vegetables in the Bird’s Eye Recipe Ready frozen vegetables that I like to use in a quick Mexican fajita skillet dinner or an Asian stir fry dinner. It makes dinner so quick and easy by saving time in not having to chop vegetables. All the vegetable combinations are all chopped ready to go into the dish.
In doing some research on nutrition, I learned that the University of California, Davis, together with the Frozen Food Foundation, conducted a study that discovered that frozen fruits and vegetables are most often equal to, or in some cases better than, fresh fruits and vegetables when it comes to nutrition. The study analyzed vitamins B2 (riboflavin), C and E, and B-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A); the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron; dietary fiber; and total phenolics (health-promoting plant compounds). That makes me feel better about serving the frozen vegetables.
In cooking for an elderly parent, I have learned the important role that vitamins and minerals from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables play to prevent flare-ups in chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis.
And let’s keep it real. Life is crazy busy. We are far from perfect (Shocker, I know!!). Most people (80% as a matter of fact) don’t eat enough, or some not any, fruits and vegetables in their diet. If the frozen vegetables were not readily available in my freezer, we probably would not eat nearly as many vegetables as we do.
Next time you are picking up groceries, pick up a few packages of your favorite frozen fruits and vegetables.