We all know that the ladies of the house gets burdened during Ramzan, with varied cooking timings and hosting aftaris and sehris along with additional ibdah. Well the ideal scenario would be that everyone should participate in making and setting up meals but that is not possible for many.
Prepared foods always comes in handy, be it ginger garlic paste or frozen vegetables, so when you run out of time due to work you can always take out something and fix a quick meal.
So lets explore the long standing debate of frozen vs fresh and see if the pros outlive the cons.
Ah, the long-awaited debate is finally unravelling. The opposing parties are gathering. They’re armed with comebacks, and they aren’t afraid to hurl them at one another. What is the issue, though? It’s one of the most-contested topics in households.
Does that give you a hint? You guessed it! Fresh or frozen?
Now, let’s set things straight: we cannot pick sides. And, no, that’s not because we’re trying to be politically correct. You see, it’s quite subjective. Think about it. You cannot compare the nutritional value of a fruit or vegetable growing in your backyard with something frozen, or can you? With the pandemic raging on, it’s important we prioritise our health by consuming healthy, nutritious food. Here’s a guide that will dispel a few myths, and help you choose better in the future.
Navigating this topic is tricky. If you’re plucking vegetables or fruits out of your garden, you know they’re fresh. And, if you source them locally, chances are they’re fresh as well. To be fair, it’s hard to compete with what fresh produce has to offer when it’s in season. However, this isn’t quite the situation throughout the year. Yes, you can purchase fresh produce if you need to cook a meal at once, or plan on eating it raw (in salad, for instance), but this option isn’t free of flaws.
During winter, vegetables are harvested a little before they ripen in order to counter the shortcomings of the modern supply chain. It takes days, even weeks, to transport these veggies and fruits to the consumer market. And it is impossible to store them at optimum temperatures without them ripening, and losing their nutritional value in the process. This explains why they’re picked before they have a chance to ripen. Yes, unripen produce does continue to ripen on the go. You will observe some outward signs of the process, but this doesn’t mean that they’re packed with the same levels of nutrition as compared to those that are allowed to ripen before being transported to market. Additionally, when produce is being transported to you, it is exposed to high levels of light and heat. These conditions tend to destroy the delicate vitamins such as vitamin B and vitamin C that are packed into fruits and vegetables.
So, now, you know you have to consider these factors before making a purchase. If you’re preparing a salad, sandwich, or a slaw, buying fresh produce is a better option owing to its crunchy texture. Steer clear of this option when the said vegetables aren’t in season.
When to choose frozen?
When is it ideal to reach out for a packet of frozen peas? Well, frozen peas, or other frozen vegetables, are at their peak ripeness when they are harvested. In order to maintain this ripeness, they’re stored at low temperatures. Under these circumstances, their enzymes quit functioning, and the process of ripening is brought to a halt. Since all biological activity has ceased, the vegetable’s nutrition levels remain intact.
According to studies, there isn’t much of a difference between the concentration of vitamins in fresh and frozen produce. In fact, frozen produce tends to contain a higher proportion of nutrients than its counterpart. Who would’ve thought? We’ve always regarded frozen vegetables with a hint of skepticism, haven’t we?
If you’re looking for a longer shelf life, this is the way to go. Frozen produce can survive for months without spoilage. It’s also an effective option to invest in if you’d like to minimize your food waste. If you’re trying to diversify your meal plan, purchase frozen produce, and add a dash of variety to your diet when veggies and fruits aren’t in season. During winter, when food market aisles aren’t flooded with fresh broccoli, carrots, and other vegetables, choose frozen produce. Canned produce isn’t usually as rich a source of nutrients.
Tips for preparation:
If you’re planning on eating vegetables without cooking them, fresh is the way to go. Now, if you’re planning on cooking either fresh or frozen, avoid using too much water, and cut short the cooking time. These factors cause the vitamins in your fruit or vegetable to spill out into the water and you’re left with produce that lacks nutrition. Additionally, steaming and microwaving are better options than boiling. Hence, knowing how to prepare your food is vital.
As for frozen produce, there are a number of ways you can reap its benefits by cooking it correctly. Before we dive into that, it’s important to remember that there’s usually no need to defrost your produce. Defrosting might cause a vegetable to lose its crunchiness, and even unlock the nutrients sealed within it. This jeopardizes its taste and health-related benefits.
Sautéing Frozen Produce: Sauté your vegetables in a pan for about five minutes unless the instructions on the package recommend a longer or shorter duration. Add oil to the mix, and flavor it with different seasonings while it’s cooking. And, there, you’re done!
Steaming Frozen Produce: Steaming doesn’t jeopardies the nutritional value of vegetables like boiling does. It is also an effective way to cook your vegetables quickly. Refer to the directions on the package for this method, and be careful not to exceed the cooking duration mentioned. Over-steaming can ruin the texture of a vegetable.
Grilling Frozen Vegetables: Planning on treating your family to a barbeque? Here’s how you do it. Place your veggies in a tin foil package with a bit of oil, and position it on a grill at a medium or medium-high heat setting. Grill for five to 10 minutes.
Roasting Frozen Vegetables: Roasting frozen veggies is slightly faster than cooking fresh produce due to the way in which they’ve been processed. You can add seasonings to heighten the taste of your vegetables. Keep flipping and stirring to avoid burning them. Continue for 20 minutes.