FOOD

EXPERT ADVICE: Are frozen veggies really as good for me as fresh veggies?

Here's what our expert (and the research) says....
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New research has indicated that despite the rising cost of living, Aussies are throwing away a significant portion of food they buy in their weekly grocery shop, especially fresh food. 

The Birds Eye Frozen Food Snapshot has found that lettuce, broccoli, and carrots are the most common casualties, with almost half of young Aussies aged 18 – 35 throwing out vegetables every single week. 

WATCH NOW: 7 tips to reduce food waste. Article continues after video. 

Birds Eye ambassador and sustainability advocate Alice Zaslavsky says that instead of letting your fresh food go to waste, to instead make your freezer a friend. 

From shrinking your supermarket bill to reducing your food wastage and ensuring you are still getting all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and happy, scroll on to read our interview with Alice about how you can make the most out of frozen vegetables.

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Birds Eye Ambassador Alice Zaslavsky is a huge advocate for frozen vegetables. (Credit: Supplied)

How do frozen vegetables compare to their fresh counterparts?

There are many benefits of using frozen veggies, particularly that they last such a long time and don’t need to be used straight away.  

All the nutrients are locked in once they’re picked, delivering a healthy meal solution every time – and it isn’t true that they are less nutritious than the fresh kind.
And in terms of taste, things like corn kernels in the freezer aisle are probably sweeter than what you buy on the shelf most of the year.
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Despite price hikes, Aussies are wasting significant amounts of fresh food every week. (Credit: Getty)

For those looking to save money on their weekly food shop, does purchasing frozen vegetables actually work out cheaper?

Reducing food waste starts at the shop.

It’s about knowing that what you are buying is what you are going to use, and frozen food can work out to be the best solution for both your hip pocket and the environment over a longer period as you know you won’t be throwing it away.  

What are your top tips for preventing food waste?

  1. Stick to your list: It’s easy to get carried away at the supermarket by purchasing things you don’t really need. Plan out your meals to ensure you only purchase what you know you’ll eat. 
  2. Savour your stock: Place leftover liquids like stocks, curry paste, coconut milk, and gravy into ice trays and pop them in the freezer for a rainy day. 
  3. Don’t scrap your scraps: Take your carrot peels, leek heads, potato scraps, and onion skins and place them into a scrap bag or container in your freezer. Once it’s filled up, pop it in a pot with some water, then reduce it down and use that as your stock to flavour soups, casseroles, and stews. 
  4. Load up your freezer with frozen veggies: Peas, carrots, corn, broccoli, you name it! Add a cup to your cooking, and you’ve increased your family’s vegetable intake. 
  5. Get creative: There’s so many delicious and nutritious meals you can create using frozen veg. 
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Frozen veggies are often cheaper to purchase and will help you avoid food wastage in your household. (Credit: Getty)

Are there any downsides to cooking with frozen vegetables?

Not every vegetable is at its best when frozen, which is why you probably won’t find lettuce in the freezer aisle.

But if you supplement the great variety of frozen options with what’s fresh, seasonal, and gives the best bang for your buck, you’ll get a terrific variety of veg across every meal. 

WATCH NOW: How to reduce waste in the kitchen. Article continues after video. 

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What are some misconceptions surrounding frozen vegetables that you’d like to squash?

Many home cooks forget that you can still get creative with frozen veg. Don’t just throw them in at the end of the cook.

Think about different ways of making the most of them, like using frozen peas instead of dried lentils for a bright green ‘dal’, or mashing them with plenty of extra virgin olive oil for mushy peas.

Even frozen carrots – you could turn them into a restaurant-quality carrot puree with a little orange juice or stock and a good nub of butter.

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Birds Eye have a snap freezing process for all their products. (Credit: Supplied)

How does Birds Eye snap freezing process compare to the average Aussie freezing their vegetables themselves?

Birds Eye harvests its vegetables, sends them into the factory for processing, and snaps them frozen quickly to lock in the minerals and vitamins. 

Nutrients in veggies are lost over time so it’s best for them to be frozen as soon as possible after being harvested. But that shouldn’t stop you from freezing fresh stuff you’re not sure you’ll use in time!

A well-stocked freezer is every thrifty cook’s best arsenal for making your dollar – and food, go further while minimising food waste AND the time it takes to get dinner on the table.

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