Should You Use Fresh or Frozen Vegetables?

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Should you use fresh or frozen vegetables? |

I got an e-mail from Eat Cleaner investigating the sodium content of fresh, canned, and frozen spinach. I’ve only ever bought spinach fresh, so I was surprised to find out that:

  • One cup of fresh spinach has only about 24 milligrams of sodium and that’s naturally occurring.
  • Half a cup of frozen spinach contains 200 milligrams of salt.
  • Half a cup of canned spinach has almost 400 milligrams of salt.

The amount of sodium in canned spinach – not too shocking. I avoid canned vegetables since all canned items will be heavily laden with salt – any food that stays good for 5+ years has to be! Kinda creepy when you think about it…Purchasing canned vegetables is pretty much always out of the question. But I was VERY surprised at the amount of sodium in frozen spinach! It got me wondering if I should change my stance on fresh or frozen vegetables.

I’d honestly never thought about it before! I like to buy frozen vegetables from Costco frequently. You can purchase organic there much cheaper. Plus, they often taste the same to me, since I usually boil or roast my veggies for sides anyways. (Yes, did you know you can roast frozen vegetables? Awesome, right?) I didn’t think the nutrient content was all that different! I was kinda stumped, and really curious.

So, investigated the sodium differences in some of the frozen vegetables that I purchase frequently, and compared to the canned nutrition info I found online.

Green beans (1/2 cup serving)

  • Fresh: 3 mg
  • Frozen: 3 mg
  • Canned: 390 mg

Broccoli (1/2 cup serving)

  • Fresh: 15 mg
  • Frozen: 20 mg
  • Canned: does this exist?

Corn (1/2 cup serving)

  • Fresh: 1 mg
  • Frozen: 0 mg
  • Canned: 245 mg

Peas (1/2 cup serving)

  • Fresh: 4 mg
  • Frozen: 81 mg
  • Canned: 400 mg

It looks like, for the most part, the sodium content on frozen vegetables is pretty much the same. I did have organic green beans and corn, so maybe that’s why? Ultimately, I think the way they are prepared is what will affect the nutrition content. ‘Blanching’ frozen vegetables can be where the sodium is added, and sometimes take out nutrients.

I do purchase plenty of fresh vegetables. But when you’re trying to save money, frozen can be a great substitute! Especially if the veggies you’re looking for are off season. I do like to be as cost effective as possible, which is why I opt for some frozen goods in bulk.

In my opinion, having (or choosing) to use frozen veggies is okay! Just stay away from canned vegetables as best you can, and double check your sodium content on the frozen goods.

Which veggies do you tend to buy frozen?

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