Even though many health enthusiasts avoid frozen vegetables and choose fresh, the truth is that frozen vegetables can sometimes be even more nutritious than fresh. Frozen veggies are picked at the peak of freshness then flash frozen so nutrients are preserved.
They are also very handy: they cook quickly, and they are the only way to enjoy local spring and summer produce in the dead of winter. So here are some cool tips how to best prepare your frozen vegetables:
1. What is the best way to prepare frozen vegetables in a microwave?
With the exception of the so-called stir-fry veggies, which can be prepared in a frying pan or wok, most types of vegetables can be prepared very easily in a microwave. You can place the frozen vegetables in a microwave oven, without adding butter or water.
Cover the microwave dish and heat the veggies on high temperature. During cooking process don’t forget to stir well at least once. The time for making depends on the capacity of your microwave oven, the amount and the type of veggies. On average, the preparation time for 500 grams of frozen vegetables is roughly 5 to 10 minutes the most.
2. Add at the last minute
Quick soups are even quicker when you use frozen veggies. At first, add the largest and heartiest vegetables and save the smaller and softer ones for last. The best is to wait until the last possible moment because frozen vegetables produce overcooks faster than fresh.
3. How to properly choose the best vegetables?
In the store, look for bags in which you can feel the individual veggies. A frozen vegetable bag that feels like an ice block that has been thawed and refrozen is safe to eat, but it will not taste really good. To keep the frozen veggies at home in the right way, place them in a freezer with good air circulation, and they’ll last 6 months to a year. Just take the amount that you need and rewrap tightly the rest, or enclose in a freezer bag to prevent refreezing and thawing.
4. Boiling time
Do not boil frozen vegetables for long periods of time because it removes many of important nutrients and ruins the taste. Cook frozen vegetables in a pot with a small amount of water ( not entirely covering the veggies) for a couple of minutes until hot right through. All they really need is just 2–5 minutes depending on the size of veggies.
For perfect bite, steam frozen veggies in a covered dish in the microwave, adding only a small amount of water but no more than the bottom third of the veggies should be submerged. Only 5 to 6 minutes will be enough, depending on the microwave.
6. Fridge temperature
Check the temperature of your fridge, cool room and freezer regularly. Your freezer temperature should not be warmer than -18°C. But for the best quality should be used within the recommended use-by date.
7. Use colander
Pour frozen veggies into a colander and run under cold water until they become thaw. Mix them into your favorite casserole recipe and make as you usually do. Because most frozen veggies, before they being frozen, are blanched so you will not need to pre-cook them before adding them to dishes you are tossing into the oven.