The high price of fresh organic produce can put off buyers who want to be healthy but need to stay on a budget.
“Many of my patients have told me that they don’t consume fruits and vegetables because they can’t afford organic,” he said Wendy Wesley, a registered nutritionist and nutritionist based in St. Petersburg, Florida.
A cheaper option: frozen fruits and vegetables.
The fruits and vegetables that end up in the freezer aisle of your local supermarket are often picked at the peak of freshness and frozen. In essence, they’re “fresher” than some of the products that need to be transported from farms to stores to your kitchen counter.
From a nutritional point of view, there is no downside to frozen products, Wesley said.
In addition, frozen foods are often a better choice as they reduce food waste. Frozen berries and green beans, for example, can keep for up to a year in the freezer. If you accidentally leave their fresh counterparts in the refrigerator for more than a week, you will end up with moldy berries and sagging green beans that you will have to throw away.
“For a long time I would only buy fresh produce,” said Wesley. “I wasted a lot of fresh produce because life got in the way and I didn’t get it in time. And then I became an advocate of frozen vegetables.”
The best quality frozen fruits and vegetables are when they are ready when you are, Wesley said. With fresh products, on the other hand, the clock is ticking to eat them before they go bad.
She said that people who keep their favorite products in the freezer tend to eat more fruits and vegetables. For the healthiest result, make sure you buy frozen foods that do not have any added sauces or condiments, which will increase your saturated fat and sodium intake.
Another reason to fill your freezer with frozen products is the cost-conscious way of enjoying them Products that are out of season. For example, you can make peach cobbler with frozen peaches in the middle of winter instead of paying a premium for fresh peaches when they’re not in season.
Choosing frozen products instead of fresh ones also gives you a greater chance of finding manufacturer or business coupons to bring the price down. Note, however, that the generic version of frozen foods often looks little or no different from the brand – and you usually can Save money by buying the cheaper private label.
“A broccoli flower is a broccoli flower, whether it’s a trademark or Birds Eye,” said Wesley. “It’s a single ingredient food. It’s a broccoli flower. Period. End of the story.”
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com