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All about frozen vegetables



Plain frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh and so convenient — just heat and eat! And when fresh veggies are not in season, frozen vegetables are a great buy. If you have some in your freezer you’ll always have a great start to a terrific meal.

Frozen vegetables are nutritious

  • Frozen vegetables are part of the Vegetables and Fruit food group in Canada’s Food Guide. A serving of frozen vegetables is ½ cup (125 mL). Most of us do not eat enough from the Vegetables and Fruit food group. Find out how many servings you need. Keep track with this handy chart.
  • Plain frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh. Freezing does not affect the nutrients.
  • Eating vegetables can help lower your risk for some cancers and heart disease, and help manage your weight.

Buy it best

Save money by buying fresh veggies when they are in season. You can pick your own or buy extra at farmers’ markets and freeze it. When fresh veggies are not in season, frozen is a great alternative. Look for plain varieties (without added fat, salt or sauces). If buying canned vegetables, rinse them first before using to wash away some of the sodium.

Buying local 

To know if your frozen vegetables came from a farm in Ontario look for the Foodland Ontario logo or contact the manufacturer. “Product of Canada” may also be listed on the package label. That tells you the vegetables came from a farm in Canada.  When you buy local food, you support farmers so they can keep producing high quality, affordable food we can all enjoy.

Tips for storage

For the best-tasting frozen vegetables, remove the amount you need from the bag, squeeze the air out of the bag and tightly seal it. Return the bag to the freezer right away. Frozen vegetables keep for up to one year.

Wondering how to freeze your own vegetables? Use this chart to find out the best way to freeze different vegetables.

5 things to do with frozen vegetables

Did you know? Frozen vegetables do not need to be thawed. You can add them frozen to any dish you are making.

1.  Egg and vegetable fried rice

  1. Cook chopped onion and garlic in a little canola oil or sesame oil.
  2. Add a few beaten eggs to the pan (1 for each person). Break up the eggs into small pieces as they cook.
  3. Add cooked rice, leftover pieces of lean protein (shrimp, beef, tofu, pork), frozen mixed veggies, low-sodium soy sauce and grated ginger.
  4. Cook until rice is hot.

Try: Shrimp “fried” rice with vegetables

2.  Stir-fries and sauces

  • For a quick stir-fry, use diced tofu, frozen veggies and prepared peanut sauce.
  • Add frozen vegetables to pasta sauces, lasagna and casseroles.

Try: Sweet Chili Tofu Stir-Fry

3.  Creamy or chunky vegetable soups

For a simple milk-based soup, try this:

  • Blend lower-sodium broth, canned evaporated milk, grated Parmesan cheese, and frozen cauliflower, broccoli or other favourite vegetables. Season to taste.

For an easy chunky vegetable soup, try this:

  • Cook chopped onions, garlic, celery and carrots.
  • Add low sodium broth and diced tomatoes, frozen peas and corn.
  • Toss in any leftover pasta, meats or canned beans.
  • Flavour with Italian seasoning (oregano and basil).

Make lower-sodium canned soups better!

  • Add a handful of frozen mixed vegetables to any soup.

Try: Minestrone Soup

4. Kid-friendly ideas

  • Add frozen peas to macaroni and cheese.
  • Try frozen corn as a pizza topping, in tacos and in salsa.
  • For children who don’t like to have pieces of vegetables in sauces, purée sauces until smooth.
  • Try puréed carrots in pasta sauces or soups.Purée frozen butternut squash into macaroni and cheese.

5. Fabulous frozen spinach

Try: Tofu Vegetable Soup

More recipes:

Ontario Winter Vegetable Soup

You may also be interested in:

Video: How to store vegetables to keep them fresh

Vegetable and Fruit Checklist

Video: Simple steps to freeze food right

Copyright © Dietitians of Canada 2016. All rights reserved.

Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.