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Freezing vegetables is one of the easiest and most practical ways to safely preserve them for a long time. Frozen fruits and vegetables maintain their benefits since freezing stops the degradation of the food but does not destroy the nutrients. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are preserved in your vegetables.
The quality of frozen fruits and vegetables can be maintained for a period of 8 to 12 months. Probably by preserving and cooking them you are making some mistakes that affect their virtues.
5 mistakes to avoid when preserving and cooking your vegetables frozen
1. You choose the wrong bag of vegetables
If you opt for a bag where the vegetables are grouped or with chunks of ice, it means that they have thawed and refrozen, which could lose quality.
“Temperature fluctuation can cause vegetables to become dehydrated, or lose their water content and trigger ice formation, which can affect color, flavor and firmness,” dietitian Beth Auguste told HuffPost. Before you buy, squeeze the bag to feel the individual pieces of frozen vegetables.
2. You let them burn in the freezer
Failure to freeze vegetables in the proper packaging can affect their shelf life and quality. When vegetables are not sealed and stored properly they run the risk of being exposed to the air, which causes oxidation that can affect its nutritional value.
The National Center for Food Preservation notes that for best resistance to moisture vapor, be sure to choose bags, wrappers, and boxes made especially for freezing food.
3. You defrost frozen vegetables before cooking.
Frozen vegetables don’t always need to be thawed before cooking; this can cause vegetables to go limp. According to The Spruce Eats, most frozen veggies can be added directly to whatever recipe you’re making, without forgetting to increase the cooking time by about 50 percent and turn them in half.
Leafy vegetables like spinach are some exceptions that sometimes do require thawing and draining, especially if they will be used to accompany dry dishes such as pizza or pasta. No need to defrost and drain when preparing recipes like soups.
4. Adding the vegetables too early to the recipe
Before being frozen, the vegetables are soaked for a few minutes in boiling water. Blanching stops the actions of enzymes that cause loss of flavor, color, texture and nutrients even in frozen storage.
Overcooking can lead to the loss of nutrients such as vitamin C which is sensitive to heat and is also soluble in water such as B vitamins.
5. Bring the vegetables to a boil
Like fresh vegetables, cooking methods that keep them warm for a long time and submerged in water cause them to lose quality, texture, and nutrients. Using the microwave requires a few minutes to cook the vegetables; the cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly. You can also choose to sauté or grill them.
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