Guide for buying frozen foods

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Overview

The advantages of buying frozen foods include not only time saving but also the fact that some frozen products are nutritious if well preserved after purchase.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are actually more nutritious than fresh because they are packaged immediately after harvest and are rich in nutrients.

Vegetables and fruits, normally can be stored in the freezer about 8 months if they weren’t defrosted.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Vegetables
3. Fruits
4. Entrees
5. Avoid desserts
6. Is it necessary to defrost before cooking?
7. Can the thawed foods be refrozen?
8. What is the shelf life of thawed food?
9. How long can a food be kept frozen?
10. Guide of frozen food storage


Vegetables

The best are simple frozen vegetables without other ingredients. There is no nutritional difference between those that are packed in boxes and those packed in bags. Vegetables and fruits should not be frozen as balls – this is the sign that they had been thawed and refrozen, and in this case the food has fewer vitamins.

Avoid: any mixture containing cheese, pasta, rice or that is coated with sauce. A simple cup of frozen broccoli contains 30 calories, 20 mg sodium and no fat. Same amount of broccoli with cheese sauce has more calories and 600 grams of sodium.

Tip: take full advantage of the nutrient content of frozen foods by preparing soups and various dishes. After thawing, vegetables can be used including fresh salads composition.


Fruits

As with vegetables, simple frozen fruits are the most nutritious. Fruit bags can be stored in the freezer about two months after being opened. Be used bags that will close tightly to prevent ice crystals that can indicate dehydration of fruits and partial loss of flavor and nutrients from their composition.

Avoid: buy fruit packed with sugar. For example, frozen strawberries in syrup, may contain up to 11 times more sugar than natural, unsweetened strawberries.

Tip: frozen fruits are delicious when eaten frozen. Mango chunks, cherries and blackberries are particularly tasty in this way or mixed in smoothies, yogurts, as the topping for pancakes or waffles. Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants.


Entrees

Frozen foods aren’t tastier than fresh foods but are the best option when you do not have time or energy to cook. They can help including weight loss, as demonstrated in the studies. Will choose foods that have less than 3.5 grams of fat per 100 calories, no more than 600 mg total sodium and contain no trans fats. Recommended are those that contain at least 4 grams of fiber and about 15 grams of protein.

Avoid: foods with lots of calories, such as lasagna with meat. Some meatless dishes may contain excessive amounts of cheese, which is high in saturated fat and sodium.

Tip: many women eat appetizers that contain less than 300 calories, while a meal should contain more than 400 calories. It is therefore recommended that the composition of a meal not to miss vegetables, salad, soup and fruit. Through their use will not miss fibers and nutrients.


Avoid desserts

Frozen sweets can be a minefield, especially ice creams and cakes with multiple layers. However, some products, especially those packaged in small portions, can be eaten without problems if there are no excesses. Appropriate would be to choose desserts that do not exceed 200 calories, such as fruit sorbets or ice cream.

Avoid: large portions of sweets. Are not recommended any products that contain corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

Tip: you might like to eat small portions individually wrapped desserts that have less than 50 calories. Do not eat more than 2-3 servings.


Is it necessary to defrost before cooking?

Always follow the directions provided by the manufacturers. Food should usually be thawed before being cooked to ensure they will be heated enough and the harmful bacteria will be destroyed. If food is big (a whole chicken, for example) and will not be thawed before cooking there may remain uncooked inside while the outside will be burned.


Can the thawed foods be refrozen?

Foods that were once thawed should not be refrozen. Immediately after being thawed must be used or discarded.


What is the shelf life of thawed food?

Defrosted food should be treated as carefully as chilled foods (those stored in the refrigerator).

You should especially pay attention to the liquid, which may be released during freezing and after, not leak from the refrigerator surfaces. Therefore keep covered thawed meat, introduced in containers in the bottom of the refrigerator, but no more than 24 hours.


How long can a food be kept frozen?

This depends on the type of food and the storage temperature. The more the temperature is lower, the food will be better preserved. Freezers usually have more cooling steps. In general, the freezer temperature is around -18 degrees Celsius and freezing temperature is -26 degrees Celsius. On the frozen product packaging are some indications that specifies the temperature indicated for storing the products, but it is recommended that most types of food to be stored and frozen at -18 degrees Celsius.


Guide of frozen food storage

Maximum storage period of frozen vegetables:

Broccoli – 15 months
Green beans – 18 months
Brussels sprouts – 15 months
Carrots – 18 months
Cauliflower – 15 months
Corn on the cob – 12 months
Pea – 18 months
Spinach – 18 months
Sliced potatoes – 24 months

The maximum storage period of frozen meat products:

Steak and beef bones – 12 months
Ground beef – 10 months
Lamb chops and bone – 10 months
Pork chops and bone – 6 months
Bacon – 2-4 months
Chicken – 12 months
Sausage – 1-2 months

Maximum storage period of frozen fish and shellfish:

Fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, etc.) – 4 months
White fish – 8 months
Shrimp, lobster, crab – 6 months
Clams, oysters – 4 months

Maximum storage periods of other frozen food:

Ice cream – 6 months
Fruits – 6-12 months
Butter – 6-9 months
Soups, broths, stews – 2-3 months
Bread – 3 months

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