5 ways to cook frozen vegetables (how to cook frozen vegetables)

title of article: 5 ways to cook frozen vegetables on top of image of frozen carrots, peas, and corn

Benefits of frozen vegetables

As a Registered Dietitian I get asked the question, “are frozen vegetables okay?” a lot. It usually comes up after I’ve suggested we work in some vegetables in my client’s meal planning. People are concerned about the cost of vegetables and also the nutritional value. My answer is always YES, frozen vegetables are a great choice.

Frozen vegetables offer the benefit of being more affordable, especially in vegetable’s off seasons. And, they pack a great nutritional value. In some cases, frozen vegetables can be higher in vitamins than their fresh counterparts because they are typically frozen very quickly after they are picked, preserving their vitamins when they are the freshest. Whereas fresh vegetables may start to deteriorate by the time we cook or eat them. 

Remember, the best vegetables are the kind you will eat. If you’re looking for a functional, quick, and simple way to add vegetables to your meal, cooking frozen vegetables is a great place to start.

Tips for buying frozen vegetables.

While all frozen vegetables are nutritious, they can vary in quality. I don’t usually get picky about brands of foods. But in this case, I do have a few favorites. In my opinion, few things are worse in cooking, than when you open up a bag of frozen broccoli to find that 90% of it are stems. 

My favorite frozen vegetables come from Aldi. Aldi has a limited variety of frozen vegetables, but what they have is great. The frozen broccoli and California blend are in my grocery cart every week. Their mixed vegetables, broccoli stir fry, and Mediterranean vegetables are also tasty. 

At other stores  it’s worth it to spend a little extra on the Bird’s Eye steam fresh vegetables. I’ve found the quality to be great and the convenience of steamer bags helpful. Sam’s Club has great options if you have freezer space because they come in sets of four bags.

Another option is to freeze vegetables from your garden. This is a quick way to preserve your vegetables and many find it easier than canning.

How to cook frozen vegetables

  1. Stir fry
  1. Microwave steam
    • In steamer bag: steam for 5-6 minutes (or as directed on bag)
    • Not in steamer bag: place into a microwave safe bowl or steamer bowl with lid, add 2 tbsp water (or as directed on bag), microwave for 5-6 minutes
  2. Roast/bake in oven
    • Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper, break up frozen veggies in the bag, toss in olive oil, spread out evenly on the pan, season with salt, pepper, or your preferred seasonings, and bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
    • Recipe idea: https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/how-to-roast-frozen-vegetables/ 
  3. Add to casserole
  4. Add to soup

Recap:

Just remember, frozen vegetables can be both a functional time-saver and a tasty addition to your meal. Whether you’re simply steaming them in the microwave according to the package’s directions and tossing them with butter and parmesan or mixing your frozen vegetables into a soup, enjoy your veggies.

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