I always have canned tomatoes and beans in my pantry to add to recipes. And I love white asparagus in a jar, which I add to my chicken salad. (It's a German thing). I don't like the taste of other canned veggies. I always have frozen peas, spinach and a bag of mixed veggies on hand. You never know when you need to make a spinach omelette for dinner or add some veggies to the chicken soup ;-) Also, frozen blueberries are a good staple. Everything else is bought fresh, and the sales determine what we buy any given week.
Fitness Minutes: (27)
9 3/29/13 1:17 P
I eat REAL foods and nothing artificial. I'm strict with it because I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease a few months ago, and these artificial things cause flare ups for me. I went through trying different medications and things until 7 weeks ago when I found "paleo". I'm NOT suggesting anybody go paleo or whatever - do your own research and find what works for you. I'm not a preacher. Hahaha... Anyway, that being said, I DON'T use canned vegetables or canned anything, for that matter. If I want something canned, I'll can my own. I will buy frozen veggies and fruit, as long as there's nothing artificial in them. Mainly, I buy fresh when they're on sale (especially when they're on sale at my local discount produce store) and freeze it myself. That's quite a bit more work, but it is awesome to have things that aren't normally sold frozen, in my freezer.
In short, for me, frozen produce is GREAT. Canned is a big no-no. Fresh is always first choice. The exception here is tomatoes, but I'll only buy brands that don't have anything artificial in them.
I think seasonal and fresh is best, but frozen is just as good as it's picked in season too. I think canned is nice, but the food may have lost some nutrients, not to mention if you have to watch for BPA... fresh or frozen is my favorite.
I heard an Italian chef say he used canned tomatos in the winter and local tomatos in the summer. In winter, tomatos are picked early and ripen on the long trip to the store.
Fitness Minutes: (4,175)
195 3/29/13 9:21 A
I use mostly fresh because I eat a lot of salads and I also make huge batches of vegetable stew for my lunches. Berries I buy frozen because they're cheaper and I can never eat a whole carton of fresh before they start to go bad. i also like frozen broccoli, cauliflower and corn. Canned for me is mostly tomatoes for recipes (no salt added types). Also canned beans, I use a ton of those. I find I dislike the taste of most other canned fruits and vegetables. They have a kind of 'dead' taste to me.
I use frozen rather than tinned except for tinned tomatoes.
Fitness Minutes: (53,694)
3,317 3/28/13 1:02 A
I buy a lot of frozen veggies and fruits. I have heard that frozen veggies can sometimes have more nutrients than fresh because the longer fresh sit out the more they lose, but when they are frozen it halts the process. I am not sure how true that is.
I tend to stay away from canned, but that is just a personal preference for me.
i use both plus fresh. canned i tend to buy corn [low/no sodium], green beans [low/no sodium], pinapple in its own juice, mandarin oranges, pears in their own juice, no salt added mushrooms, tomato salsa and baked beans [all my other beans i cook from dried and freeze]. frozen i buy mixed vegetables, peas, lima beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, blackberries, mixed berries, and pineapple. i also get fresh onions, peppers and celery that chop and freeze for later use. things like potatoes, apples, citrus, and greens i tend to buy fresh and use fresh. i stick with this balance because i am single and cook for just me, and i waste too much when i buy all fresh. so i keep the frozen on hand because i can go through it much quicker than it can go bad and it's toss in the microwave and eat easy to make. and the canned i keep on hand as hurricane food and because i have a few dishes i like to toss them in. the canned and frozen are also great for if i'm just in or on my way out of town and don't want fresh food to rot. i tend to buy enough fresh that i can get through it before it goes bad and then supplement with the rest. when i am eating just canned and frozen then i know i have to run to the grocery store or the co-op.
Heh, there's nothing "in season" where I am, either, and I'm a long way south of Alaska - still waiting for the first asparagus and rhubarb to come up!
I agree frozen is a decent option, closer to "fresh" in taste/quality and typically cheaper "per pound" than canned, when writing my post I was more thinking about commercially canned, which... it might be convenient but it isn't "to my taste."
This thread has reminded me of my committment to do a bit more home preserving this year. I usually do crushed tomatoes and dill pickles but perhaps this will be the year I bite the bullet and buy a pressure canner so I can experiment with home-canned veg, pasta sauce, etc.
I love fresh vegetables. And fruit. But:  many things are not 'in season'. Especially not locally.  some things do not keep well/long fresh ... see also: berries  fresh fruits and vegetables quickly start losing nutritional value post-peak-freshness
So: frozen is a great and legitimate option for things out of season, things you won't use right away, and so on. And there should be no stigma attached ... this idea that 'fresh is always better'. It's not born out empirically.
As for canned ... I'm on the fence. Many store-bought canned vegetables are too high in sodium, too many fruits are too high in sugary syrup, and *some* cans use a chemical treatment that *may* leech into the food in acidic environments (e.g. tomatoes) and *may* end up kept in the body. But there's home-canned. There's 'canned' that are in jars in the store. Think, too, of olives and the like. And then there are other things that are not-best-fresh ... pickles, saurkraut ... anything pickled or fermented. But I digress. And there are places with very short growing seasons (see also: Alaska) where there's basically nothing fresh in season ... so canned for frozen it is.
Well depending where you live/what kind of access you have to a produce store or grocery store with a decent produce section - sometimes even in winter, "eating fresh" can be more economical.
Like for example - a 14 ounce can of peas probably contains about 12 ounces of actual peas, plus the water they are canned in. So, 3/4 of a pound. And that can probably costs at least a dollar, maybe a buck and a half. Or about $1.30 to $2.00 per pound.
You could get fresh cabbage, carrots, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, zuchinni - for less than that per pound. Even accounting for wastage (the peelings, stem ends, etc.) it probably comes out to about the same.
Learning to cook them can be a lot of fun. My default preparation method learned from how I was served meals as a child, is to "peel and boil and serve as a plain side - maybe with some butter." But blech, that gets soooo boring after awhile... stepping out of the "Veggies on the Side, Cuz You Have To Eat Them Cuz They Are Good For You" box was challenging at first, but very very rewarding. I enjoy my veggies sooo much more now that I'm not chained to preparation-methods that produce results I don't find interesting/enjoyable.
I will no longer buy canned fruits and veggies because of the additives. I also don't trust the cans. I will buy frozen fruit on occassion. I really try to get fresh and freeze it myself. When it comes to farmers markets I tend to buy more than i need so that I can freeze it. I don't do frozen veggies. I just don't like the taste. I eat mainly a raw diet and I prefer fresh greens over frozen ones. My palate changes with the seasons.
Money is one reason. I try and buy some on sale items each week and freeze some.The rest I budget around sales or healthy but not too pricey foods I can buy each week. Kind of a balancing act nd not being the best at coooking always can be interesting. Most things I can cook buy themselves, adding things together can be a challenge too and everything tuning out ok.
Well it wasn't too long ago in history that if you wanted to eat veg over the winter months, you had to can, cold-store, dry, or otherwise preserve them. We are sooooo lucky and pampered these days, now that we can "eat fresh" year-round!
It is a nice bonus to "eat fresh" because honestly - it tastes better! "plus some nutrients are lost to processing blahblahblah" - but for me, it has more to do with taste and texture. I am not a fan of canned veg (save for yellow beans, which I have loved since childhood, go figure. But canned peas? Get out!)
But I don't see anything inherently wrong health/nutrition-wise with canned and frozen. Other than - you do need to watch the sodium content on commercially-canned veg, and sugar content in the canned fruit, as they tend to slip quite a bit of these things into most of the major brands - unnecessary for preservation, more to give it a better taste (IMO, to disguise the fact that it isn't exactly the most prime produce going into those cans! so salt and/or sugar is added to improve flavour and hide the lack of quality).
Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 3/27/2013 (11:58)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
2,171 3/27/13 11:51 A
What's your reasoning for using them? Money? If funds are tight and all you can afford is canned, then go for it. Canned is better than none. Just rinse them off before eating to help with the sodium. There's nothing really wrong w/ frozen vegetables, especially in off-seasons... I use them in the winter when the fresh stuff is expensive or not looking that great. The frozen stir fry vegetables are convenient because all the chopping is done... and that's the thing about stir frys I don't like... all the chopping!
Fresh is obviously the best choice, and I plan my meals around what's on sale at the store that week if at all possible, so I don't find it to cost that much more than buying canned. So like, if fresh green beans are on sale this week, then I eat green beans with almost every meal.. I just prepare them in different ways. Next week at my store, asparagus is on sale so I'm going to have that. I also like fresh because I can buy exactly how much I need... sometimes I cook for just me, sometimes my SO is home during the week (he travels for work a lot), so fresh allows me to buy exactly what's needed... versus buying a can and having to throw some of it away because I don't end up using it.
What is everyones feeling about canned or frozen vegetables or fruits? Are they good to use, or something to use in moderation with fresh as my first option? I think I know the answer, maybe its just just me and doubting their health even if I pick the low sodium/sugar free variety and not use them like crazy. Canned peas, corn and green beans are always in my cupboards. Usually some kind of tomato sauces or diced/whole tomatoes too. After that its frozen mixed berries and a few kinds of frozen mixed stir-fry vegetables. Switching to fresh would be great and something to try in the future when I get little plants up and growing. I am planning on doing container gardening and that might help with everything.
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