Ta­ble talk

Penrith Press - - LIFESTYLE - fast-ed.com.au

HOW full is your freezer?

If yours is any­thing like mine, prob­a­bly overly so. Half-eaten ice creams, left­over bolog­nese sauce, ice packs for those trips to the beach, and an as­sort­ment of berries and veg­eta­bles.

For rea­sons that elude me en­tirely, even the most fas­tid­i­ous kitchen clean­f­reaks seem un­able to tame their freezer.

The an­swer, of course, is to use it up. Leav­ing the af­ter-din­ner treats for just a mo­ment, what of the fruits and ve­g­ies? Can we sim­ply use them in place of fresh al­ter­na­tives? And are they any good for us?

Most peo­ple, it seems, con­clude “no” for both ques­tions. But you might be sur­prised.

In the last sev­eral years we have wit­nessed the crash­ing to­gether of two great cul­tural forces in food – elitism and an ob­ses­sion with health­ful­ness. It has bred a kind of haughty soap-box­ing among many who rail that only farm-fresh “gar­den-to-plate” cook­ery should be en­ter­tained.

While this sounds great as a the­ory, you may be as­ton­ished at what re­search into food nutri­tion re­veals. Veg­eta­bles picked fresh from the vine and an­a­lysed im­me­di­ately will con­tain very high lev­els of nu­tri­ents. But this is not how any of us re­ally eat. From the farm to the dis­trib­u­tor, to the re­tailer, then in your fridge a lit­tle longer. Most in­gre­di­ents are at least 10 days old when con­sumed. Vi­ta­mins A, C and E, as well as es­sen­tial polyphe­nols break down quickly af­ter picking, and as such are at sig­nif­i­cantly higher lev­els in fruits and veg­eta­bles that have been snapfrozen im­me­di­ately af­ter har­vest. The con­clu­sion? Don’t fear frozen fruits and veg­eta­bles, they are of­ten com­pa­ra­bly bet­ter than what’s on the shelf. So clean out your freezer and knock up some­thing won­der­ful.

Don’t fear frozen fruits and veg­eta­bles

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