Saturday, February 28, 2009

Coming Clean About Vegetables!

It took me a long time to admit it - especially to friends and acquaintances who are a lot more on the "nutritional ball" than me - which, by the way, is pretty much everyone.  But I am a frozen vegetable junkie.  I hardly ever buy fresh vegetables - especially in the winter since not much is in season.  I will almost never buy a vegetable if it's not on sale.  Usually vegetables are on sale when they are in season.  I'll buy potatoes and onions (those aren't really "vegetables" though!).  If peppers are a good deal, I buy those - but I don't cook with them - I eat them like apples (my husband thinks this is disgusting).  I got into butternut squash this past fall.  But what I'm realizing is that I hardly ever cook with fresh vegetables.  I whip something out of the freezer to cook or add to whatever I'm cooking.  I don't know why I ever thought this was so "bad" - it's honestly a miracle that we actually do eat some vegetables!  

Why do I do this?  Let me count the ways.  

1.  Avoiding Rotting Disgust on My Counter.  Whenever I buy fresh vegetables, without doubt, I throw some away.  It just looks good in the store, but then sits on my counter (or refridgerator) for a week and when I finally want to use it, it's usually rotten.  A lady I met shared a tip that when onions are about to go downhill, to chop them up and freeze them. I currently have a lot of frozen onions!!  I have to admit, it's convenient to have those frozen onions on hand and not have to worry about soft spots on the ones laying on my counter.

2.  Price, obviously.  Now you have to be careful though.  If you were to just walk into Shaw's right now, you can get a 10 ounce box of Broccoli for $2.  Fresh broccoli is $1.49 a pound.  At which case, you may say "How is $2 for 10 ounces better than $1.49 for 16 ounces?!?!"  But those frozen boxes (a perfect portion for our family of 2 adults and 2 toddlers) go on sale all the time, there are always coupons out there for them, and you can honestly get them for next to nothing if they are part of a catalina deal.  

3.  My lack of cooking skills.  When I do get the urge to buy fresh vegetables, I can't cook them.  I have to whip out my little Better Homes & Garden Cookbook just to figure out how to cook the freshness I just bought.  No matter what I buy, I screw it up (even looking in a cook book) so most gets thrown away.  Frozen vegetables just tell you how many minutes to cook them in the microwave and "voila!" - They are done and delicious!

4.  Great Nutrition!  I guess some will argue, but frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh vegetables.  Here's an article to show I'm not making this up.  Click HERE.  

5.   I Hate Doing Dishes!  Frozen vegetables are great because for the most part, you can just heat them up in the bag they came in!  You don't have to chop anything up - it's already done for you.  So you aren't washing cutting boards, knives or pots.  If you do buy the vegetables in a big bag and need to use something to microwave them in, I highly recommend getting the Pampered Chef's Micro-Cooker!  We have both the small and large one and they are great for cooking vegetables in the microwave (as well as other things too - like my Rice-A-Roni!!).

So I am here to admit that I am not shameful of our consumption of frozen vegetables anymore!  What am I shameful for?  All of the fresh produce I have thrown out in my lifetime "trying" to be a better cook or more healthy.  So now, after writing this (at 7:30 am!), I seem to be having a craving for a fresh ear of corn and some grilled squash!  And how this post relates to bargains, is beyond me! It's just a whole lot of babble!


Leslie said...

Don't forget that with fresh broccoli you have waste - leaves and stem trimmings, so you really don't get to eat everything you paid for. The frozen stuff is already washed, deleaved and trimmed so there's no waste. That's my justification and I'm stickin' to it :)

Kara said...

No arguments here - we use frozen veggies more often than not, for all the reasons you mentioned!

The Sensible Organizer said...

In the winter we pretty much only eat frozen veggies. I like fresh in the summer for grilling but I buy those at farm stands really cheap. Those microcookers are awesome. You can do fresh veggies in them too. My theory is any veggie even if it is canned is better than none.

Casey (EcOnomical Mom) said...

I use frozen too. I can or freeze what produce I have left from my garden, but when that runs out...I buy frozen. It's more convenient and cheaper, I agree. And you get just as many, if not more nutrients from frozen veggies. (The fresh veggies lose nutrients the longer they are on the shelf.)

Donna said...

We eat frozen all of the time. Usually in the summer I will buy corn, love corn on the cob or string beans, but that is about it! Frozen veggies are super cheap and easy!