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Frozen fruits, vegetables excellent alternatives

The frozen food industry has come a long way since Clarence Birdseye devised a system in 1926 for quickly freezing fruits, vegetables and meat.

Today, you can get everything from old standards such as frozen blueberries or chopped broccoli to newer additions such as frozen turnip greens, gooseberries and plantains.

And frozen produce is a solid choice for a healthful diet. Fruits and vegetables usually are picked ripe and flash-frozen. In addition to capturing their flavor, the freezing process seals in nutrients.

In contrast, fresh fruits and vegetables that must be shipped long distances usually are picked before they are ripe. During the week or two they are being transported and sitting in the grocery store, enzymes slowly break down vitamins and phytonutrients.

Frozen vegetables make an easy, nutritious addition to soups, stews and casseroles. They can be eaten plain, gussied up as a side dish or thawed and tossed into salads.

Frozen fruit is terrific for making smoothies or pie, sweetening yogurt and eating as a snack.

While locally grown fresh produce is almost always your best bet for getting the most nutritious selection, frozen produce is an excellent alternative. - McClatchy-Tribune

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