Des Moines, Iowa (NAPSI) - Here’s cool news for when you want to make a nutritious meal fast: The Food and Drug Administration says there’s virtually no nutritional difference between fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, explains Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert.
A well-known food industry expert, Lempert holds the reputation as the premier forecaster of consumer behavior within the world of food. Lempert reports that frozen fruits and vegetables are typically harvested and flash frozen, leaving them more nutrient dense than their fresh fruit and vegetable counterparts, which can spend as much as half of their peak freshness period in distribution.
The Tasty Truth
More good news: Many of the ideas people maintain about frozen food are merely myths. Here’s a look at a few—and at the facts:
Myth: Frozen meals are heavily processed and not made with real ingredients.
Truth: Frozen meals can give families access to real, high-quality ingredients year-round. These meals start with simple and fresh- tasting ingredients including al dente pastas, crisp vegetables and tender meats.
Myth: Frozen meals are not good for people watching their weight or trying to eat healthy.
Truth: Frozen meals provide built-in portion control and are a tasty alternative to meal replacements such as bars and shakes. For example, you can find comfort food classics that taste like the real thing, often with fewer calories.
Myth: Frozen foods are taste- less and uninspired.
Truth: There are many chef-created options with frozen meals, such as a Top Chef Chicken Margherita with Balsamic, made with tender chicken, al dente pasta and roasted garlic from Healthy Choice, one of the pioneers of delicious, health-minded food. It’s simple food made from only the best ingredients including crunchy apples, crisp vegetables, tender meats and pasta. These meals contain healthy alternatives that taste delicious: olive oil instead of butter; slow-simmered sauces instead of heavy cream; a splash of red wine for a punch of flavor instead of added salt.
Another option can be a hearty pot pie filled with tender meat and savory vegetables from Marie Callender’s, whose great-tasting dishes are always made from quality ingredients.
Personalize Your Frozen Meal
Frozen meals are an inexpensive and convenient solution to make meals taste like they are made from scratch. Not only that, frozen meals can be customized by adding ingredients or sides. The chefs at ConAgra Foods suggest adding sun-dried tomatoes to Marie Callender’s Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo Bake for complementary flavor. If you’re looking to kick up the heat, top Healthy Choice Chicken Enchilada Bake with a sliced jalapeño.
Whether you have a taste for international fare such as Portabella Parmesan Risotto or an everyday favorite such as Macaroni and Cheese, the chefs at ConAgra Foods—who create single-serve and multiserve frozen entrées for Healthy Choice, Marie Callender’s, Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu meals—can provide what you want. No matter your mood, craving or preference, there are many options with frozen meals.
“Fewer meals are made from scratch these days compared to a generation ago and many Americans are spending less time in the kitchen,” ConAgra Foods Spokesperson Lempert added. There is a myth that home cooked is always more nutritious than frozen but many frozen foods are portion controlled, start with fresh-tasting ingredients and have saturated fat and sodium levels that are much the same as their home-cooked counterparts, if not lower.” Therefore, you can feel free to feed your family frozen meals, knowing they’re wholesome as well as quick and easy to prepare.
Visit www.supermarketguru.com to see how Healthy Choice and Marie Callender’s are helping to imagine what the future of the frozen food aisle could look like.