Studies1 have shown that the overall nutritional value of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables is very similar to that of the fresh version.
This means whether you add frozen strawberries to your morning cereal or canned tomatoes to your pasta sauce, you will still be receiving plenty of nutrients – just make sure you select the versions canned in natural juice, or the low sodium options.
With the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables continuing to rise, and household budgets under more and more pressure, now is a great time to take advantage of the range of canned and frozen fruit and veggies on the supermarket shelves, and probably even in our own pantries.
A recent comparison (Feb 2023) of the cost per kilo of some staple fresh veggies versus canned and frozen varieties at a major supermarket in a city location, showed that canned and frozen versions can be a far cheaper option AND still highly nutritious.
These are some significant price differences, and the good news is canned, or frozen veggie varieties can be easily substituted into many familiar family meals, often requiring less prep and a shorter cooking time when preparing the meal.
Frozen and canned fruit and vegetables can easily be swapped and used in family favourites like shepherd’s pie, minestrone soup, frittatas, meat and three veg and Bolognese.
Another benefit of using canned or frozen fruit and vegetables can be a fuller flavour. Different to fresh produce that is picked just before its peak (to account for transportation times), canned and frozen veg are picked at the point of optimal ripeness, and fullest flavour, so depending on how you use them, it can mean a better taste experience for you. If you are making a fresh salad or a recipe that relies on texture, undoubtedly fresh will be your best option.
The key, no matter whether you choose fresh, frozen or canned fruit and veg, is to have five serves of veg and two serves of fruit each day for optimal health.