Which veggies do you think are the healthiest? We’ve received this question so often and as we begin to spread our holiday cheer through our hugs + tummies, we wanted to clear up some confusion and not only give you the information to prepare a delicious meal, but also give your guests as many nutrients as possible!
It may seem like the obvious choice is FRESH vegetables, but this actually depends on several factors, including how the veggies are grown and how long it takes to get the veggies from the ground to your table.
THEE best choice is organic, pesticide-free, freshly picked vegetables. This is exactly the way that nature intended you to enjoy this gift, however, depending on where you live, the winter weather may have limited your ability to get locally grown vegetables. Do the best that you can and once the weather starts to warm up, head back to your local farmer’s markets to shop for in-season veggies or consider growing your own in a garden. Also, buy what you need as close as possible to the time that you plan to eat them. Our Whole Food Love programs encourage you to plan a 30-minute grocery trip once per week (+ a quickie trip depending on your meal prep schedule.)
Only stock up if it’s going to encourage you to eat MORE veggies!
Frozen organic vegetables are an excellent alternative to fresh veggies both during the colder months when your veggie of choice may be out of season as well as during those times when you just need to stock up and know that fresh veggies won’t last.
An additional benefit of frozen veggies is that they are usually “flash” frozen shortly after being harvested and at the peak of freshness. Frozen organic vegetables can actually be MORE nutritious than fresh veggies if the fresh veggies have taken extended periods of time to be transported from farm to grocery store.
Canned veggies are by far, the least nutritious method. Despite being canned shortly after being harvested, canned veggies lose up to 90% of their original nutritional value. Further, canned veggies have loads of sodium and many cans are lined with plastic that contains BPA.
A final component of veggie nutritional value is how it’s prepared. All veggies will lose most of their nutrients and flavors if they are boiled in water for extended periods of time. Lightly steam to preserve as many vitamins as possibly. Enjoy!