“ Brand: Asda / Type: Carrots „
I, like many others at the moment, am on a massive economy drive, and after doing a comprehensive spreadsheet (I know, really dull - but very useful!) I have realised that I am spending far too much money at the supermarket. I therefore plan my menus for the week, and stick to my list when shopping, but I find that between dropping off the kids at various activities, my husband working shifts, and me trying to fit in going to the gym, my menus go to the wall, and I'm often throwing away fresh fruit and vegetables that have been bought with really good intention but we just never got round to eating. I know that I am not alone in doing this because a recent survey suggested (if you believe them) that between us, we throw away 3.3m tonnes of food per year. It recently occurred to me that a simple cost saving solution to this would be to buy frozen vegetables.
I always bought frozen vegetables when I first left home, however, for the past few years I have become a bit of a snob about them, and stuck to fresh veg, but in a recent trip to Asda I spotted Freshly frozen Broccoli, Cauliflower and Baby carrots at £1 for a 1kg bag, so I thought that I may as well give them a try.
They come in a whiteish plastic bag, with a picture of the vegetables on the front - the picture makes them look fresh and firm. On the front of the bag, you are told that they were frozen within hours, that they form one of your five a day, and that they are good source of vitamins A & C. The reverse of the bag provides the cooking instructions (boiling, steaming or microwaving), ingredients (Unsurprisingly Broccoli, cauliflower and carrots!), storage instructions, contact details and a recipe for a serving suggestion - Tikka risotto in this case.
I prefer to steam my fresh vegetables, as they maintain a lot more of the nutrients, keep their colour and stay firm, so I steamed these in the same way, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. The broccoli tasted fresh, kept its strong green colour, and was firm to the bite, likewise was the cauliflower - also maintaining its original white colour, there wasn't a hint of sogginess or mushiness here. I really couldn't tell the difference between these and fresh veg, and neither could my family. The carrots were a bit firmer than I would normally have them, but I would usually cook carrots for a bit longer than broccoli and cauliflower anyway. Even so, they had a nice sweet fresh flavour, and had a crunchy texture; I really liked the size of all of the vegetables as they fitted nicely on your fork, without being too big to put into your mouth! The vegetables are all well prepared, with no excess leaves or carrot skin present. I would say that you get an even mix of all three vegetables, even though on the packet it says that they are in varying proportions.
I have found that one bag lasts for two meals when serving four people, making this a really inexpensive way to eat healthily. I always keep a bag in the freezer for emergencies and they have a long best before date (18 months). I'm no longer throwing away gone off vegetables, and I'm saving time by not having to prepare them. I am glad that I have rediscovered frozen veg; they are probably better off for you anyway, and definitely a lot cheaper and more convenient.