If you stay too long in the freezer at my restaurant, you will eventually freeze #TeamFabio. Sometimes I even throw my staff inside so they will learn a lesson or two about talking to the boss the wrong way! I’m just kidding, but always remember that my freezer never shuts down. A human is probably the last thing I would want to store in the freezer! I’m not part of the mafia, nor do i need a place to store frozen pieces of body. What I do love storing in there are vegetables. Yes, you heard it here America – Fabio Viviani uses frozen vegetables. I’m not ashamed to say it either. Frozen vegetables have got a bad wrap over the years from people who want everything fresh out of the garden.
Here’s the cold hard facts guys – over half the year, many of the things you love are not available fresh. I love being about to get tomatoes and green peas during the summer because they taste amazing. But for the other 9 months, the flavor just isn’t there. By freezing or canning these things, we capture their goodness at its peak and store it for when we want to unleash it. I don’t recommend that your diet be completely on frozen or canned goods, but I do have 5 Top Foods that will keep great in the freezer and even get better when they are at their coldest.
1. Berries of all Kinds – You name it – Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, and the list goes on. This super food that is priceless during the summer months of harvest can be transposed into cancer-fighting heroes when frozen too! Buy IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) berries to ensure that they are all separate. Then when you thaw them, use them how ever you like in cereal, on ice cream, or in a smoothie.
2. Spinach and other Greens – Leave the milk in the cow’s people. Spinach packs more calcium, ounce for ounce, than milk does. Also, compared to fresh spinach, it has more as well! This powerhouse can be steamed to help break down cell walls and make the nutrients more accessible to out bodies. I don’t know about you, but I think I’m gonna give Popeye a run for his money with the frozen stuff! #BOOM
3. Broccoli – High in fiber and essential vitamins, hardly anything is lost during the freezing and thawing process. Use frozen broccoli in a frittata, stir-fry, or my personal favorite – mixed in with pasta. Added veggie nutrition that’s found year round!
4. Corn – The difference between canned corn and frozen corn is flavor. Another interesting fact is what when the corn is blanched in preparation for freezing, can help boost levels of vital nutrients that help vision loss. Wanna see better? Add some frozen corn to your diet.
5. Green Peas – These green fighters are identical in taste as the ones coming off the pod. Freezing them help raise its levels of antioxidants and by consuming only 1/2 cup, you can get almost a 5th of you daily Vitamin C. They keep great in the freezer and are great for your body.
Your freezer is good for some other things while we are on the subject. Did you know that by placing steaks in the freezer for a couple of minutes will make them easier to slice? It’s a trick that’s in every chef’s back pocket. So the next time you want bacon diced up and not sliding around on the cutting board, place it in the freezer and come back in five minutes. You will have perfectly diced pork brought to you by your favorite Italian. The freezer helps with buying bulk. You can save money on everything from cheese, to meats, to bread. One cool trick with cheese is to buy decent sized block, shred all of it, toss with a little bit of cornstarch and freeze on a sheet tray. The cornstarch acts as a sponge for the moisture and keeps the cheese separated. Now you have grated cheese whenever you want for half the cost!
As you can see, you’ve been giving the cold shoulder to frozen foods and it’s time you changed your mind! Again, everything in moderation and make sure to get this stuff fresh when it’s in season, but for all those other times, head to the frozen isle and pick some goodness up. What’s your favorite frozen food? Are you a fresh over frozen person? Let me know what you are all about! If you are looking for great recipes using these frozen items, hit me up on Facebook and Twitter and I’ll do my best to get you what you are looking for. Put on that overcoat and head to your grocery store – It’s about to get cold in here! #frozenfoods