Juicing Frozen Greens: Does Practicality Trump Nutrition?

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Practicality of using frozen vegetables for some green juice ingredients may justify it.First, it goes without saying that to obtain the ultimate freshness and nutritional value from your green juices, it’s best if all the vegetables are fresh-picked. The best arrangement would be growing everything yourself organically and taking all the veggies straight from the garden or greenhouse, in for a quick wash and then juicing them immediately.

Sadly, many of us are not quite so self-sufficient in this regard. We may grow and enjoy some fine healthy greens in the warmer months, but may not be able to produce the vegetable cornucopia we like to include in our juices. So, the next best thing is to acquire our fresh ingredients from a local grower or farmer’s market. Still, that’s a seasonal arrangement as well and what are those of us subjected to cold winters to do outside the growing season?

Supermarket “fresh” greens are unpredictable. If we can grab them within a couple days of their delivery to the store, they probably have most of their nutritional quotient intact and will produce good quality juices. If they’ve been on the shelf for an unknown time, they may still look reasonably fresh and crisp, but how do we know the nutrient value is still there? And of course we have to be conscious of pesticide use and GMOs in agriculturally mass-produced items.

How Much of a Sacrifice in Using Frozen Vegetables?

Most frozen vegetables have been blanched and then quick-frozen to preserve nutrition. Some studies have suggested that the nutritive quality of many frozen vegetables surpasses that of their supposedly fresh counterparts, and this has some important implications for juicing fans. Not all produce freezes well, but if you have your own garden surplus of some produce that you’re able to freeze, this will likely be better than frozen store-bought veggies.

Because we’re juicing for optimal health, creating juices entirely from frozen vegetables would be less than ideal. We may, however, be able to substitute frozen veggies for some of the juice components with little loss of nutritional oomph. Broccoli is a favorite juice ingredient of many, for instance. If you don’t happen to have space to grow your own and a trip to the farmer’s market is inconvenient, most name-brand frozen bagged broccoli is nutritious and reasonably priced.

You generally want to partially thaw frozen veggies before juicing, and the final consistency may come out slightly less hearty than with fresh, with slightly less juice being rendered. You can compensate for this by balancing with your fresh additions.

Purists having their own greenhouses may scoff at the notion, but you can still create good juices using frozen veggies.

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