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Cutting Waste, Food

We always buy frozen vegetables | But what are the best vegetables to buy frozen?

The image shows three bags of frozen onions in a freezer. The image has a green border around it.

“Oh, frozen vegetables, that’s a good idea. I should buy those.” I’m always shocked when I hear it. And it happens a lot, often in the checkout queue. To me it’s baffling that some people don’t buy the frozen stuff and as a family, we easily go through six bags each month. But what are he best frozen vegetables to buy?

Why do I shop for frozen vegetables?

Frozen vegetables are cheap, you can pick up a 750g bag for around £1.30. You can buy it in most supermarkets, although you may struggle to get it in smaller stores.

I am not precious about where I buy my frozen vegetables from to be honest. If I need a bag, I go out with a view to buy and find the nearest supermarket. Within my freezer I have Asda frozen vegetables, Sainsbury’s veg and frozen Birds Eye veg. I can’t taste much difference between each brand. I also know that the nutrition is all locked in as the veggies are frozen,  so I just add them to my shopping basket as and when.

In my opinion, frozen vegetables are very economical. It tends to cost around £2 per kg, which I feel is very reasonable. It lasts in the freezer for as long as you need it to as well. Or until it runs out in my case. And frozen veggies are already peeled and chopped, so they’re a real time saver!

I use it a lot. In fact, frozen veg creates the base of most of my slow cooker wonders.

You can buy organic frozen veg in Ocado and M&S

Some people like to eat organic frozen veg and I totally understand that. You may struggle to find it in some supermarkets, but it is possible to buy it from Ocado. I have also spotted it in M&S.

If this is something that bothers you, then you could always freeze your own bag! Buy fresh, peel and chop your veggies and then decant it into freezer bags.

What recipes would you use a frozen vegetable in?

If you’re recipe calls for vegetables, then you’d be fine to use it from frozen on most occasions. However, there are occasions where only fresh will do. For example, if I was making a tomato and mozzarella starter, or asparagus wrapped in Parma Ham, then I’d always use fresh ingredients. I’m not a big fan of using frozen in my stir fries, or when I’m cooking a roast dinner either, as I like the crunch that fresh veg give you.

I tend to use my frozen veg in slow cooker recipes, or within stews. Occasionally I will make a tray bake where I roast frozen vegetables with fish or meat; this is a quick tea because the veggies are already prepared! I also find it handy to have bags of frozen vegetables on standby, to use in case I forget to buy a fresh ingredient that I need. If you’re on a diet, then frozen veg is also a way of cheaply bulking out meals.

My favourite frozen vegetables

Frozen onions are a personal favourite, because who wants to be chopping onions on the regular? They smell and they make you cry. I’ve been known to cut my hand with a knife before now too. Garden peas are my other essential. 

I don’t peel, chop, prepare and freeze my own veg, as I use it to save time. But I’d consider doing this if I spied some fresh veg in the yellow sticker section of the supermarket. I’d also consider trying a new type of frozen veg if I saw it. If I decided I didn’t like it, I just wouldn’t buy it again. But nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say!

This picture shows some frozen peas and written over the image it says: ‘Hacks -- a shopping essential -- frozen vegetables.’

Is it worth buying vegetables that have been frozen?

I’m certainly not advocating that you only buy frozen vegetables from here on in. I personally can’t stand frozen broccoli florets, carrots, stir-fry mixes and Mediterranean veg, as it doesn’t taste fresh to me and I’m often left with a pool of water in the pan. However, I can’t understand why frozen onions, mushrooms, peppers and garden peas aren’t a regular on the shopping list for all households. I mean I wouldn’t lob them in a fresh salad, or on a sandwich, but they’re a winner in any sauce, stew or curry and I make plenty of those in my slow cooker. They’re healthy too and you get less wastage then you do when you buy fresh.

You have to be selective when it comes to purchasing frozen veg and it very much comes down to personal preference. However, if you haven’t ventured down the frozen vegetable aisle before, then I suggest that you give it a try. It will probably save you money and make your life that tiny bit easier.

Check out my guide to cooking frozen food right.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2020, but has since been revamped.