Are Frozen Berries Healthy?

There’s nothing like biting into the first juicy strawberry of the season. It’s sweet and bursting with flavor. Then come the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. They’re loaded with antioxidants, doing just as much good for our body as they do our taste buds.

Then the sad day comes when they’re no longer in season. Of course, we have the option to purchase them year-round at the grocery store, but the cost more than doubles. If you’ve never priced a pint of blueberries in the middle of winter, you’re in for a shock this year.

Some may say that we shouldn’t be eating the summer berries in the winter because it goes against the food that nature intended for us in the winter months. I happen to personally agree with this, to some extent, but berries are a really tasty and nutrient-dense food, and let’s be honest, there are worse food options we could be choosing in the winter months.

Step right up to the freezer section of your grocery store. There are so many varieties of berries to select from and the good news is that they come at a much lower price than the fresh ones.

How to select the best frozen berries

It’s still important to select organic berries. Berries are most often on the environmental working group "dirty dozen" list in terms of the produce that contains the most pesticides to be grown. The importance of buying organic strawberries was first described to me as the strawberries “marinating” in the pesticides, because they’re grown in the ground so they soak in it. That may be an extreme image to paint, but it certainly delivered the point home to me.

Personally, I buy organic berries, but of course I’m not going to be make a fuss about organic versus conventional if I’m out at a restaurant or friends house. Always keep in mind, it’s what you do the majority of time that matters.

Next, be sure to check the ingredients. It sounds silly because you’re just buying a bag of mixed berries, why would there be other ingredients? You would be surprised. Some companies will add sugar to make them sweeter and ultimately get your taste buds hooked so you come back for more on your next shopping trip.

So, bottom line, fresh is always best but in the off-season, frozen becomes a much more affordable and realistic option. It can support you in an occasional smoothie or recipe during your winter months.

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