When beginning a raw eating plan, many people wonder if they can eat frozen foods. The answer is: It depends. Does that make it more clear? Not likely, so lets take a look at which frozen foods can be enjoyed when following a raw eating plan and which are not the optimal raw diet options.
Store-bought Frozen Fruits and Vegetables? Not Raw
Why are store-bought frozen fruits and vegetables not the optimal choices on a raw food diet? This answer is easy: they are cooked slightly before freezing. Technically, they are “blanched” by the manufacturer before being frozen, which means cooking them in boiling water for a period of 1 to 7 minutes. This is done stop the natural enzymatic processes of the produce, which in plain words, means to to “kill” the vegetable or fruit before freezing.
So, in the end, frozen fruits and vegetables aren’t “not raw” because they are frozen, but because they are cooked before freezing.
Fruits and Veggies you Freeze When Fresh? Raw
The good news is that you can freeze your own fruits and vegetables to enjoy later without blanching them. However, while some will thaw well, others will not and will have a strange texture after thawing. How long they stay in the freezer and how they are packed also affect the texture of the produce when thawed.
Which fruits and veggies freeze well without blanching? Berries are reported to maintain their integrity well after being frozen unblanched, so freeze those strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and other healthy berries that you don’t think you will be able to eat before they go bad. Broccoli, green beans, peppers, celery, sugar-snap peas, and summer squash are also reported to freeze and thaw well.
Raw Ice Cream? Deliciously Raw!
One of the most delicious foods you will get to enjoy on a raw food diet is the array of raw ice cream recipes you can create. Yes, you can use that frozen banana ice cream maker to make banana-based frozen treats, but there are also raw ice cream recipes that contain no bananas (check back soon for the recipes!).
So, why are foods that are frozen still considered raw? The general consensus in the raw food community is that freezing does not “kill” foods and strip them of their nutrients as cooking at high temperatures does.
Important: Know when to Break the “Rules”
In an ideal world, you would have access to all of the healthy raw fresh produce you wanted to eat at any time of year. Unfortunately, life isn’t always ideal.
If you don’t live in a tropical area of the world where fresh fruits are abundant year-round, feel free to enjoy that store-bought bag of frozen strawberries when you don’t have access to fresh ones. Is eating that bag of frozen strawberries a better choice than that processed candy bar or junk food that you may have chosen instead of the strawberries in the past? You bet! Enjoy them with no guilt!