Try-it Tuesday: Don’t diss the frozen veggies
I confess: I’m a grocery store snob. And yes, I’m judging you on what you’re buying. (Plus, do your bananas really need an extra plastic bag?)
So when I’m buying produce, I tend to go straight for the fresh and organic section, which at Toronto’s amazing Fiesta Farms, where I do much of my shopping, is right in the middle of the store, not off in the corner. (As an aside, I was there Sunday afternoon and it was about as busy as on the day before Thanksgiving. I think they need to open a new location.)
Anyhoo, a little while ago a rep from frozen-food company Cookin’ Greens got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to try their products, which include frozen spinach, kale and rapini plus a couple of frozen-veg-and-green mixes. I said yes, of course - who would turn down free groceries? - but honestly, it’s been a very long time since I’ve bought frozen spinach. That said, has anyone else noticed that the baby spinach in the plastic boxes isn’t the same quality it used to be, and goes bad pretty quickly? And I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s super lazy about washing bunches of spinach.
Besides all that, you always hear about studies saying that frozen vegetables are more nutritious than most fresh because they’re frozen right after picking, whereas the spinach that comes from California or Mexico had a long trip before making it to store shelves. Cookin’ Greens says that its greens go from farm to freezer in under six hours, which is faster than I can get here from California, anyways.
Today I finally dug the bag out of the freezer and set about making their recipe for green hummus - a pretty standard hummus recipe with the addition of a full 500 g bag of spinach. I had to cook the greens first - I did it over the stove with a bit of water - then added them to the food processor with the other ingredients and served with some whole wheat cheddar biscuits. And you know what? It was really good. You would have to like spinach, or reduce the quantity otherwise - there were just about equal portions of spinach and chickpeas - but it felt like another awesome way to get in more greens. (Mine was a lot greener than the photo I liberated from their website.)
And given my huge green smoothie habit, I’m thinking that the frozen greens - which, I should note, aren’t in one big lump like classic frozen spinach, but easily separated so you can use just some of the bag - will be a fantastic standby for quick smoothies when I run out of fresh. And I’m inspired to try more frozen vegetables.
Have you tried Cookin’ Greens? What are your tricks to get more greens?