Frozen Food: Avoid Sprouting When Thawing

Frozen food is practical: Frozen food such as fish, meat, and vegetables can be kept for a long time and can usually be prepared with little effort. Properly prepared, frozen products are almost as healthy as fresh ones. But when defrosting and preparing, there are a few things to keep in mind so that valuable ingredients such as vitamins and minerals are retained.

Fruits and Vegetables: Frozen or Fresh?

Fresh fruit and vegetables are usually on the road for two to four days before they are available in stores. During this time, most of the vitamins are lost through heat, light, and oxygen. If fruit and vegetables are washed, blanched and shock-frozen immediately after harvesting, most of the vitamins are retained:

  • When blanching, fruit and vegetables are briefly pre-cooked in boiling water. This is the first step towards durability because it kills germs and interrupts the decomposition process. Color and appearance remain almost unchanged.
  • With shock freezing, the blanched fruit and vegetables are completely frozen within a very short time at minus 50 to 70 degrees. The cell structure is preserved, and no water can get into the frozen goods.

Avoid thawing and freezer burn

To ensure that vitamins and minerals are preserved on the way from the supermarket to the kitchen, frozen food should not be thawed. It is best to use an insulated bag or bag for transport and store the goods in the freezer as soon as possible. The packaging should be tightly closed and the temperature constant – otherwise there is a risk of freezer burn. This occurs when the surface of the food thaws slightly and water is released. The water evaporates and dries out the frozen food at this point.

Defrost the fish under running water

To protect against freezer burn, frozen fish is often glazed with a layer of water. The ice coating can be washed off under running water before preparation. Do not thaw the fish at room temperature but in the refrigerator. The fish should not come into contact with the defrosted water, because germs quickly collect and multiply in it.

Cook vegetables for three minutes

There are differences in the correct preparation of frozen products. It is best to always defrost and cook exactly according to the instructions on the packaging. The manufacturers have usually tested the optimal preparation process in detail. Vegetables are mostly used in their frozen state. Cook in boiling water for three minutes just before eating to preserve as many vitamins as possible.

Refreeze thawed food?

According to the German Frozen Food Institute, it is possible to refreeze thawed food, especially food that has been cooked or heated up. Defrosted goods should be refrozen as quickly as possible. Because microorganisms spread when they are thawed and food can spoil if it is stored in the refrigerator for a long time. When refreezing, important nutrients are lost. In order to kill possible germs, refrozen products should be thoroughly heated before consumption.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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