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Fresh vs Frozen

One of the things I love about a raw diet is that nothing goes to waste. Whatever you need to use up, just put it into your next smoothie. Yum.

I am wondering if there is any nutritional difference between fresh and frozen fruit or vegetables.

I saw a recommendation to process spinach in the blender and then freeze the liquified spinach in icecube trays. This works really well for me and I was thinking of doing the same with other items (mangoes, pineapple, etc). This would allow me to prepare loads of smoothie things in advance and then just add water and a few other seeds, dates, etc….

Any thoughts?


  • The food’s enzymes do denature some… but, I assume they would denature slowly… depends on food, temperature, and length of freezing.

    Someone posted a LONG TIME AGO that Cascadian Farms brand flash freezes their frozen foods. I haven’t called them to ‘confirm’... also, greens and veggies can lose their color when frozen (something to do with enzymes).

    I freeze my dressings, cheesecakes, date desserts, bananas, lemons, berries…

  • geez, if this helps you eat healthier, go for it. buying pre-frozen foods may not be the best idea, as germin8 said. yes, it does denature the food. fresh is FAR superior to frozen. BUT i would argue frozen is FAR superior to old and tired, and FAR FAR superior to thrown in the garbage. =)

  • freezing things at zero or just below zero degrees celsius does NOT denature the proteins, it simply slows their activity…but they go right on bustling when they’re thawed. so freezing is generally not a problem.
    although watch out for frozen vegetables in the grocery store, the majority are blanched before freezing, so not raw, if that concerns you.

  • Even if the enzymes don’t denature, some food dies after freezing, especially tropical fruit. Also, if the food is alive when you freeze it and has water in the cells, I think they would rupture during freezing and or thawing. I don’t think that freezing is in anyway as bad as cooking but the life force is disrupted for sure and i bet there is some nutrition loss.

    That said, some foods like kale taste great frozen and the plants can actually survive below zero temperatures, so there are exceptions.

  • I have heard that frozen vegetables are steamed before they are frozen. Frozen fruit would be your best bet. But don’t overuse frozen foods because they could cause some problems (excess yin or cold). I believe that freezing your own fruits and veg is always better that purchasing them.But remember fresh is always best!


  • Cold? Just defrost them when taking them out of the freezer… run them under warm water. Or do you mean, the foods become more “yin/cold” if they are frozen, regardless of whether they are defrosted or not before consumption?

    Elizabethh, where did you get info about the enzymes on foods frozen to zero or just below zero? I agree with what you said, but, I did ask someone at NIH (I forget what they do there) and he thinks that most of the enzymes would NOT denature. So, there would be some denaturization. Anyway, if this is incorrect… I’d like to read about it.

    My husband also believes that water would rupture cell walls. Interesting. I wonder if dehydrating the food (like fruits) would help with that.

  • Sorry i should have clarified that:) Foods that have been defrosted using warm water will decrease the foods yin qualities. But most raw fruit and veg are considered yin foods (hot peppers and some roots are exceptions). To balance it out you could add something hot like cayenne pepper to whatever it is you are eating. For example if you are making a smoothie with fresh and frozen fruit add a little bit of cayenne pepper to balance out the yin qualities of fruit. You will also notice that you can not gulp it down as fast and you can enjoy the flavors even more.


  • I just wanted to add what I have just recently learned in Biology. Freezing DOES NOT denature enzymes (not even a little bit), it just slows down enzymatic activity. We tested this using frozen, fresh and cooked pineapple in Jello. The Jello with canned pineapple set perfectly because the canning process had denatured the enzymes in the pineapple. The frozen pineapple jello did not set.

  • I used to be skeptical about frozen foods until someone reminded me that human sperm/eggs are frozen and are completely usable upon thawing. That’s a pretty compelling argument to me that freezing is OK - certainly not like heat.

  • This is very good news. No waste – what could be better.

  • Commercially frozen vegetables, including Cascadian Farms, blanch their vegetables before freezing, so there are no live enzymes at all. Just my own feelings, commericially frozen vegetables are not as healthy as old but fresh veggies.

  • Fresh always has better flavor. I made a pie using frozen cherries instead of fresh blackberries like I usually did, and it didn’t even taste like cherries. :O

  • Jeannine, interesting point…

    They may be ‘usable’ but how sure can we be that nothing’s changed about the sperm/eggs? :-)

    I don’t eat frozen food any more, and my reasons are outlined here:


  • In regards to Cascadian Farms, I called them today to ask about flash freezing and blanching. Their frozen fruits are washed and then flash frozen and their veggies are washed, blanched, and then flash frozen.

  • ambiguousambiguous Raw Newbie

    Brooke, thanks for the info!

  • I do a LOT of foraging in the Summer and Fall (nettles, berries, mushrooms) and then dry and freeze them so that I can enjoy all of them during the winter. I freeze all of the berries and throw them in my smoothies. I try to take a more holistic view instead of focusing on if an enzyme or two dies. I like finding my own food and doing my little part in trying to NOT contribute as much to this crazy consumer society. I also know where at least some of my food comes from, and am in control in every step of the process. Not to mention foraged food tastes SOOO good--fresh or frozen!

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