As much as I love buying fresh veggies at the farmer’s market, with colder weather and winter approaching it isn’t always easy (or affordable!) to find your favorite fruits and veggies. Luckily when that happens, I know I can turn to frozen fruits and vegetables to get the same nutritional punch. That’s why today I am excited to team up with the Frozen Food Foundation to share a delicious recipe for Healthier Broccoli Cheddar Soup made with frozen broccoli and to clear up some common misconceptions about frozen food based on a recent University of California, Davis study. Let’s talk about frozen fruits and vegetables for a minute. Contrary to popular belief, a University of California, Davis study revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables are generally as rich in nutrients, and often more so, than their fresh counterparts. They found that freezing is basically nature’s “pause button.” When produce is picked at its peak ripeness, this locks in nutrient value meaning it is just as healthy as when it fresh. Moreover, buying frozen produce can help to reduce costs and save time. Frozen produce is often much less expensive than “out of season” fresh produce and there is no worrying about your produce spoiling before you use it. It’s also much more convenient in some recipes. For example, in today’s Broccoli Soup recipe not having to wash and chop 6 cups of broccoli florets saved lots of prep time and cost about half as much. Now let’s talk about this soup! It’s packed with delicious broccoli and cheddar flavor but without all the fat and calories. Typically broccoli and cheese soup is packed with cream and more cheese than necessary. To cut calories, save time, and add nutrients – in this recipe we use extra frozen broccoli, evaporated skim milk, and just 1 cup of extra sharp, full flavor cheddar cheese to create lots of flavor. This recipe freezes great so make up a big batch.