Frozen vegetables are the most economical, time-saving and practical option for operators. With good preparation and storage practices, the results are similar to cooking with fresh vegetables. These vegetables are ready to be cooked on the spot! They are pre-cut, pre-washed and can help you and your team save tons of time in the kitchen. They can be pre-portioned and stored helping minimize waste. However, they sometimes have bad press! People think their texture is blah or their colour is washed out. Today, we’ll discuss the best way to prepare and cook frozen vegetables to enhance their quality and get the best taste, as well as other things to consider when preparing them.
Frozen vegetables should NEVER be thawed before preparing them. To maximize their flavour and performance, they should be frozen when cooking.
For optimal results, minimize the thawing time of your frozen vegetables. When cooking, use only what you need and store the rest immediately in the freezer, helping prevent potential quality and performance loss. Also, don’t overcook: frozen vegetables cook quicker than fresh produce, so be careful not to overcook them. Most of them can be ready in as little as 4 minutes at high temperature. It is strongly recommended to follow the cooking instructions on the package and check for doneness frequently.
If you plan to prepare frozen vegetables to serve immediately, fully cook them. If you need to prepare them in advance for an event, do not cook them completely so the colour and flavour are preserved.
NOTE: ALL the Arctic Gardens frozen vegetables are blanched however, they cannot be used “as is” i.e. directly from freezer to plate. They have to be cooked thoroughly before usage.
Other things to consider:
Here are some delicious and trendy recipes perfect for the summer season you can try:
We encourage you to discover (or re-discover!) Arctic Gardens product portfolio which offers a wide variety of options; from the reliable, foundational products to a fine selection of on-trend and specialty ingredients, you can find what you are looking for.
With changing times, technology has become a crucial aspect of our lives. It has played a significant role in transforming several industries, including foodservice (in case you missed our show coverage, check out this blog post to read about iAssist). One such technological invention that has gained immense popularity in recent years is the QR code. QR codes or Quick Response codes are two-dimensional barcodes that store information, such as website links, menus, and contact details, which can be easily scanned by smartphones. In this blog post, we will share how you can use them to enhance your business.
The pandemic has brought significant changes in the way people perceive dining out. People are more conscious about hygiene and safety protocols. QR codes enable contactless menu and order placement, thereby reducing the use of physical menus and reducing the risk of contamination. That being said, CNN reported that 88% of people still prefer hand held menus and it would be wise to offer printed menus and a QR Code. It’s important to keep in mind that your menu is your number one marketing tool, if you’re going to use a digital menu – ensure it offers the same experience as your regular menu.
Providing the best dining experience is crucial. QR codes can be utilized to collect customer feedback and reviews quickly. All you need to do is create a QR code that redirects customers to your feedback and review page, and customers can provide their feedback in a matter of seconds.
It's a well-known fact that customers love rewards and discounts. QR codes provide a unique way to drive people to your programs, simply create a QR code that redirect customers to your loyalty program and discount pages where customers can quickly scan the codes and redeem the offers.
The rise in mobile technology and smart devices like smartphones and tablets, QR codes offer a new opportunity for businesses to target their customers more effectively. Create QR codes to redirect customers to your social media handles, prompting them to follow your pages and keep them engaged with your brand.
There are many websites that produce QR Codes. Take a look at Adobe, which states it is free forever and no credit card is required.
Whether it’s Salad, Breakfast, Buddha or Poke, bowls are now one of the more popular options in menus, and some say it may have taken over the once reliable, classic sandwich format. Packed with protein, greens and grains, bowls not only promote wellness, they also mix international flavours from various cultures into beautifully eye-appealing meals. This format is easy to make and offers flexibility for operators; already on-hand ingredients can be prepared in advance, and meals are easily customizable for customers. Bowls also offer healthy, filling alternatives, a convenient takeout option, and are usually presented in eco-friendly packaging.
Now, the question is: Are bowls just a passing trend, or are they a sustainable staple that will continue to shape the culinary world? Let’s find out.
Around 2016, the popularity of poke and acai bowls emerged and quickly gained popularity in North America. Since then, operators started experimenting with unique flavour combinations and incorporated variations of this concept such as grain bowls, burrito bowls, noodle bowls and many others onto their menus. Datassential reports that “consumers have pushed for customization in foodservice, choosing everything from bowl formats to burritos to the ingredients that go into each of those that fit their individual lifestyles”. Additionally, Tecnomic Ignite  states that since the end of 2020, bowls have skyrocketed in terms of operator penetration. Continuing in 2021, veggie bowls became one of the leading vegetarian entrees on Canadian menus, rivaling veggie burgers, veggie pizza and salad options. Bowls have been trending mostly in traditional CDR (Casual Dining Restaurants), quick service, and fast casual restaurants since 2020.
In 2022, Foodservice Equipment and Supplies also reported that bowls are “found on 34.8% of menus, up 9% over the past four years”. As of today, 42.8% of operators have bowls on their menu! The top three types of bowls in the US are currently Curry bowls, followed by veggie bowls and then protein bowls. Although these types of bowls seem quite different from each other, they all have one common ingredient: vegetables.
According to Technomic Ignite, vegetables are the dominating ingredient in the growth and mainstream stage that are paired with bowls in operators’ menus. The most popular ones (in the US) are onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables such as edamame, and chickpeas. Although popular, these vegetables take time to wash, peel and cut, and chefs cannot ignore major challenges hindering their efficiency such as labor shortages or product availability. With growing demands of ingredient customization from consumers, this makes vegetables harder to incorporate to create a colourful, nutritious dish. How can fast-casual operators take advantage of this trend while maintaining productive operations? Frozen vegetables!
Arctic Gardens provides just the solution for chefs to create unique, flavourful bowls. Our Frozen Fresh vegetables are pre-cut, and pre-washed to save substantial preparation time, and cut down labor costs as well as waste. Additionally, they are available year round, and have a long-lasting shelf life ranging from 18 to 24 months. The Arctic Gardens products come in single blends (i.e diced onions, edamame, diced red and green bell peppers) as well as blends which can help operators build protein-packed bowls. Our vegetables are individually frozen at their peak of freshness, locking the perfect texture and nutrition customers demand. Arctic Gardens helps operators make veggie-bowls rapidly: operators can just portion out what they need, and store the rest in the freezer for later use.
An example of an easy-to-build bowl is Artic Gardens Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Bowl. Made with our delicious pre-seasoned roasted brussel sprout blend, this bowl is loaded with grains, silky vinaigrette, and with a hint of crunch! Discover this great recipe here.
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By Alasko Foods
When it comes to nutrition, fruits and vegetables have always been the go-to in terms of healthy eating. Tried and true, their combination of practicality, taste, and nutritional benefit are second to none. However, frozen rather than fresh produce has several unique benefits which make them a clear choice for the resourceful restaurant operator.
Here are five reasons why:
Frozen fruit is actually richer in nutrients on average than their fresh counterparts, according to a study by the University of California-Davis.¹ This is because of its enhanced preservation through a unique freezing method. Companies like Alasko, which utilize IQF (individual quick freezing) technology, do so because it locks in freshness, flavour, colour, and taste.
Individual quick freezing takes single pieces of food and, as the name suggests, freezes them individually at extremely low temperatures. This prevents the formation of large ice crystals that conventional freezing would cause, and preserves the high-quality state that the food is currently in.
IQF fruits and vegetables are always in season, simply because that’s the state at which they are frozen in.
Thanks to worldwide sourcing—which market leaders such as Alasko benefit from due to their extensive global supply network—it is feasible to obtain the best possible product from whichever region it happens to be currently in-season. Using IQF technology, the produce that ends up in your recipe and menu items is as fresh as it was when picked.
Frozen produce has a lot more potential to it than meets the eye.
Rather than having to peel, chop, and prepare a fresh fruit or vegetable, IQF produce is frozen in a state that is ready to use. Simply toss fruits in a blender to make a smoothie, chop them up and make a salsa, or incorporate them into a smoothie bowl. Easily mix vegetables into a stir fry or casserole, or into a dip.
The possibilities are extensive!
The disadvantage of fresh produce is that it needs to be consumed in a certain window of time before it starts to become overripe. This can put a lot of pressure for you to make use of it as quickly as possible. (Granted, frozen produce still has this window as well, but it is far lengthier—typically 24 months, as opposed to a week or so.²)
Simply take out the portion you need, and put the rest away where it will remain frozen and unspoiled.
Using frozen fruits and vegetables minimizes your expenses in the areas of labour and food waste. Frozen produce is already cut, washed, and ready to toss in a recipe, and unused quantities can be put right back into the freezer. Even better, frozen produce can be less costly than their fresh counterparts.³
When it comes to the ingredients to put in your recipes, you are constantly faced with choice. Frozen fruits and vegetables have several benefits that are often overlooked in comparison to the alternatives. Whether it’s the heightened nutrition, convenience, or cheaper cost: frozen fruits and vegetables are definitely worth it.
For delicious IQF products to use in your next recipe, contact your Flanagan Foodservice sales representative or call our Customer Relations team at 1-855-FLANAGAN.
Alasko Foods is a leader in global sourcing of conventional and organic frozen fruits and vegetables, with a reputation for providing superior, world class service to customers across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Committed to delivering the safest and highest quality products, without compromise, Alasko Foods will source, process, pack, label, brand and distribute the best fresh-frozen fruits and vegetables the world has to offer. Learn more at alasko.com.
 Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture c 87:930–944
 U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 2015; Foodsafety.gov
 United Stated Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2016
In the competitive world of restaurants, bars, and family entertainment centers, operators are constantly seeking innovative ways to attract customers and enhance their overall experience. One such strategy gaining popularity is the inclusion of a high-quality frozen beverage offer.
People of all ages are drawn to refreshing and indulgent frozen treats, making them an attractive option for customers seeking a cool, thirst-quenching experience. By providing an enticing range of flavours and toppings, establishments can cater to a broad audience, including children (kid-friendly flavours and imaginative presentations) and adults (alcoholic frozen cocktails or boozy milkshakes). Satisfied customers are more likely to return and recommend the venue to others, resulting in enhanced loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
A good frozen beverage program can set an establishment apart from its competitors. By offering unique flavours, customizable options, and eye-catching presentations, operators can create a distinctive experience that stands out in customers' minds. .
Frozen beverages often have higher profit margins compared to other menu items, as they require relatively inexpensive ingredients and simple preparation methods. Additionally, upselling opportunities arise when customers opt for add-ons such as whipped cream, syrups, or fruit garnishes.
Don’t forget to promote, promote and promote! Strategically placing attractive signage or display boards showcasing frozen beverage options, piquing customer interest and encourage them to explore additional menu items. Consider creating a combo that pair frozen beverages with popular food items, enticing customers to increase their overall spend.
From attracting new customers and enhancing the overall dining experience to generating additional revenue and staying competitive, frozen beverages have become a valuable asset for businesses seeking to differentiate themselves in the market.
Blender Boyz line of slush and cappuccino mixes. A delicious blends of flavours and real ingredients:
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409797 SLUSH SLUSH BLUE RASPBERRY 5+1
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