What's the Big Deal About Ready-to-Eat Frozen Vegetables?
Jul 7, 2023
Cooking and chilling vegetables is a time-consuming chore when you’re prepping cold items like salads, grab-n-go items and meal kits.
“It can take well over an hour to cook and chill 10 pounds of vegetables for cold applications,” says Simplot Corporate Executive Chef Michael Zeller. “That’s one task operators would love to cross off their to-do lists.”
Now, thanks to an investment in high care vegetable processing, Simplot is giving operators what they asked for.
Simplot’s Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Frozen Vegetables and Fruit require no additional cooking. Operators can thaw and serve them straight from the package.
Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables: Less labor and so much more
For many operators, the dramatic reduction in labor more than offsets any additional cost over conventional frozen vegetables. But the benefits of Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables do not end with labor.
Reduced waste: You can store Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables refrigerated for up to 6 days, reducing or eliminating the need to discard food.
Less freezer space required: The option to refrigerate these products frees up valuable space in the freezer.
Versatility: They are ideal for cold applications like salads and salsas. Or heat them for hot applications.
Food safety: These products are prepared in our state-of-the-art, high care processing environments.
Better consistency: Enjoy the same farm-fresh flavor and color, day in, day out.
“The other great thing about our RTE vegetables is their appearance in cold applications,” says Chef Zeller. “When you cook and chill a vegetable like peas, they tend to shrivel as they chill. Our RTE vegetables stay plump as they thaw. They look great whatever you put them in.”
Is your operation a good candidate for ready-to-eat vegetables?
Here are four important questions to consider if you’re wondering whether Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables are a wise option for your operation.
- Do you prepare cold menu items?
With kitchen wages exceeding $20/hour in many areas, reducing unnecessary labor must be a top priority.
- Are you trying to reduce food waste?
It is hard to know how much product to prepare from fresh each day—and what you do make won’t store long. Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables’ 6-day shelf life can increase profitability by reducing wasted food.
- Is your freezer space limited?
Many kitchens are short on freezer space. Some do not have a freezer at all. The option to refrigerate Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables at ≤ 40°F provides greater flexibility when frozen space is at a premium.
- Is offering a consistent customer experience important to you?
Great brands are built on consistency, but consistency can be challenging with high kitchen turnover. Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables’ thaw-and-serve simplicity means you can offer the same high quality all year long, no matter who is on the line.
Ready-to-eat vegetables for meal kits and grab-n-go items
Besides restaurants, any operation that prepares meal kits or grab-n-go options could reap the labor savings and other benefits of Simplot Ready-to-Eat Vegetables and Fruit. In both cases, staff do not even need to thaw the product; they can just add it to the kit or grab-n-go package in its frozen state.
“If you’re creating meal kits or managing a supermarket deli, eliminating cooking and chilling steps with RTE products can make your operations a lot more efficient,” says Chef Zeller.
An RTE collection of the most popular vegetables for cold applications
Simplot currently offers a select list of the most-requested vegetables for RTE processing. Today, this includes roasted corn, cut corn, peas, diced carrots and several popular blends like RoastWorks® Ready-to-Eat Flame-Roasted Peppers & Onions. Operators can look forward to more ready-to-eat products from Simplot in the future.
Busy kitchens need all the help they can get
Tight labor markets have left many restaurants short on kitchen staff, a prospect that is not likely to end anytime soon. Ready-to-eat vegetables are one more way we are helping to feed the world and support operators with reduced labor, less waste and food safety—a winning combination in any kitchen.