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New Ice Age

Organic vegetables, tropical fruits and seafood from all over the world are some of the newest additions to the supermarket freezer section. Steve Petusevsky, author of The Whole Foods Market Cookbook, uses all of them in his recipes. He especially recommends these ingredients: Shrimp Usually frozen for transport, shrimp straight from the freezer are often fresher than the thawed ones at the seafood counter. Peas Frozen ones don't have to be shelled; plus they are often sweeter and more tender than fresh peas, which get starchy as they age. Corn Kernels stay sweet, and they've been cut off the cob. Spinach Whole leaves, already stemmed and cleaned, keep their shape. Edamame Hard to find fresh, soybeans are widely available frozen, in pods or shelled. Berries Frozen, they're hardier than the fresh kind.
—Carla Ranicki

Healthy Benefits

From the moment they're harvested, vegetables start losing nutrients. Freezing drastically slows the decline, so frozen vegetables often retain more vitamins than fresh produce that has been shipped across the country, then refrigerated for days. Frozen spinach and peas both have more vitamin A than fresh, even after cooking. And research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has shown that even after four months, frozen green beans have twice the vitamin C of fresh beans stored for only six days.
—C.R.

Cold Creams

Biszet's Cosmetics Cooler, a refrigerated stainless steel cabinet with a glass front, is made to protect delicate, pricey makeup and lotions from heat and moisture. The Cooler is also useful for storing medications requiring refrigeration (from $2,800 at Julian's Fine Cabinetry & Design; 480-949-0366).

Doux me, a new French beauty company, recommends that its face lotions ($80 for 30 ml) and eye cream ($85 for 15 ml) be stored in a refrigerator to stay fresh because they contain organic essential oils and only natural preservatives (800-377-8771 or www.beautyhabit.com).

Kenzo's Kenzoki Perfumed Ice Cubes will cool you down and leave behind a gentle scent. After freezing the water-based perfume, you remove a block from its packet and rub it on your skin. As it melts, it releases essential oils, mineral salts and milky fragrance, all of which are extracts from the rice plant ($30 for 12 cubes; 866-KENZOUSA or www.kenzousa.com).
—Jennifer Laing

Healing Peas

Almost any injury—from sprained ligaments to strained muscles—that's red or swollen should be iced. But ice packs can be awkward. What's the alternative? "A large bag of frozen peas or corn contours well to the body," says Bill Pesanelli, a physical therapist and the director of the clinical centers at Boston University. "Plus, it's reusable and inexpensive." Apply the frozen bag of vegetables for 10 minutes every two hours directly on the injury, or use a wet paper towel as a buffer. Along with icing, any injured part of the body should also be elevated, if possible.
—Ratha Tep

Published April 2004
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