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By Susan Hendricks, CNN

Spring is only a few weeks away and that means fresh produce will be available at local farmers' markets very soon.

But nutritionists will tell you healthy veggies can also be found in your freezer or cupboard shelves all year long.

Fruits and vegetables picked at their peak of freshness and flavor are a great way to enjoy your produce.

Overall, vegetables fresh from the farm and just picked are healthiest, but sometimes they sit on grocer's shelves.

If you can't get to a farmer's market you may want to look at your frozen or canned food section.

"Research shows that fresh, frozen and canned vegetables are nutritionally equivalent because of their time of harvest and processing," says Marie Spano, a registered dietitian

That's right, frozen and canned vegetables are good for you because most are packed right after picking, which means they are full of nutrients.

"Vegetables picked at their peak time of ripeness retain more of their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants," says Spano.

One thing consumers should be aware of is the salt, especially in canned veggies. An effort should be made to buy those without salt.

Those looking for the best way to prepare vegetables are reminded not to over boil them, no matter what form they are in.

"You want to cook vegetables in as little water as possible, so microwaving, steaming and stir frying are some of your best cooking methods," say Spano.

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