Are Canned Foods Healthy? Benefits & Tips for Creating Balanced meals.
You can still eat nutritious meals and reach your health goals by using canned food. We’ve got tips and strategies to make sure your diet inexpensive and healthy with canned food.
Making budget friendly meals can feel difficult, especially when you walk through the produce section and see the prices of some of the produce. I’ve been in that situation and seen the price of some of the fruit and then thought, I’ll just buy some bananas.
But, fresh isn’t the only way to add fruits and veggies. Frozen, dried, blended, freeze dried, and canned can all get you towards the minimum recommended daily requirements for fruits and vegetables. But, today, let’s explore canned foods!
6 Benefits of canned foods
Canned foods may have a bad reputation because of sodium content or other ingredients. But, they can have a lot of benefits that sometimes we don’t consider.
- Canned food has a long shelf life
- There is less food wasted when you have storage of canned foods.
- Sometimes, canned food is cheaper than fresh.
- Canned food doesn’t take up space in fridge/freezer
- Meal prep can be quick and easy with canned food.
- Canned items can potentially be full of nutrients
Canned foods can be used to make delicious and balanced meals. It’s an easy way to add fruits, vegetables and protein to your diet when trying to lose weight.
The price difference between canned vegetables and fruits and fresh, often depends on the season. During the harvest season for a specific vegetable or fruit, fresh is cheaper. But out of season, canned produce is cheaper alternative. So, for most fruits and vegetables, winter is a great time to use canned products.
Since canned food doesn’t spoil the way fresh produce does, canned products are great to have on hand and add to meals. Canned products can use friendly sizes, most of the time you can use the whole can in a recipe, which will help reduce food waste, and keep the money you spend on food on the table instead of in the trash.
Canned vegetables are great for veggies you want cooked, like green beans, corn and carrots. You can toss them in a dish and they only need to be heated up. It will help you make quick meals with little prep.
Canned proteins may seem odd, but using canned tuna, salmon or chicken can be convenient. For canned meats I suggest using a good quality product. Some tastes better and some, you can’t even tell they are canned products.
5 Tips for buying and using canned fruits and vegetables
- If you’re trying to watch the amount of salt you eat, try to buy vegetables packed in water and look at the amount of sodium on the back. You can also drain and rinse the veggies to remove more of the salt
- For lower sugar options of fruit, looks for those packed in water or fruit juice instead of sugar syrup
- Add seasonings! They can make vegetables taste more fresh than canned.
- There are multiple sizes of cans, buy the ones that work for your meals with limited leftover and less wasted.
- Find Seasoned tomatoes and beans. These can add extra flavor to your dishes.
If I haven’t sold you yet on canned fruits and vegetables check out these recipes. There is so much you can make with canned products.
Canned vegetable and meat recipes
- This garden soup is basically just heating up canned items, talk about easy. Add canned chicken and beans for some extra protein.
- Try this recipe for pesto with peas for added fiber and protein, toss with pasta and shrimp. Or make tuna cakes to serve with salad or even add a bun and make a sandwich.
- Make something sweet with beets like these beet pancakes or even add beets to a smoothie bowl, and get all the antioxidants beets have to offer.
- Want a one pan meal that tastes like you spent hours on, make this baked chicken and artichoke . It also have mushrooms for added flavor and nutrients. You can serve it over pasta or my favorite is with rice. With this recipe the more artichokes the better.
- For a cold day that you’re short on time make a pot of taco soup. If you’re even more limited on time you can swap canned chicken for the ground turkey.
- Need a quick dip, try this hummus recipe, it’s a basic on so you can add other seasoning to if it if you want to spicy it up.
- Beans can even be used in tasty treats like these peanut butter cookies made with canned chickpeas. Swap with monk fruit sweetener if you’re wanting to cut the sugar out.
Canned veggies I like to buy:
- Green Beans
- Pumpkin (squash)
- Artichoke hearts
Canned fruit recipes
- Make a tropical pineapple upside down cake with just a two ingredients. Or use pineapple in a savory teriyaki chicken sheet pan bake.
- Applesauce is a great substitute for baked goods like this recipe for zucchini muffins that uses applesauce.
- Sometimes you can swap fresh fruit in recipes for canned. Like this recipe for peach ice cream, you can use canned peaches instead of fresh.
- Canned fruit on salads work, like mandarins on this ginger-cashew chicken salad.
Canned fruit I like to buy:
- Mandarin Oranges
Using canned foods can help stretch your dollar and keep meals quick and easy while being balanced. Simple meals with canned fruits, vegetables and meats can be as tasty as meals that took hours. Save yourself some time and hassle and stock up on a few canned products to use in your meals.
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