Getting our recommended intake of fruits and vegetables (4-5 cups combined daily) can be challenging. Often fresh produce ends up being thrown away if we cannot use it before it spoils. Add to that the recent need for social distancing: we are probably making fewer trips to the grocery store, and when we do venture out, aisles of empty shelves could await us.
You may have heard that fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables are more nutritious than canned. However, canned produce can also be a great way to help us eat a healthy and varied diet, especially when food options may be limited.
Try walking down the canned fruit and vegetable aisle to see what you can stock up on, and follow these tips:
1) When choosing canned vegetables or beans, look for a “No Salt Added” or “Low Sodium” label. If you can’t find that, another option is to rinse and drain the veggie a few times with water before using it.
2) When looking for canned fruit, buy those that are packed in water or fruit juice. Avoid those in syrups, which add unnecessary calories. Or again, use the rinse-and-drain method.
3) Avoid cans with any dents, bulges, or damage—this could be a warning of spoilage inside.
4) Use the product by the expiration date. Most canned goods can sit on the shelf for 1-5 years after they are packed! But once that “Use By” date has passed, don’t take a chance, throw it away.
5) Find a few recipes below or look online for many great recipes that use canned goods!
Here are some delicious recipes to get you started: