How to Love Canned Fruits and Veggies

How to Love Canned Fruits and Veggies

Vegetables in cans
By Joni Garcia MS, RD, Contributing Blogger

As the winter rolls on, you start growing tired of the usual winter fruits and veggie suspects (like potatoes, apples, and oranges). That’s not to say you don’t love them – but you just start yearning for spring produce. I can certainly relate to this feeling, but canned fruits and veggies are a great way to eat a variety of different fruits and veggies when the fresh produce just isn’t available.

Why Choose Canned?
Canned produce often gets a bad reputation and has been criticized for being less healthy. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The nutrition profile of canned fruits and veggies is the same as fresh or frozen (or sometimes even healthier!). Canned produce is picked at the peak of ripeness and immediately canned, so the nutrient loss is minimal. The canning process may even increase the amount of some nutrients, so the canned varieties actually have more antioxidants than fresh. The canning process also preserves the food for a very long time, so the shelf live is far greater than with fresh or frozen. Canned produce is also easy on the wallet and it’s already cooked, so it’s a snap to prepare.

How To Read the Labels
Some canned fruits and veggies have ingredients added that make them less healthy, so it’s important to know what to look for on the label:

  • Look for canned fruit that is either canned in water or its own juice. Fruits canned in syrup (light or heavy) have a lot of added sugar, which adds lots of calories.
  • Choose no salt or low sodium varieties of canned vegetables and give them a quick rinse before preparing to remove any additional salt.
  • If you’re concerned about BPA in your canned goodies, BPA-free canned goods are available (Eden Foods and Trader Joe’s sells them).

 

Avoid canned goods that have dents, bulging tops, leaking, or have a flawed seal. Also, since canned produce has a long shelf life, it may have been in the market for a while. Be sure to pay attention to the expiration date on the label.

 

Tell Me: What’s your favorite canned fruit or veggie?

 

1 Comment
  • Ginny Hair
    Posted at 15:32h, 20 March Reply

    California canned peaches! Summer yum all year round!

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