People often think canned fruit and vegetables are not healthy options because they are processed. However, the canning process retains the nutrients and so they are just as nutritious as fresh fruits and vegetables. Canned fruit and vegetables are useful when you are busy or fresh ones are too expensive or not available. Canned vegetables are cooked and canned fruit is peeled and cut so they are ready to use. Plus, they have a long shelf life (if unopened).
Fruit and vegetables, including those in cans, are packed with many vitamins and minerals and contain fibre which plays a role in cancer prevention. Canned legumes and beans like chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans and lentils are also high in protein, great for rapidly growing kids.
Try adding canned fruit and vegetables to your everyday meals and snacks.
Here are ten delicious ways to use them:
- Add canned fruit to cereals, porridge, pancakes, smoothies and yoghurt for breakfast.
- Use canned apple in muffins.
- Try baked beans on toast or with scrambled eggs.
- Use canned lentils in soups.
- Add canned green beans to salads.
- Use canned legumes like black beans or chickpeas in a filling for wraps and pita pockets.
- Use canned tomatoes to make pasta sauces and in lasagna.
- Use canned beans like chickpeas and cannellini beans to make dips such as hummus.
- Use canned peas, corn or other veges to make fried rice.
- Add canned carrots, mushrooms or legumes to stews and casserole
These are just some suggestions of how you can use canned fruit and vegetables in your cooking – feel free to be creative and explore other healthy ideas!
Some canned fruit and vegetables can have a lot of sugar and salt added to them for taste and to preserve them. So, here are three top tips for when you are using them:
- Choose “No Added Salt” or “Salt Reduced” canned vegetables and beans.
- Drain and rinse canned vegetables and beans before using.
- Choose canned fruits in juice rather than syrup.