Healthy Canned Food Meal Ideas

Many say fresh produce is best, but what if you can't get fresh?  Or what if it is too expensive?  Canned fruits and vegetables are a great way to stretch your budget.  Not only are canned items less expensive, but they can last for months in your panty, unlike fresh fruits and vegetables.  They are usually picked and packed at the peak of freshness, so they are still delicious and nutritious!  There are even canned items that you can make a meal out of like canned tuna or beans.  Here are some great canned food meal ideas:
  • Vegetables -- These can be used in soups, stews, or served as sides.  The canned versions are still packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Look for "no salt added" or "low sodium" on the label and drain and rinse before using to reduce the sodium even more.
  • Fruit -- It can be enjoyed as a snack or added to cereal and oatmeal in the morning.  Try creating a fruit and yogurt parfait as a delicious dessert!  Look for ones packed in 100% juice or "no sugar added".  Avoid ones packed in "heavy syrup" since it has a lot more sugar.
  • Beans and legumes -- Beans, peas, and lentils are all great additions to a meal.  They are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as an inexpensive source of protein.  Try them in chili and stews or use black beans to make vegetarian tacos or burgers.  The possibilities are endless!
  • Canned meats -- When you think of canned meat, SPAM usually comes to mind.  But there are healthier options!  Canned fish can go beyond the regular old tuna fish sandwich.  Try using canned tuna and salmon to make fun burgers or add to soup to make a fish chowder.  They can be less expensive than fresh meats and the fish adds some omega-3 fats for a healthy heart.  Canned white meat chicken is also a great option for casseroles or soup recipes.  Look for "water packed" when looking at all of these products rather than oil which can add more unwanted fat and calories.

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