If you are heading down the aisles of the grocery store looking for canned goods but unsure which types might be the healthiest, your struggle is over.
Convenient and cost-effective canned foods are a staple in many kitchens. Having them in the pantry can enable you to have a variety of food no matter the season or supplement for fresh foods.
When healthy foods are convenient, you are more likely to cook, and canned foods make for quick meal preparation since they are cleaned, chopped, cooked, and easily portioned, helping you quickly assemble delicious and nutritious meals.
So which canned foods are king in the health stakes? Here are our picks to stock up on.
As a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, chickpeas offer health benefits including improving digestion and reducing the risk of disease.
This nutty legume is high in protein, making it an excellent replacement for meat in many vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Add them to a curry or stew to bulk up the nutrition at dinner time or toss them into pasta to add texture and flavour. They can be eaten in wraps or pitas for lunch alternatives and they make a crunchy and nutritious snack when roasted in the oven or the air fryer.
2. Pumpkin purée
Because it’s good for way more than just pie. You can sub pumpkin puree for some of the butter or oil in baked goods, or use it to add an extra serving of veggies (and a rich, creamy texture) to smoothies, soups, oatmeal, or pasta sauces.
Remember to look for plain pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, which contains added sugar and flavourings.
Adding a few canned fruits to your pantry, like pears, peaches, and apples can make a big difference at mealtime. Use the sweet flavour of the fruit to transform even savoury dishes from bland to exciting and take a step up from meat and greens.
Don’t think that you have to stick with the same old vegetables to stay healthy. Use fruit to add a little zest to dinner. Try putting canned pineapple on your next baked ham, kebabs, or teriyaki. Poach some pears in wine for dessert, and serve them with cheese.
Unlike other vegetables, which often lose flavour when canned, beetroot retains its unmistakable taste, while providing a good source of fibre, iron, and folate – and beetroot boosts immunity.
This superfood can be used in so many creative ways. Blend with some garlic and lemon juice to make delicious hummus that can be spread on wraps and crisp-bread for lunch or combined with baby potatoes to make a tangy beetroot-and-potato salad.
You can even be super creative and blend beetroot into smoothies and baked goods such as cupcakes or muffins.
Having canned tomatoes on hand is a great idea to save money when fresh ones are not in season. They are a great shortcut to making healthy pasta sauce, soups, salsas, and pretty much anything else where tomatoes would be the starring ingredient.
Another plus is that they are not very expensive and will still taste fresh and delicious – because there’s truly nothing worse than a mealy, out-of-season tomato.