- Canned foods are always there for you as a safe source of nutritious food if the electricity goes out or if you can't get to the store.
- You can store canned foods in any cool, dry place in your house. Ample refrigerator and freezer storage is not an issue.
- The pre-preparation is done for you ... making it easier for you to get a healthy meal on the table in a hurry.
- Canned foods compare favorably to fresh and frozen foods in nutrition.
- Canned foods have a long shelf life.
Here's a fun fact about canned tomato products from my Extension colleagues in Vermont: Canned tomato products have more lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes and tomato products, than fresh tomatoes. The heating process makes lycopene more easily absorbed.
Enjoy eating foods in a variety of forms — fresh, frozen, dried and canned. Each of them can be part of a healthy diet!
Cook It Quick's Goal
Our goal is to make you "hungry for healthy food" by offering tips and delicious, quick-to-prepare, inexpensive recipes.
Preparing these recipes and using the tips will help you increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. At the same time, you will reduce sodium, solid fats, and calories. Food safety tips are included.
Feel free to use/adapt Cook It Quick material when an article is written entirely by me for your own articles, blogs, handouts, etc. An example credit line is: Authored by or Adapted from Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, Cook It Quick web materials.
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Canned Fruit Recipes
- Fruity Frozen Fudge Pops (Canned pears/Source: Canned Food Alliance)
- Apricot Pops (Canned apricots/Source: Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
- Mixed Fruit Salad (Canned mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail and pineapple chunks/Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl)
Canned Food Nutrition
- Are Canned Fruits and Vegetables Good for You? How do the nutrients compare with other forms of fruits and vegetables? (Source Fruits & Veggies More Matters)
- Canned Foods Help Overcome Picky Eating (Source Fruits & Veggies More Matters)
- Healthy Meals? They're in the Can! (Source Fruits & Veggies More Matters)
Canned Vegetable Recipes
(NOTE: Canned dry beans can be counted in either the vegetable or the protein group, just not in both groups at the same time.)
- Three Bean Pasta Salad (Canned kidney beans, chickpeas and green beans/Canned Food Alliance)
- 10 Minute Chili (Canned tomato sauce/Source: Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
- Easy Bean Dip (Canned refried beans/Source: Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
- Slopppy Joe 5 Ways (Canned tomato sauce/Source: Beef It's What's for Dinner, Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association
- Quick Black Bean Salsa (Canned black beans/Source: Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
Canned Food Tips
- Eating Canned Vegetables Boosts Nutrients, Not Sodium (Source Fruits & Veggies More Matters)
Canned Protein Recipes
- Salmon Patties (Canned salmon/Source: Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
- Tuna Melt Sandwich (Canned tuna/Source: Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
- Three Bean Bake (Canned Great Northern beans, pork and beans, and light or dark kidney beans/Source K-State Research & Extension Family Nutrition Program, Kids A Cookin')
Food Safety & Cans
Shelf-Stable Food Safety - This publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service will answer these questions and more about canned foods:
- Is it safe to use rusted canned foods and food from dented cans?
- After opening canned foods, is it safe to refrigerate the unused food in the can?
- Is it safe to use cans that freeze accidentally?