All About Canned Food
Whether it’s because of the sodium levels or the potential bisphenol A effects, canned food has gotten a bad reputation. But this convenient food doesn’t necessarily deserve it. According Eating Well, Dr. Gene Lester, a research physiologist at the USDA’s Food Quality Lab said that, some food’s nutrients actually increase in the canning process. The canning process heats the food, causing some raw veggies to release antioxidants. Plus they’re just so easy to use. There is no shame in using canned food for some of your culinary academy recipes.
Beans: Canned beans have less folate than fresh beans, but their calcium and iron contents stay intact. There is more sodium in canned beans, but as Eating Well pointed out, rinsing can remove up to 35 percent of the sodium.
- Use black beans for a black bean picadillo dish or white beans in a beet salad.
Artichokes: Artichokes aren’t an easy food to prepare fresh. Canned artichokes are higher in sodium, since they’re usually canned in salt water, but are still rich in fiber and easier to prepare.
- Artichoke hummus and artichoke and chive crostini work perfectly with canned artichokes.
Corn: Corn loses a little bit of vitamin C during canning, but the process causes the kernels to release more antioxidants. There is also just as much fiber in canned corn as there is in a fresh ear of corn.
- Canned corn tastes great in coconut ginger rice and crab fritters.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes release lycopene during the preserving and canning process. According to the Mayo Clinic, the antioxidant has been linked to cancer and diabetes prevention.
Tuna: Tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B-12 and protein. That’s fairly impressive for something that’s so convenient.
Spinach: Spinach can be a pain to clean and prepare, especially when you’re pressed for time. But that doesn’t mean that you should neglect a food that’s so rich in iron and vitamin B.
- Canned spinach actually works best in dishes like spinach tomato orzo soup or a spinach cheddar bake.
Cherries: Rather than pit and clean hundreds of cherries for a pie – or any other cherry dish – just open a can of cherries. They still contain all of the beta carotene that fresh cherries do. If they’re canned in water, they’ll have a lower sugar content than cherries canned in syrup.