It’s Thursday night and the refrigerator is bare—where did all the food go? The kids are hungry, and you have minutes to prepare a meal. After reading more about healthy options for frozen foods, you check the freezer, and there isn’t a single option in there. Don’t fear! Head to the pantry to find several sources of low-cost proteins, including creative meat alternatives for picky children, and meal staples that can be transformed into quick and tasty meals from canned foods for your family.
Canned and glass jarred foods are unhealthy.
Canned or glass jarred food can be healthy. Beans, chicken or canned fish are proteins that you can pair with artichokes, roasted peppers, and even mandarin oranges to pull together a healthy meal!
Keeping canned foods in stock is a great idea for those days when you are completely wiped out! You’ll spend less than a minute preparing your protein option (just open the can!). Grab a can of salmon or a jar of marinated mushrooms and voila!
Vegetables and vegetarian proteins are filled with phytochemicals that help fight disease and keep you healthy. Plus canned fruits and veggies help boost fiber intake. Pick up some canned chickpeas, white beans, black beans, refried beans or corn to maximize your nutrient intake.
To stretch your meals throughout the week, plan one meal that uses canned protein (like tuna, chicken, salmon, or beans) that you can enjoy on your last day before heading back to the store. By delaying going to the grocery store, you’ll save money and cut down on food waste. You don’t need a lot of creativity to make a delicious and nutritious meal from canned and frozen foods!
The contents of your canned foods are heated for a short time to kill harmful bacteria and to prevent spoilage. This means that they have gone through minimal processing, and most of their nutrients are preserved. It saves you the stress of having to follow many food safety rules. Did you know that canning can actually increase the nutrient content in some foods? Lycopene in tomatoes is a perfect example!1
Next time you head to the grocery store, purchase a few extra cans of your favorite items to have on hand for emergencies. You’ll reduce your stress by knowing that you already have the ingredients for an easy meal in your cabinet. The best part is, you won’t feel bad if you don’t use them right away! Now it’s time to get cooking with your new found appreciation for canned foods!
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