In honor of American Heart Month and National Canned Food Month, I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to add color with canned fruits and veggies to fill my plate and fuel my heart.  I always ensure my pantry is stocked with canned fruit in 100% juice, low sodium or no-salt-added vegetables and canned beans. Makes for easy meals and snacks the entire family can enjoy, even my 8-month-old! Canned foods are picked at their peak ripeness and canned quickly to ensure quality and nutrients stay intact. In addition to being shelf-stable, canned produce is budget-friendly! What’s not to love?!

First up: A chip and dip you can feel good about. Let’s be honest, don’t we all love to just indulge in chips and dip?  One of my go-to recipes is a Cowboy Caviar. I use a short-cut version that includes canned veggies, beans and Pico de Gallo. Most of the ingredients I have on hand in the pantry, which is always a win! Cowboy caviar is packed with fiber, protein, and an abundance of flavor! Pair with whole grain chips for a chip & dip duo you can feel good about! It’s a perfect appetizer to bring to a get-together or prep a batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy with chips, or on top of your protein of choice!

Up next: Confetti Quesadillas! A few months back I hosted a kid’s cooking class, and the goal was for the kids to cook dinner for their parents. This Confetti Quesadilla recipe was such a huge hit! We have over 100+ kids join our Kids Classes and it’s so important for us to be budget-conscious with our recipes all while teaching these young fruit-and-veggie eaters that all forms of fruits and vegetables count. It continues to be a popular recipe and is made with a blend of canned and fresh produce.

Finally: Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits. I know, I know, it seems too simple. However, simplicity is key! Canned fruit in 100% juice is an easy way to add flavor and natural sweetness to plain yogurt. I use canned fruit for my 8-month-old on a regular basis. I’ll mix it with his plain full-fat yogurt, or even some cottage cheese to help expose him to more fruits & vegetables at a young age.  As a new mom, I rely on my pantry staples, such as canned fruits and veggies, to have go-to foods on hand to offer my little one for meals.

Eat your heart out this February with all forms of fruits and vegetables! Our heart health is so important and every time we eat, we have an opportunity to nourish our bodies. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be simple, budget-friendly and delicious!

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