Let me start off by telling you that I am a Can-bassador! Basically this means that I am proud supporter of canned foods, particularly fruits, vegetables and beans. In addition, I am fortunate to be working with the Can Manufacturer’s Institute to spread the word about the Cans Get You Cooking® campaign. Since February is National Canned Foods Month, I thought it was a perfect topic for my Insider’s Viewpoint!
With the cold winter months upon us (I live in Wisconsin – it is very cold here!) finding fresh, seasonal produce can be more difficult. Luckily every grocer in the nation stocks canned fruits and vegetables, so we don’t need to miss out on the nutrients from our favorite produce items!
4 Reasons Why You Should Eat Canned Produce
- Nutrition. Fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak of ripeness and canned within hours. Like the home canning process, canning seals in the food’s natural goodness and nutrition, so it’s there for you regardless of the season.
- Affordability. Canned produce is often less expensive than its fresh counterpart, especially if the fresh item is not in season. In addition, canned food portion sizes are just right. You can buy single-serve sizes if you are eating alone or a larger can if you are making a meal. Many recipes are actually designed around the size of the can, so there is less waste overall.
- Convenience (Make Homemade Easy!). Think of cans as “your personal sous chef.” The produce comes pre-cut and ready for you to use in your favorite recipes. Just open, drain (in most cases), and you are ready to go!
- Sustainability. Metal cans happen to be the most recycled package in America. Not only are these cans highly recyclable, but they’re made with more recycled material than other packaging options. This cuts down on the need for new natural resources, which is great for the environment!
Italian Bean and Tuna Salad
- 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 6-ounce can tuna packed in water, rinsed and drained
- ¼ to ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 3 Tablespoons snipped fresh parsley OR 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In medium bowl, combine beans, tuna, red onion, parsley or basil and balsamic vinegar.
- Drizzle salad with olive oil, and sprinkle with pepper.
* Recipe from American Heart Association Meals in Minutes
Stephanie Schultz, MSM, RDN, CD
Wellness & Corporate Communications Director
Insider’s Viewpoint Archive