In season 365 days a year, canned vegetables and fruit come in a variety of sizes and types and can be a great addition to any meal or snack. Most canned and frozen foods are preserved within hours of harvest, so their flavour and nutritional value remains preserved.
Try it out. Rinsed canned peas can be a great addition to meat or pasta and peaches can make a great snack or dessert.
Finding the right can
Adding canned veggies and fruit to your meal or as a snack can be a quick and cost effective way to eat more veggies and fruit. To maximize the goodness in canned vegetables and fruit:
- Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt. Look for canned fruit packed in water, their own juice or another fruit’s juice. For other canned fruit, be sure to rinse and drain the fruit to reduce sugar content.
- Look for canned vegetables with words like “no added sodium” or “sodium reduced” on the label. Read labels (learn more about nutrition labels) to compare the amounts of sodium in products to make sure you're getting the best of what’s available.
- Rinse and drain vegetables to lower sodium content. Pour the vegetables into a colander and rinse for at least 30 seconds with cold tap water to reduce the amount of sodium.
- Check the ingredient list: As a good rule of thumb, foods with 5% or less of your % daily value of sodium (listed on the nutrition facts label on canned and frozen products) are considered low, and 20% or higher is considered high.
- Do not purchase or use cans with dents, cracks, rust, punctures or bulges; these are signs that the food inside could be unsafe. Immediately discard a canned product if it shows signs of swelling or if there's leaking from the can.
In a hurry? Rinse and throw canned vegetables on the stove or in the microwave: they're already cooked, so they only need to be heated for a few minutes before eating.