Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? According to the USDA, most Americans are not getting the necessary amount of fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends that we fill half of our plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. But, it can be difficult trying to keep fresh produce in the house at all times. Not to mention, fresh produce can be expensive. So, use canned fruits and vegetables as an easy option for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet.
Advantages to Canned Fruits and Vegetables:
- Canned fruits and vegetables can be stored for months without worrying about spoilage. This cuts down on fresh fruit and vegetable waste and constant trips to the grocery store.
- After several days of storage of fresh fruit, the Vitamin C content starts to decrease. Because canned fruits are in a sealed container, the nutrients are sealed in as well.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables can often times be expensive! Canned goods can be a less expensive alternative and you can buy all types of fruits and vegetables year round.
Disadvantages to Canned Fruits and Vegetables:
- Because they are shelf stable for long periods of time, canned fruits are often times coated in a syrup solution that can contain a lot of sugar. To remedy this, either buy fruits canned in juice or rinse off your canned fruits just like you would with the fresh variety.
- Canned vegetables are often prepared with a lot of salt. So again, either buy low salt varieties or rinse them before eating.
- The texture of canned fruits and vegetables may not be as crisp as the fresh varieties.
Use canned fruits to add flavor to cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, sandwiches and more! Additionally, canned vegetables taste great in casseroles, salads and as side dishes. So, get creative and get your servings of fruits and vegetables in for the day!
Additionally, you can also preserve your own fruits and vegetables at home. This allows you more control over how much sugar or salt goes into your products. For more information on canning fruits and vegetables, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation or Preserve Smart for videos and recipes.