Your friends may be on your case about the fact that you need to eat more fresh food. And you’re like, “Hey, I already made the transition to eating at home more than eating at restaurants! Give me a break!” But they say your frozen, packaged and canned foods don’t count. So since you’re already getting enough of that grief from everybody else in your life, we are going to indulge your lazy kitchen habits and at least help you find healthy ways to tweak them. It’s okay if a can opener is the only tool you know how to use in your kitchen because you can still eat nutritious, diet-friendly foods with it. Here is how to eat healthy entirely on a canned food diet.
Salmon is rich in omega-3s and a wonderful alternative to meat when you need protein. There are actually some tremendous canned varieties out there. Add them to your toast or salad for an instant meal.
Sardines are great for your brain and heart and are naturally salty for those who need a sodium boost. Canned sardines, of any brand, are usually pretty tasty. Put these on rye bread for a healthy snack.
The canned aisle of your store has seafood on lockdown. There are some pretty tasty canned crabmeat options out there. Mix them up with green onions, bread crumbs, and some seasoning to make crab cakes.
Canned pinto beans
These are loaded with fiber and protein and are a great vegetarian option. If you like Mexican food then the potential for this food is endless (burritos, quesadillas, tacos, fajitas…)
You can use canned tomatoes to make your own healthy tomato bisque or sauce for pasta. They’re also great for making a light bruschetta to put on toast.
Canned garbanzo beans
These are a wonderful option if you love Mediterranean food. You can blend them up with lemon juice, olive oil and salt to make hummus or just put them in a salad with some olives.
Prunes are loaded with vitamins and fiber, and the canned variety is usually stewed making it great to add to smoothies or oatmeal. You can also spread these on toast.
Canned lentil soup
Lentils are highly nutritious, and there are some pretty high quality organic canned lentil soups available. You can also buy plain canned lentils and make a salad with them.
Spinach is loaded with iron, vitamin A, and antioxidants. If you can’t stand chopping and rinsing fresh spinach, you’ll be glad to know that the canned, ready-to-eat variety is pretty good.
As we said, canned seafood is pretty good. Make a salad nicoise with canned olives, string beans and corn (all of which come canned) or make a simple tuna sandwich or tuna melt.
Canned corn can be mixed with canned beans and canned chopped tomatoes to make a delicious salsa. It’s also delicious in a summer salad.
You can blend up the canned pumpkin with cream or cashew milk and spices to make a delicious pumpkin soup or, of course, add it to a pie crust for a healthy dessert.
Canned fruit isn’t limited to stewed peaches and tangerines. Canned figs are sweet, have a wonderful texture, boast tons of fiber and nutrients like manganese, sodium, and potassium.
Canned coconut milk
Canned coconut milk is a wonderful multi-tasking item. You can use it to make an easy curry at home—just add some canned broth, pickled ginger, and chopped onions and have it with some canned veggies.
Canned butter beans
Butter beans are terrifically, well, buttery which makes them perfect for mashing on toast or pureeing for a soup. They also taste great mixed with just a little vinegar, olive oil and canned tomatoes.
You can get a lot of flavor out of one little can if there are serrano peppers inside. If you chop up your Serrano peppers, you can add them to your canned crab cakes for a spicy take on the dish.
Canned Vegetable Soup
Keep canned vegetable soup on hand for those times when you truly don’t want to cook anything at all. Minestrone, chicken vegetable and three-bean chili are some of your healthiest bets that will fill you up on few calories.
Canned artichokes can be eaten hot or cold; grill them and add them to a frozen pizza or have them cold with a salad.
The possibilities for canned olives are endless. Make a delicious tapenade, slice them up and add them to frozen pizza, use them in a Greek-style salad with canned chopped tomatoes, canned garbanzo beans and some feta cheese.
Canned black cherries
Black cherries aren’t just for cocktails; they are loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids that can fight arthritis, cancer and heart disease.