Canned Fruits and Vegetables

  • For a nonperishable supply of fruit and vegetables, buy canned and jarred varieties. They're great to have on hand for boosting vegetables and fruits in mixed dishes and for convenience—especially when their fresh counterparts aren't in season. Besides common items, you'll find beets, collards, hominy, zucchini, blueberries, mangoes, and papaya, among others. (Tip: In many mixed dishes such as in soups, stews, other cooked dishes, and smoothies, the flavor and appeal from canned and fresh ingredients are comparable, according to consumer research.) Canned beans are faster to prepare than soaking dry beans overnight. Look for flavorful, newer products, too, such as raspberry-flavored peaches, cinnamon-flavored pears, tomatoes with cilantro, and corn with chopped peppers. Stock up on some "gourmet" items—perhaps canned or jarred artichokes, olives, and roasted peppers.
  • For canned fruit, examine the label. You'll find descriptions such as "packed in its own juices," "packed in fruit juice," "unsweetened," "in light syrup," or "in heavy syrup." Fruits packed in juices have less added sugar and so fewer calories than fruits packed in syrup. If you prefer the flavor of fruit packed in syrup, just be sure the extra calories fit within your own calorie target.
  • Juice, juice cocktail, or juice drinks—which should you buy? See "More Reading on the Food Label" in this chapter. Tip: Juices may cost less per serving than soft drinks—and juice is more nutritious.
  • Canned vegetables: if you're cutting back on sodium, which should you buy? Read the Nutrition Facts for sodium content, or look for descriptions such as "no salt added" and "reduced sodium."
  • For less fat, buy vegetarian or fat-free baked beans
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Green Smoothies

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