The Perks of Using Canned Fruits & Veggies
Sep 28, 2017
Canning fresh fruits and veggies is starting to become popular again, However I still don’t have the urge to can garden produce like my family did when I was growing up.
From what I remember……it was a whole day/entire weekend process depending on the fruit or vegetable that they were canning. Sometimes I even helped out – like with snapping green beans or picking the tomatoes.
Some of my favorite canned homegrown foods are peaches, green beans, tomato juice, sauerkraut and pears and I will gladly take a jar or two when visiting my parents!
Now while I do love the taste of home grown canned produce & the benefits of a long shelf life……It is just as tasty and convenient to buy canned fruits & veggies to have on hand for quick recipes and not have to bother with the all-day process of canning.
Canned Fruits & Veggies are also a great way to "Stretch Your Budget"
In some cases canned produce like tomatoes contain even more antioxidants (lycopene for example) when compared to their fresh version so that's just another perk of buying canned fruits & veggies!
I don’t know about you, but tomato soup has always been a favorite of mine ever since I was very little.
My mom would often make tomato soup in the early fall to use up the abundance of delicious garden tomatoes and in the winter time she would use our canned garden tomatoes.
Here is a quick and easy version of what she made us using canned fire-roasted tomatoes!
Quick & Easy Tomato Basil Soup
Prep/Cook Time: 25-30 minutes Number of Servings: 4
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juices
- 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or can substitute 1-2 tablespoons dried basil)
- 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese (1/2 a brick), cut into pieces
- 2 cups skim milk
- Salt to taste (optional)
- Black pepper, to taste
- In a soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil.
- Sauté the onions, stirring often, until they have softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Next add the whole can of fired-roasted tomatoes with their juices and basil to the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cream cheese to the pot and stir until it has melted and blended completely into the tomato mixture.
- Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender to puree in batches, being very careful not to burn yourself), blend the soup until smooth.
- Once smooth, add the milk and seasonings to the pot and simmer for another 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add a little freshly grated parmesan cheese on top just before serving
- To make more of a filling meal try adding some spinach & ricotta stuffed fresh ravioli to the soup
- Use a mix of roasted red peppers and canned no salt added tomatoes instead of the fire roasted tomatoes to help cut down on the sodium.
Nutrition Facts (per serving & doesn’t include adding salt):
Calories: 191 Protein: 8gm Total Carbohydrates: 17gm Total Fat: 9.6gm
Fiber: 3.3gm Cholesterol: 23mg Sodium: 598mg
Melanie Kluzek, Registered Dietitian for County Market