May 11, 2020 - 3:33pm --

Hesitation to go to the grocery store, extended breaks between grocery shopping, and more mouths to feed may decrease the availability of fresh produce in your home. Utilizing canned and frozen fruits and vegetables is convenient, budget-friendly, and delicious!

Here are some things to consider while using canned and frozen produce.

Know the Deals

Stores often run promotions on canned/frozen goods that seemingly suggest you have to buy a large quantity in order to save. Fortunately, this is not usually the case! Read the fine print in advertisements or ask a store associate to see if “10 for $10” means you can get 1 for $1. If you would like to take advantage of the sale and get a large quantity, go right ahead, because canned and frozen produce have long shelf lives. They won’t go bad before your family can use them.

Check the Label

Frozen and canned produce can be just as nutritious as fresh if it is not packed in salt water or a sugary syrup. Check vegetable packages for “No salt added,” “Packed in water” or “sodium free” to ensure it has no added salt. Check fruit packages for “packed in 100% juice,” or “packed in its own syrup” to make sure it doesn’t have a lot of added sugar. When you are ready to eat canned food, rinse of the top of the can, then drain and rinse the produce to remove excess salt or sugar.

Plan ahead

When shopping, think about which canned items would go well together. Adding a couple of cans of vegetables to a bowl with rice is a quick, easy dinner. One meal I enjoy is black beans and canned corn warmed up on the stove and served over brown rice, with hot sauce drizzled on top. Canned beans count as both a protein and a vegetable, so try to include beans on your shopping list as much as possible. This vegetarian chili recipe from Celebrate Your Plate uses several canned items:

While fresh fruits and vegetables may seem more widely promoted than canned and frozen, all are great options to eat healthy. How does your family used canned and frozen produce to eat healthy?


Written By: Nina Hoffmeyer, SNAP-Ed Program Assistant, Montgomery County
Reviewed by: Dasia Brown, 4-H/FCS Program Assitant, Montgomery COunty