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Some of the benefits of canned food include long shelf life, safety

March 10, 2011

More than fifteen hundred varieties of canned foods appear on today’s supermarket shelves: traditional fare, along with a variety of nutritionally positioned products – for example, sodium-free, low-fat, no-added-sugar, and others. What are some benefits of canned foods?
•  Long shelf life. Canned fruits and vegetables are preservative-free; the canning process (high temperatures and sterile containers) destroys organisms that would cause spoilage. Canned food remains safe as long as the container remains intact. Although most canned foods are coded with “use by” dates you’re wise to rotate them. Change your supply of canned products at least every other year.
• Nutritious. Canned foods – and other dishes made with canned ingredients – are as nutritious as fresh, according to research, and perhaps more so, if fresh aren’t handled properly. For lycopene (a carotenoid that protects against prostate cancer), canned tomatoes are better than fresh!
• Tamper resistance. Cans are very tamper-resistant. Any opening of the package is clearly evident. However, you should watch for rust, dents, bulges or leaks. These could mean that the contents in the can are not safe to consumer.
• Food safety. Food is heated to destroy bacteria and then sealed in cans within hours of harvesting. Washing, peeling, and other steps in the canning process remove almost any pesticide residues left on unprocessed foods. For maximum flavor and nutritional value from canned foods, use the product immediately after opening it. Handle any leftover as a perishable food – stored in the refrigerator to retain taste and nutritional quality.

Article Source adapted from: American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 2nd Edition

Recipe of the Week
By Pamela Redwine

Baked Apples with Yogurt and Walnuts
6 medium tart apples, such as Gala, Granny Smith, or Jonathan, cored and peeled 1/3 of the way down
3 4-inch strips of orange rind, cut into thin strips
3 teaspoons reduced-fat margarine
juice of 1 large lemon
about 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons spoonable brown sugar substitute
6 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

1. Place the cored and partially peeled apples in a high-sided microwave-safe dish. Stuff the apples with orange rind strips and top each with 1/2 teaspoon margarine. Rub the pared flesh of the apple with lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar substitute.
2. Fill the dish with water 1/3 of the way up the sides of the apples. Cover with plastic wrap and cook in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes on HIGH.
3. Carefully remove the plastic wrap. Place the apples in individual serving bowls. Top each with 1 tablespoon yogurt and sprinkle with some of the walnuts. Serve hot.

Per serving: 145 calories (14% calories from fat), 2 g protein, 3 g total fat (0.3 g saturated fat), 32 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 38 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: 2 carbohydrate (fruit)

Recipe source:

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