Canned and Frozen Produce Over Fresh? Give it a Try!

Last month Jody wrote a blog highlighting tips to help us save money at the grocery store. Recently I have found that some of the fresh produce I used to buy on a regular basis has started to increase my family’s grocery bill. To lower my grocery bill but still get the same nutritional benefits, I have found that swapping in canned and frozen produce options has worked out well for many recipes that my family enjoys. Below are a few tips for purchasing these options.

  • Before adding the canned fruit or vegetables to a dish or recipe, rinse off the liquid that they have been stored in. This can help remove extra sodium or heavy syrups.
  • Avoid purchasing canned items that have dents or look misshapen as those could have potentially harmful bacteria that could make you sick.
  • Check out this Seasonal Produce Guide to determine when produce is in season. If a recipe calls for produce that is out of season, purchasing it fresh will likely be more expensive. Using the canned or frozen option could be a great way to make your favorite recipes without the added cost.

I love keeping a variety of canned and frozen produce on hand to use for quick side dishes or as a substitute in place of a fresh option. A few of my favorite recipes to use canned vegetables and fruits include Quick Fruit Dessert, Berry Crisp and Quick Black Bean Salsa. Frozen produce is also a great option because it tends to be more cost friendly and has a much longer life than fresh options. Try adding frozen fruit to smoothies like the Berry and Greens Smoothies or frozen vegetables to the Teriyaki Rice Bowl. Both canned and frozen vegetables are versatile and can be used in many soups for quick, easy meals.

What dish would you like to make with canned or frozen produce? We’d love to hear how it turns out!

Katy Moscoso

Katy Moscoso is a Program Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. As a new mom she is always on the lookout for easy, healthy recipes to prepare for her family.

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