As the consumer market moves towards fresher meal options in the hopes of living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle, many are foregoing preserved and canned goods for fresh vegetables and organic produce and meats. However, the onset of the global crisis caused by the coronavirus or Covid-19 has led many to stock up on foods that have longer shelf lives: canned goods. These canned goods often provide a number of benefits, including first and foremost, convenience. Canned goods efficiently keeps food preserved for a longer time versus fresh produce, meats, and fish. Some canned goods are even ready to eat. All you need to do is toss the contents in a pot, heat, and serve, cutting down on cooking time. Some of the healthiest canned goods for your pantry deliver both convenience and nutritional value. Before we dive into that list, here are some tips on how to shop smarter in light of the Covid-19 crisis.
Tips on how to shop for the healthiest canned goods for your pantry
- Canned goods offer great convenience, but some still have a bad connotation to them because of its high levels of sugar and salt. NBC News advises consumers to be more discerning about their purchases and go for canned goods with lower sugar and sodium content. While you will most likely not find canned goods without these ingredients, it’s safer to go for the ones with lower salt and sugar content. All you need to do is read the label!
- Reading the label will also inform you if a particular canned good has artificial preservatives and ingredients. According to ACS Distance Education in the UK, artificial preservatives are the chemical substances added to foods to preserve it. And since canning is a preservation method, such artificial preservatives are often used to prolong the foods’ life and prevent bacteria and mold from growing and spreading. Some examples of artificial preservatives include nitrates, benzoates, propionates, sorbates, and more. Food Matters breaks down some of the most common additives in food.
- Look out for canned goods or fruits that are packed in syrup or brine. Insider advises that it’s better to go for fruits and vegetables that are packed in water or its own juice than syrups and brine, which often contain high amounts of sugar.
Top Picks for the Healthiest Canned Goods for Your Pantry
1. Del Monte Canned Fresh Cut Blue Lake No Salt Added Cut Green Beans
Grown in the U.S. and picked at the peak of the beans’ ripeness, these cut green beans from Del Monte are packed within hours to lock in freshness and crispness. The best part? It only contains green beans and water, no added salt so you can enjoy its natural flavor as you please. It’s perfect for savory casserole and other dishes that require some greens. This is just one of the healthiest canned goods for your pantry that you can stock up so you can ensure that you still get your greens even if you don’t have access to fresh ones. Customers have rated this product 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “Once you manage to give up salt, you’ll find that the taste of it is overwhelming in ordinary canned goods. When we find a good product with no salt, we become loyal customers. Del Monte Cut Green Beans are great to eat just as is, or added to other recipes like soup or stew.” J. Arena
2. 365 Everyday Value Organic Navy Beans
Unlike other canned beans, 365 Everyday Value Organic Navy Beans has a very low amount of sodium, with just 105mg per 130-gram serving, amounting to just 5% of percent daily value. These beans are naturally fat-free and are Certified Organic, Certified Non-GMO, and Certified Vegan. These beans come in a can with a non-BPA lining. Great for salads and other dishes. Customers have rated this product 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “These have a great taste and consistency. Do not get carried away by the enjoyment and eat another can the same day.” RLC
3. Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, No Salt Added
With just 25mg of sodium per 130 gram serving, these dice fire-roasted tomatoes from Muir Glen are peeled, diced, and seasoned lightly with a dash of sea salt. These tomatoes are grown in organic farms and are USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. Each premium-quality tomato is taken from the field to the can in just 8 hours to ensure freshness. Perfect for any pasta dish, tomato-based sauce, and more. Customers rated this product 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “Utterly delicious. Won’t add the extra unneeded sodium. Fresh flavor, and hard to find at times without the salt.” Myra B.
4. Happy Belly Amazon Brand Sweet Peas, No Salt Added
Each pea in this can of Happy Belly Unsalted Sweet Peas are harvested at perfect ripeness to deliver the distinct taste of sweet peas. A great source of fiber, peas are great to add to any viand or dish that requires an added vegetable boost. Convenient and easy to store, this can contains no added salt and sugar. Customers have rated this product 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
5. Native Forest Artichoke Hearts, Quartered
A great source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, these artichoke hearts are conveniently quartered so all you have to do is toss it into your pot for cooking or add them to your appetizer. These artichokes are ethically sourced and are produced by a brand that supports organic and sustainable farming. Customers have rated this product 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “This product is an excellent alternative for fresh, which are often very expensive, and to get this many hearts you’d have to prepare multiple chokes – a huge undertaking.” Donneine
More Top Rated Healthiest Canned Goods for Your Pantry
1. 365 Everyday Value Pitted Black Olives, Medium
Unlike typical canned black olives, 365 Everyday Value offers olives that are bursting with rich flavor with every can. These manzanilla olives are carefully hand-picked after going through a traditional ripening process for seven days, when they turn a deep shade of purple. These pitted olives are perfect on pasta sauces, tomato-based sauces, salads, pizzas, and more. 365 Everyday Value olives are not treated with ferrous gluconate and retain their natural color. Comes in a non-BPA lining can. Customers have rated this product 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “This is BPA free which is hard to find for olives.” Justin
2. Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water
Here’s one of the healthiest canned goods for your pantry that’s a definite must-have: the Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water is tuna that’s rich in protein and packs in the flavor. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that support heart health. This tuna is mild, flaky, white albacore that is caught from the wild and is kosher. Perfect for sandwiches, wraps, salads, casseroles, and more. It contains only 6% of the daily value for sodium for every serving. Customers rated this product 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “Very good pantry item for [my] daughter who takes lunch to work and often makes chicken salad.” Bonnie Wilber
3. Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon
Get a load of flavor and nutrition with Wild Planet’s Wild Alaska Pink Salmon, sustainably caught in the icy waters of Alaska by local fishers who support the preservation of salmon’s natural habitats and fish populations. The result is great salmon that provides high quality nutrition and a fresh-from-the-sea flavor, with 340mg of EPA and DHA Omega 3 per 2oz serving. Customers have rated this product 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “It’s not sockeye red or coho. Just good regular pink salmon. Convenient pull tab top and already well cleaned so useable right out of the can after draining. Good for patties, in pasta or for salad.” SYOTW
4. Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin
Imagine the goodness of vegetables from a country produce stand, all packed into one convenient can. That’s Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin, which contains all of the fiber goodness of pumpkin without any added sodium. It’s great for making pumpkin soups and other pumpkin-based dishes. Contains 70% of the daily value for vitamin A. Comes in a can with a BPA-free liner. Customers rated this product 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “For years now my husband had been complaining that the canned pumpkin from the grocery store no longer tasted like pumpkin. I decided to give this brand a try and we are happy to say that our pumpkin pies taste like pumpkin again!” CMH
5. Amy’s Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup, Light in Sodium
With 50% less sodium than the brand’s regular lentil vegetable soup, this variant delivers the same flavorful delight with less salt. It’s high in protein and fiber and is made from scratch with organic lentils, green beans, tomatoes and spinach. Great for conveniently adding veggies to your meal. This vegetable soup is made from non GMO and USDA-certified organic ingredients. Customers rated this product 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon Fresh.
Promising customer review: “This soup is my favorite to keep on hand. It’s high quality (as all of this brand are) and healthy. The flavor is smooth and interesting, and one can makes 2 good size servings. If you like lentils this should please you.” Linda K. Rogers
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