Covid-19 has made many day to day activities more difficult but consuming the recommended 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day should not be one of them. People often assume canned or frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh ones which is simply not true! Canned and frozen vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, can be easily stored in a pantry or freezer for long periods of time, and are often more affordable than their fresh counterpart. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of canned and frozen vegetables:
- Reduce the salt: Canned products often contain added sodium to help preserve the vegetables longer. Look for “no salt added” or “reduced sodium” labels or rinse the vegetables before eating them to reduce sodium content.
- Focus on flavor: Canned vegetables taste best right after opening them so eat the right away. That is also when they are the most nutritious.
- Basic is better: Frozen vegetables are often offered with a sauce containing a large amounts of added fat. Choose the plain version and add your own herbs and spices during cooking for maximum flavor.
- Be Creative: If you have a few almost empty bags of frozen vegetables combine them to create a soup or stir fry. See the Hearty Vegetable Soup recipe below for inspiration!
Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup
Frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth make this an easy soup to throw together on a cold work night. Noodles and beef make it extra hearty and comforting.
- 3/4 can chicken broth (low sodium, 14.5 oz)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cup mixed vegetables (frozen, for soup)
- 1 can tomatoes (14.5 oz, broken up)
- 4 ounce beef (cooked and diced)
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves (crushed)
- 1 dash pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cup noodles (narrow-width, uncooked)
1. Heat broth and water. Add vegetables, meat and seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
2. Add noodles. Cook until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes
3. Remove bay leaf.
Source: North Dakota State University Extension Service, Creative Vegetable Cookery