Commercially canned foods are convenient as they require no refrigeration to keep their contents safe. Their nutritional value is comparable to other forms of food such as frozen and fresh. In some cases, it may be higher.
The question that people often our Nebraska Extension office, is “how long can you keep canned food”? This article on “Shelf-Stable” Food Safety,” from the U.S. Department of Agriculture answers this question and more. For example:
My purchases at my local Farmers’ Market this week
August 3 – 9 is National Farmers Market Week! If you’ve never visited a Farmers Market, this is a great week to check one out! A variety of fruits and veggies are in season.
This is one of my favorite recipes that I look forward to making every summer.
Tomato Basil Bruschetta
Tomato Basil Bruschetta
8 ripe Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, Spanish onion or sweet onion, chopped
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 loaf Italian or French bread, cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices
Combine tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Arrange bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake about 5 to 7 minutes until it begins to brown slightly.
Remove bread from oven and transfer to a serving platter.
Serve the tomato mixture in a bowl with a serving spoon and let everyone help themselves. Or place some on each slice of bread before serving. If adding the tomato mixture yourself, add it at the last minute or the bread may become soggy.
If you’re short on time, the tomato topping (minus the basil) can be made earlier in the day and refrigerated. Wait until you’re ready to turn on the oven for the bread before chopping and adding the basil. Set mixture aside at room temperature while the bread is toasting.
Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew (slow cooker recipe)
Imagine walking into your kitchen after a busy day and being greeted by the scent of cinnamon, garlic and onions signaling “dinner is ready!”
Unless you have a cook at home who prepares meals for you, using a slow cooker is the easiest way to achieve this state of well-being!
Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew is one of my favorite slow cooker meals. I just measure, chop and toss in everything at the same time. (Source: Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association)
As you search out slow cooker recipes, here are some tips for optimum nutrition and taste.
If you can’t find reduced sodium or “no salt added” canned dry beans, rinse and drain canned beans. This will remove about 40 percent of the salt content.
Rinse and drain canned, cooked dry beans to reduce sodium content
If a recipe calls for spices or herbs you may not use much, purchase small containers to save money. The smaller sizes will also help you use the seasonings by their recommended usage date, when they will be most fresh.
Buy small containers of spice you are likely to use less often
Cut foods into similar size pieces. This ensures they will finish cooking at the same time.
Cut foods into similar sizes for even cooking
Look for broths and stocks that are lower in salt. The flavor of the ingredients may shine through more if a food isn’t so heavily salted. You can pass the salt shaker and let people decide for themselves.
Look for foods lower in added salt
For more tips on cooking with a slow cooker, check out this self-paced slide show:
NOTE: If you are getting this information through your email, you may have to click through to the web version to view the slide show.
“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” ~Oprah Winfrey
I’m not sure if I would share MY potato! There are just 110 calories in one medium-size potato. Potatoes are fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free. They’re also a good source of potassium.
It’s not potatoes that pack on the calories, but rather the topping on the potato. An an example, my colleagues at North Dakota State University Extension Service state, “… a 100-calorie potato with no fat becomes a ‘stuffed potato’ with 463 calories and 35 grams fat when you add 2 tablespoons of butter, ¼ cup of cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of bacon bits.”
One of my favorite low-calorie — but packed with nutrition and taste — ways to top potatoes is with Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh parsley or chives.
Topping baked potatoes with Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh chives or parsley, adds nutrition, a pop of color and flavor, and few calories.
Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions
Here’s my adaptation of one of our favorite potato recipes for “Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions.” My husband and I enjoyed this while traveling in Sicily. It’s so easy to make! And tastes delicious.
“Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions” are so easy to prepare and taste delicious.
Use amounts of the following ingredients according to personal preference. Limit to an amount that will fit in a single layer on a baking sheet with sides.
■ Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, cut in half
■ Potatoes, peeled and cut in about 1/2 to 1-inch similar-sized pieces
■ Onions, sliced
■ Olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine ingredients in a bowl and coat with a small amount of olive oil.
Roast about 35 to 45 minutes in a single layer on a baking sheet with sides, until potatoes are slightly browned and fork tender.
Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes
Another favorite is this recipe for “Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes” from the US Potato Board. The only fat in the recipe is in the cheese. No additional fat is used in making the sauce.
The only fat in “Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes” is from the cheese.
4 medium russet potatoes
1 cup low-fat milk, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
1 cup cooked small broccoli florets
Salt & cayenne pepper to taste
Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook at 50% power, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. (Or, use the “potato setting” on your microwave and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.)
Heat 3/4 cup of the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, about 4 minutes.
Stir together flour and the remaining 1/4 cup milk in a cup until smooth. Add to the hot milk, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Season with salt and cayenne.
Distribute broccoli over the baked potatoes, top with the cheese sauce and serve.
Foods, like homemade granola, are another great food gift. I like this recipe for California Walnut Granola from the California Walnut Commission. Walnuts are especially high in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and are unique among nuts as they contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid.
Make this granola shortly before you give it for the best flavor. The California Walnut Commission suggests printing the following tip out on a piece of paper; hole-punch the corner of the paper and attach it to the container with a ribbon:
Storage tip: This recipe will maintain its freshness by storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
California Walnut Granola. When you give this gift, encourage the recipient to eat it while it is the most tasty, by attaching the following tip: Storage tip: This recipe will maintain its freshness by storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
My husband and I enjoy eating healthy foods, but they must taste good and be quick to prepare.
My goal with Cook It Quick is: Making you hungry for healthy food!
Follow along as I share recipes and kitchen tricks that help you enjoy the same types of foods. And though I am a registered dietitian and University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension educator, all my recipes must pass inspection by my toughest critic … my husband!