Since we are a family of four, I do a lot of cooking! I am all about quick and easy, so I frequently used canned foods in our meals, or FOR our meals. My mom used canned foods while I was growing up, so that may be why I am kind of partial to them as well.
In addition to how convenient canned foods are, there are several other reasons I enjoy them:
They are fresh! Fruits and vegetables are generally picked and packed immediately, which ensures that they are super fresh and full of flavor. I love that I can enjoy the freshness right from home. Many canned fruits and veggies even have the same nutrients as other similar frozen items (according to a UC Davis study).
No waste! It almost never fails – when I buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the store, they go bad before I can use them. Sure, if I use them within the first day or two after shopping, they are delicious, but beyond that they start getting mushy and kind of unappetizing. I find this to be especially true if I haven’t already put together a meal plan before I bought them. Did you know that on average, 73% of Americans throw away rotten/spoiled fruits and veggies twice a week?
They last a long, long time! One of my favorite things about canned foods is that they last a long, long time in the pantry. Like many people, I worry about natural disasters or emergencies, so it just makes sense to have a supply of canned foods in my pantry and in the garage. I never feel like I am wasting money when buying these, because they DO last so long.
There are so many choices! No matter what I am in the mood for, I can almost always find it in a can. From soups, baked beans and other side dishes, to fish, chicken, etc., the variety is endless.
Not much has changed! The canning process that is used today is pretty much the same process our grandparents (and great grandparents) used to preserve foods naturally, years and years ago.
We typically shop at Safeway, as it is nearby and they have a great selection of all of our favorite canned foods.
I decided to share with you a couple of my favorite recipes that use canned foods, and sent my husband to the store to pick up the ingredients.
First up is my Pork Chop and Potato Casserole. This is so incredibly easy, thanks to canned potatoes. I used to slice potatoes myself, but have discovered that I can buy them already cooked AND sliced in the can. Talk about fuss-free!
To make this recipe, I simply pour four cans of sliced potatoes in a casserole dish, then place 4 or 5 washed and dried pork chops on top. I sprinkle salt and pepper on the chops, then open a can of Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup and mix it with a can of water, and pour it on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and there you have it! Of course we need a green veggie to, and I tend to have corn, green beans or peas most often. We love Green Giant, but also love Le Sueur Petite Peas, which I decided to have with our Pork Chop and Potato Casserole. You can’t miss these peas at the grocery store – they are in the bright silver can. They are teeny tiny peas and so yummy!
My second recipe is one of my family’s favorite desserts – Pumpkin Bars. This is a great dessert to take to a party, where there are lots of people. It uses one of my favorite canned ingredients – pumpkin!
And also what my pantry looks like. I love to stock up on our favorites, so I always have something on hand for those nights when I haven’t planned a meal. Some canned foods that you can find in our pantry pretty consistently are Campbell’s soups (I still love Chicken & Stars soup as much as I did when I was a kid!), Trader Joe’s Lentil Soup, Green Giant Veggies, McClintock’s Beans, Rotel veggie mix, Chicken of the Sea Tuna, Swanson Chicken Breasts, Carnation Evaporated Milk and Eagle Brand Condensed Milk (I do lots of baking!). See how much we love the convenience and taste of canned foods?
What about you? Do cans get you cooking too? What are some of your go-to meals using canned foods and/or favorite canned foods?
If you love cooking with canned foods as much as I do, make sure you check out the Cans Get You Cooking Facebook page. You might enjoy the yummy recipes by following Cans Get You Cooking on Pinterest! The Cans Get You Cooking YouTube page is also a fun place to visit for inspiration.
*As part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network, I will be compensated (by Cans Get You Cooking) for sharing this information about cooking with canned foods. All opinions are my own.