Of course, fresh vegetables are a sight to behold in the supermarket on display in almost every color that we want to grab our grocery carts and hoard all the crisp and shiny things and chop them up for soup and salad. Like many fresh produce, their shelf life is very limited. Greens may start looking wilted come the following day. Also, fresh vegetables sometimes take time to prepare. Thankfully, with technology, advancement and food preservation, there are vegetables that can be kept on stock, are ready to it, and in fact, with this extra step, may save time in preparation.
Canning is a way of preserving vegetables by processing the food contents and sealing them in an airtight container.
This provides longer shelf life, depending on the process. Care is also taken to prevent food from being spoiled before and after canning. Canning may also help enhance the dietary content, such as increasing the available lycopene content in canned tomatoes. It also makes cooking so much faster, as the ingredients are pre-prepared and sometimes pre-sliced like olives, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts. Canned artichoke hearts may be used to make spinach artichoke dip to be used to dip vegetable sticks, bread, or nacho chips for appetizer. Canned peas may be drained and then used to make carrot-pea soup and tomato-based soups and sauces may use tomato from the can rather than blanching and chopping up fresh tomatoes, which could take time and effort. This will cut cooking time significantly, especially for those busy people.
Food safety must also be considered in purchasing canned vegetables so it’s best to keep their expiry dates in mind and dispose immediately of those going beyond expiry dates. Those keeping their sodium levels in check and follow low-sodium diets should also use canned vegetables in moderation as canned food is a major source of dietary source as the vegetables are immersed in brine solution. With these precautions in mind, we can now enjoy the benefits and convenience of having vegetables in a can, which decrease cooking time in half and in times, provide increased health benefits.