Canned and frozen foods are considered healthier than commercially preserved foods, and they’re cheaper, too. But sometimes you may be stumped as to how to use your foods once they are frozen or canned. What do you do with that can of corn, for example, or those frozen tomatoes? What about the frozen strawberries and canned carrots?
Here are some ideas and recipes to help you make use of your preserved foods.
1. Frozen Fruits
Frozen fruits have lots of uses, and it can be a welcome taste change in the middle of winter. Here are some ideas to try.
Puree any frozen fruit with a liquid of your choice to make a healthful smoothie. The varieties are almost endless, and you can “health-fy” the smoothie with added healthful ingredients. Examples might include these combinations:
* Frozen strawberries, vanilla almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and ground flax
* Frozen bananas, peanut butter, wheat germ, and vanilla nut milk
* Frozen grapes, raspberries, and blueberries with unsweetened apple juice
Frozen fruits can also be cooked down into sauces for use over meat, fish, or ice cream.
2. Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables like bell peppers can be used to top pizza; corn and beans can be added to soups. Try this frozen vegetable soup for garden-fresh flavors in fall and winter:
* 1 quart chicken broth (also something you might have canned or frozen at home!)
* 1 pint tomato juice
* 1 pint frozen tomatoes, or 2 large tomatoes frozen whole
* 1 pint frozen corn
* 1 pint or 2 cups frozen green beans
* 1 cup frozen cooked lima beans
* 1 cup frozen carrot slices
* 1 medium onion, chopped, fresh or frozen
* 2 cups shredded chicken (optional)
* Salt and pepper to taste
Simply place all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes. Add water if necessary.
3. Canned Fruits
Make a lovely fruit salad by mixing various canned fruits and adding some fresh sliced banana. You can use them in pie and cobbler filling. Stir some home-canned fruit into yogurt, put a dollop on ice cream, or add some to gelatin to make a molded salad. For a healthful dessert, spoon canned fruit over shaved ice.
4. Canned Vegetables
Green Beans and Onions
Try serving your homemade green beans in this simple but flavorful dish.
* 1 quart canned green beans
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 to 3 strips bacon
Fry bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and pour out all but a tablespoon of bacon fat. Sautee the onion in this fat for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the green beans. Crumble bacon over beans and serve.
Here’s an idea for a quart of canned sliced carrots or baby canned carrots. Simply drain and place carrots in a large, shallow casserole and stir in a teaspoon or two of sugar and a half a teaspoon of salt (if you didn’t salt them when canning). Dot with butter and bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes.
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