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5 Healthiest vegan canned foods

It's true that canned goods are not the healthiest or greenest alternative, but the following five vegan canned foods are high in nutrition as well as convenience.

Though the ideal is to eat fruits and vegetables from your garden or the farmers' market stand, the reality is you may need certain ingredients that you don't have on hand or don't have time to prepare. It's true that canned goods are not the healthiest or greenest alternative, but the following vegan canned foods are high in nutrition as well as convenience.
Though the ideal is to eat fruits and vegetables from your garden or the farmers' market stand, the reality is you may need certain ingredients that you don't have on hand or don't have time to prepare. It's true that canned goods are not the healthiest or greenest alternative, but the following vegan canned foods are high in nutrition as well as convenience.

5 Healthiest vegan canned foods

1. Pumpkin

When cooking a pumpkin is out of the question, reach for canned pure pumpkin. Most popular for making pumpkin pies, canned pumpkin can be transformed into vegan pumpkin soup, sauces, and smoothies as well as play an integral role in vegan pancakes, muffins, breads, and other baked goods. Low in calories, canned pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A and C, fiber, iron, potassium, and zinc.

2. Canned tomatoes

Rich in cancer-fighting lycopene (a potent antioxidant), tomatoes are another low-calorie canned food that can be a healthy ingredient in many vegan recipes. In-season fresh and locally-grown tomatoes are the healthiest choice, but for the rest of the year, canned tomatoes are a tasty source of vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, and fiber. Try the fire-roasted tomatoes to give your everyday vegan tomato recipes a boost of flavor.

3. Olives

An assortment of marinated olives is readily available in the deli section of many food markets, but when you can't run to the store to scoop them up, open a can of these heart-healthy fruits. An excellent source of monounsaturated fats, olives can be tossed in vegan pasta, rice, and vegetable dishes or coarsely chopped with garlic and herbs as a brushchetta topping or dip for chips and crackers.

4. Beans

Beans are an invaluable source of protein and fiber for the vegan diet, but soaking and cooking them can take more time than you have for getting dinner on the table. Canned beans are not only loaded with nutrients, including antioxidants, they are ultra-versatile in the vegan kitchen. Beans can be pureed for dips (think hummus) or tossed in vegan soups, stews, salads, pasta, and grain recipes. Stock your pantry with canned black, kidney, garbanzo, cannelini, and soy beans for instant cooked beans when you need them.

5. Pineapple

Fresh fruit is best, but pineapples aren't available year round nor are they indigenous to most parts of the country, which is a problem if you're focused on eating local. Canned pineapple comes in crushed, chunk, and ring forms and can be added to both sweet and savory vegan recipes. Canned pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as vitamin B6, thiamin, copper, manganese, and fiber. Pineapple also contains bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion.

More healthy vegan lifestyle tips!
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