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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Canned Food Alliance’s message

Did you know that, in some cases, canned foods are actually MORE nutritious for us than their fresh, and typically much more costly counterparts?  I didn’t.  I’ve been operating under the assumption that fresher is ALWAYS better.  Turns out, after watching a video from the Canned Food Alliance that, I was wrong.  Or at least, slightly uneducated.

Did you know that canned pumpkin contains almost
3x the amount of Vitamin A than fresh cooked pumpkin?

Beyond being much easier on the wallet and shopping bill, canned foods last longer and are a big time saver when to a busy person’s day in the kitchen – or especially a busy, not-quite-as-experienced-in-the-kitchen person’s day in the kitchen(ette). 

The process of canning foods has been so perfected that the foods that go into the cans are even fresher when they’re finally cooked (in the can) than the ones that you’ve bought that may have come from across the country!

TwitterMoms has asked us to take a look at this really informative video (that you can watch from my sidebar to the left here) from the Canned Food Alliance and blog about our favorite recipe using at least 2 canned food items.  That’s pretty easy for me, since my cupboard (and recycling bin) is typically full of cans!

If you’ve been a reader for any length of time, you’ll know that I do rely on canned foods, especially on those nights when I’m caught off-guard by the “OMG, it’s 4 o’clock and I haven’t taken anything out for dinner” panic.

Here’s one of my family’s absolute FAVORITE meals, and one that I can literally throw together in less than an hour, usually in the morning, so it can ‘stew’ all day – but I’ve also been known to throw this together at 4pm and serve it at 5:15!

It’s also very cost effective, in that the veggies all can come from cans!

My ALL TIME FAVORITE Beef Stew

  • 1 16oz can sliced carrots

  • 2 16 oz cans potatoes (you can use whole or sliced)

  • 1 4oz. can peas

  • 2 lbs. stew meat – this particular time, I left the chunks big.

  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks

  • 2-4 Tbls flour or corn starch

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a big pot, brown the onions in the olive oil.  Add the stew beef and brown it.  It does not have to be cooked through.  Add water to cover the beef (plus maybe an extra inch).  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for a few hours. There’s really no wrong way to do so, as long as the meat becomes tender.  Add the carrots midway through.   After about 2 hours of simmer, add the peas and carrots.   Bring back to a boil.

In a bowl, add the 2-4 Tbls of flour and whisk a small amount of water into it until you’ve got a smooth mixture.  Slowly add this to the boiling stew – this will thicken your stew.  But be sure to do it slowly, and continue to stir as you add, or you’ll have chunks of flour in your stew. NOT COOL!

It’s really easy, and wonderfully YUMMY! :) 

As for spices –I add salt & pepper when I'm cooking the meat - but I leave this up to you and your preference. 

There you have it. It’s so hearty and incredibly delicious, especially paired with some yummy bread!


About Canned Food Alliance

The Canned Food Alliance is a partnership of the American Iron and Steel Institute’s Steel Packaging Council, the Can Manufacturers Institute, select food processors and affiliate members.  The CFA serves as a resource for information on the nutrition, convenience, contemporary appeal and versatility of canned food.  The CFA is a proud supporter of the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the Fruits and Veggies More Matters program.  For hundreds of mealtime solutions, visit www.mealtime.org.