We all know we should be eating more fruit and veg, we’ve heard the message often enough, but it’s still something we all struggle to do on a daily basis. It’s especially tricky if you regularly find the only fruit in your fruit bowl is a bruised banana or the only vegetable to hand is a mushy cucumber stuck to the back of the salad drawer in the fridge!
Using frozen and tinned fruit and veg can be a good way to get around this problem, to help bump up your daily intake of these nutritious foods and boost your five a day, too.
Tinned and frozen fruit and veg can be just as healthy as fresh and roughly the same quantity (80g) counts as a portion towards your five a day.
7 reasons to use more tinned and frozen fruit and veg
- Less waste: simply take out what you need from the freezer and put the rest of the packet back in for another time. Any leftover tinned foods can be placed in a suitable container and kept in the fridge and eaten according to the manufacturer’s guidance.
- Less waste 2: unlike fresh fruit and veg, their tinned and frozen counterparts keep for much longer. Nutrients don’t degrade as quickly either.
- No preparation required: the items are washed, sliced or peeled ready to be instantly used, making it an easy way to bump up your fruit and veg intake with very little effort.
- Save money: they are often cheaper compared to fresh, especially if you are buying out of season.
- Access all year round: you’re not limited by the seasons and can have any fruit and veg at any time of year.
- Carb-counting help: if you count your carbs, you may find it easier to work out how much carbohydrate you are eating as this will be indicated on the food label.
- Buy in bulk and store: you can buy them when they are on offer and store for long periods of time.
2 tips to consider when shopping
- Avoid fruit that’s tinned in syrup – even the light syrup has a lot of sugar.
- Avoid veg tinned in salt water (or brine) – too much salt raises you blood pressure, which puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease.
The peaches pack a punch
We compared two 250g tins of peaches – one in fruit juice and one in syrup. We've listed the nutritional breakdown of both here.
The peaches in juice scored lower for calories and sugars. You can reduce your sugar intake even further if you drain the juice off. Both cost around 65p per tin – so you can have a cheap, easy and healthy pudding quite easily. You can add low-fat yogurt, creme fraiche or light ice cream for a delicious treat.
5 ways to use frozen and tinned fruit and veg
Most of us are familiar with the usual frozen mixed veg and peas on offer in the freezer section and the tins of mushy peas down the supermarket aisle – but take a closer look and you might be surprised about what you can now buy…
- You can buy large plastic tubs of frozen summer fruits such as raspberries, pineapples, mangoes and cherries relatively cheaply. These can be whizzed into a smoothie, added to porridge, pancakes, yogurt or simply eaten as a delicious, healthy pudding.
- Diced onions, sliced mushrooms, sliced leeks, sliced peppers, stir-fry mix, swede and carrot mix and Mediterranean veg are all readily available. Use in dishes just as you would their fresh equivalents, simply follow the cooking instructions on the packet. Using frozen veg is an easy way of bumping up your veg intake in dishes such as chilli con carne, stews and curries. If you sometimes lack the motivation, and time, to cook from scratch and tend to reach for a ready meal or call for a takeaway – this is a great, easy calorie-saving alternative.
- As well as the usual tinned peaches and pineapple most of us are familiar with, you can now buy tinned breakfast mix, lychees, guava, mango and summer fruits, which are often cheaper compared to buying the fruit fresh and make a great start to your day.
- Tinned veg now available includes leaf spinach, artichokes and green beans.
- When cooking any fruit and veg, try to steam or microwave rather than boiling in a lot of water to reduce loss of water-soluble vitamins.
Recipes for you to try:
If you want some ideas on how to use frozen or tinned fruit and veg, check out some of the recipes on Enjoy Food’s recipe finder.
Try this delicious apricot crunch made with tinned apricots.
Use a bag of frozen carrot and swede, to make this carrot and swede mash. A nutritious, quick and easy side dish.