Nutrition Notes: February is Canned Food Month!

We are celebrating canned food this month and rightly so.  Canned foods provide quick, easy and economical nourishment. Seasonal produce, canned at their peak freshness, can be enjoyed all year round – amazing isn’t it? All kinds of canned foods are available today in the market, including soups, sauces, meats, fruits and vegetables and even desserts. While this considerably cuts prepping and cooking time, one often wonders if canned foods are safe and healthy.

Here are a few simple guidelines to help choose healthier options:

– Choose canned foods with low or no salt added alternatives
– Rinse foods with added salt in water as this helps lower the sodium levels in the food
– Make sure that the canned foods you buy have no added preservatives
– Select fruits canned in their own juices rather than in sugar
– Buy foods like fish canned in water rather than oil
– Choose canned foods in BPA-free cans or glass jars
– Check expiration dates of canned foods before buying them
– Discard bulging, leaking, rusted, heavily dented or foul-smelling cans to avoid diseases like botulism.

Here is a quick salad recipe using canned beets and garbanzo beans.

Recipe: Bean and Beet Salad

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Number of servings: 2


½ 15 oz canned beets
½ 15 oz canned garbanzo beans
¼ cup sliced onions
¼ cup sliced bell pepper
1 cup salad greens, washed
Crumbled feta cheese

For the citrus-ginger dressing

2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp fresh grated ginger
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Mix the oil, orange juice, ginger, salt and pepper thoroughly and keep aside.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients.
3. Keep salad and dressing refrigerated until serving time.
4. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving and enjoy!

For those interested in donating canned food items, donations are currently being collected at the following sites:

San Diego Food Bank
9850 Distribution Ave. San Diego CA 92121
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

North County Food Bank
680 Rancheros Dr. # 100 San Marcos, CA 92069
Monday – Tuesday & Thursday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.