Canned and frozen produce can be a budget-friendly way to eat healthy this winter. (File photo)

Canned and frozen produce can be a budget-friendly way to eat healthy this winter. (File photo)

Eating healthy in winter and on a budget

When it comes to choosing vegetables and fruit to eat, a variety is best. By choosing a variety, you’ll be packing your diet with fibre, vitamins and minerals. At mealtime, try to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits.

Fresh produce is always a healthy choice, but canned and frozen vegetables and fruits are also good options. Canned vegetables and fruit can last for months and can be just as nutritious as fresh – plus, they may cost less. They are also pre-washed, cut and cooked, saving you time when making meals.

Many types of frozen and canned produce are available throughout the year, so even when produce is not in season, there are lots of options to choose from. A few of our favourites:

• Use frozen fruits in baking.

• Thaw frozen fruit, such as peach slices, and then add to yogurt or oatmeal for a breakfast or snack.

• Make an easy side dish from steamed, frozen vegetables.

• Use frozen vegetables such as peppers when making a stir-fry.

• When boiling pasta, add frozen vegetables such as broccoli to the pot near the end of cooking and then top with pasta sauce after draining.

• Use frozen dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach in an omelet or smoothie.

Ways to use canned vegetables and fruit:

• Use canned vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, carrots and peas in pasta dishes or an omelet.

• Combine canned vegetables and canned beans for a quick lunch.

• Use canned corn, peas or tomatoes in a stir fry.

• Use canned mushrooms or other vegetables in a chili.

• Add canned corn to a quesadilla.

• Make a quick vegetable soup by adding canned corn, tomatoes and pinto beans to low-sodium chicken broth.

Alberta Health Services Central ZoneHealth

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