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What do you think of canned spinach? Other favorite canned veggies?

Answered on December 03, 2014
Created November 21, 2014 at 12:26 AM

It's winter and I've been getting some frozen greens such as brocolli and brussels sprouts. I just hate frozen spinach though. What do 'yall think about canned spinach? I usually eat it cooked anyway (typically sauteed in olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper) so am I losing much else by eating it from a can? It's been a while but I remember it being pretty tasty, though definitely nothing compared to fresh sauteed.

What all are some of the best (tastiest and most healthy and/or personal favorite) veggies to eat from a can or from frozen?

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 23, 2014
at 08:26 PM

What, BPA?

1st: you can get BPA-free canned goods easily.

2nd: I am not convinced it's harmful, especially since I'm not pregnant or anything.

E546385d4cb757f7f9521fd44e3512fe

(0)

on November 21, 2014
at 05:57 PM

Have you read about the plastic lining in canned foods? Best to avoid them.

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5 Answers

2
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on November 21, 2014
at 02:24 AM

Most greens freeze reasonably well. Spinach may be one of the least suitable due to the meatiness of is leaves. If you have freezer space it is worth buying at peak, stuff into large ziploc bags, and freeze. I freeze celery greens, daikon greens, turnip greens, and beet greens from Chioggia beets (similar to chard) from the garden, maybe 30 lbs total. Chard and beet greens get all eaten in season, though I have frozen beet greens. These are all somewhat coarse greens but for mixed vegetables soup, with broth, they do just fine. For really fresh stuff there are always sprouts and shoots.

I notice that even in this day and age there are guys at farmer markets giving away beet greens for free (specially if you buy some veggies along with your haul). They are as good as spinach nutritionally, and it takes some cleaning (lots of bad leaves in beet greens) but then you have your winter stash. I am somewhat anti-canned veggies as you see.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 21, 2014
at 03:07 PM

Canned food is awful tasting. Across the board. Maybe I'll eat canned corn, but frozen is orders of magnitude better. 

Frozen… pretty good in general. Broccoli sucks because I don't like stems, and the stems are primarily what you get in the frozen bags. Still, I'd rather have shipped half-way around the world produce than canned/frozen. Of course, in-season produce is in a whole other league. 

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 21, 2014
at 05:12 PM

From what I understand, you lose more of the food value (nutrients primarily) when eating weeks old food from thousands of miles away than from eating that which was frozen immediately after harvest. Am I missing something?

BTW the frozen brocolli I got from Fred Meyers is all floretts and no stems and package claims it was frozen at the farm where it was grown... though it's still not nearly as good as fresh, at least it's emm... more fresh... than the stuff from guam.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 21, 2014
at 07:19 PM

I really don't sweat nutrients. 

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 23, 2014
at 08:25 PM

Why?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 24, 2014
at 10:23 PM

Because I eat veggie-centric nutrient dense diet. If my broccoli has 10% less nutrients because it has traveled 10000 miles, that's not likely an issue. 

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on November 21, 2014
at 01:12 PM

Freezing, thawing and cooking takes away a lot of the vitamin C and folic acid in vegetables.  They're still good for you just missing a few nutrients.

Buying them and freezing or canning them yourself is better than buying them commerically frozen/canned because the commercial process involves essentially cooking them and more processing.

I am not crazy about broccoli to begin with and I really don't like frozen broccoli.

Unless you live way out in the middle of nowhere there are probably some kind of fresh greens in the supermarket, bags of spinach or salad greens or something. I'd prefer that.

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 23, 2014
at 08:29 PM

I really need to get back to sprouting. I love sprouts!

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 21, 2014
at 05:16 PM

So there are two issues with fresh greens that frozen remedies:

1) in the winter, fresh greens are from a far away land.

2) even in the summer, if you buy broccolli or spinach and don't use it within a few days, it loses a lot of the nutrients and starts to taste not so good. Save shopping 3 times a week, I figure eating from frozen at the end of the week is better than no greens at all or funky old greens.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on November 23, 2014
at 04:33 AM

I agree, Methodician. In fact, there are things that I prefer to eat frozen. Blueberries for example, over "fresh' California strawberries. Even frozen foods lose nutrients, but it is a small effect, so freezing is an optimum compromise. To me the key nutrient is Mg, and there is no loss of it in frozen greens, specially since they need to be cooked, which enhances Mg absorption.

 

When cooking, steaming loses the least possible nutrients but of course it will destroy certain enzymes and lower B and C vitamins, while increasing the absorption of carotenes and minerals (don't know about vit. K). If you want an enzyme shot in winter, you will have to try to grow sprouts, or get a root cellar and preserve cabbage, though cabbage does not really have a lot of them. I grow five types of sprouts. They have less Mg than regular greens, but more enzymes and good folates.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 24, 2014
at 02:28 PM

Fresh fruits and vegetables available in the winter aren't always from far away, sometimes they are from greenhouses or other facilties.

0
4d4021caf28cc96e51ec13edce7a1a2a

on December 03, 2014
at 02:37 PM

My mother always served us canned vegetables as kids. Green beans, spinach, corn, cream corn, carrots, peas, asparagus...and I always remember green beans and spinach being the most "metallic" tasting. Frozen vegetables taste way better IMO, but if you're making soup or something, the weird flavor I taste in canned spinach will probably be masked...on it's own, I'm just not a fan. 

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on November 25, 2014
at 04:18 PM

I use it, it's good. I get the cheap Great Value brand from the Walmart. It's pretty dang good and super cheap. I like using it for things that don't require fresh spinach, like low-carb soups, frittatas, "quiches" and casseroles, etc. It's not bad at all and it won't break the bank. Also, the BPA is harmless. Canned asparagus and sauerkraut are alright too.

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