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    Archive for the ‘canning’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Rinsing Canned Beans

    6a00d83451fa5069e200e54f789e368834-800wiI try to buy no-salt-added canned beans as much as possible, but sometimes they are hard to find.

    In your recipes you always recommend that canned beans be rinsed off [to lower their sodium content].

    How long do I need to rinse them for?  How much sodium does that help get rid of?

    — Leonard (Last name withheld)
    Laredo, TX

    Rinsing beans is definitely effective.

    A 30 to 45-second rinse under cold, running tap water gets rid of anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of total sodium.

    The sodium that is removed, by the way, is from the canning liquid.

    Unless labeled as “no salt added”, all canned beans absorb some sodium from that liquid, which can not be removed no matter how long they are rinsed for.

    Another advantage to rinsing canned beans?  It’s a great way to significantly lower their raffinose content.

    Raffinose is the complex sugar responsible for the gassiness many people get after consuming beans.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    pb00423On average, canned fruits and vegetables contain 61 percent less vitamin C than their fresh or frozen counterparts.

    Vitamin C is one of the least stable nutrients.

    As you can see, the intense heat applied during the canning process does a number on foods’ vitamin C content.  Keep in mind that the above figure is an average; some foods lose a smaller amount of vitamin C, while others practically have their entire vitamin C content depleted!

    This is why I always recommend purchasing vitamin C-rich-foods in a frozen — rather than canned — state.

    Making a salad with corn?  If fresh isn’t available, opt for frozen corn.  Allow it to thaw on the counter and then add it to the salad.

    Similarly, frozen fruits are a more nutritious addition to a smoothie or dessert than canned varieties.

    Keep in mind, too, that vitamin C is very sensitive to air and light.

    Sliced strawberries, for example, lose over half of their vitamin C content if they are sitting on a plate in your kitchen for half an hour.

    For optimal nutrient intake, don’t remove fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C from the refrigerator — or cut them up — until you are ready to eat them.

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    Numbers Game: “Can” You Believe It?

    50lesssaltcornpromoOn average, canned vegetables contain _____ percent less vitamin C than their fresh or frozen counterparts.

    a) 75
    b) 43
    c) 61
    d) 29

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Thursday for the answer.

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