The Unexpected Canned Food Combo You Just Have To Try

Canned food often sits forgotten in the pantry as a backup plan or a quick fix for all those busy days. Yet, it's still possible to create something more than just a boring meal with lackluster flavors using canned foods. It's all about using the right ingredients and ensuring they bring out the best in each other. Sometimes, you can find this in the oddest pairings, such as canned carrots and canned oranges. At first thought, it may sound like it wouldn't work, but give it a try and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Canned carrots won't have the freshness you normally get with the ones straight from the market. But that doesn't mean they're completely devoid of the sweet, earthy essence we know and love. Surprisingly, the canned oranges and their citrusy brightness are the key to bringing out more of the vegetable's natural goodness. It creates a strange, striking contrast between deep, rustic notes and vibrant ones. What seems to be a mismatch turns out to be incredibly complementary. They come together and make a versatile swirl of flavors that are just as unique as they are delightful.

A simple pairing with surprising versatility

Even though canned carrots already come pre-cooked, they're generally not enjoyable when eaten straight out of the can. Most commonly, they're tossed with some seasonings and then roasted. You can add canned oranges by roasting the slices alongside the carrots. Take advantage of the soaking liquid and drizzle it over the food to make a vibrant, zesty glaze.

Roasting is not the only way to have fun with these ingredients. You can simmer them together in the pan, as well, with perhaps a pinch of grated ginger for a warm, spicy undertone (a delightful spin-off of this roasted carrot with ginger and orange recipe). For those who like their food sweet, a brown sugar glaze might be the ideal choice to improve the flavor of canned carrots, especially for a pairing that hinges on beautiful flavors like this one. Similarly, a stir-fry with soy sauce will give you a fantastic side dish laden with umami sweetness.

If you're not in the mood for much cooking, toss up a carrot orange salad in three steps or less. You can pair the canned food with lettuce, cucumber, onion, and any other available veggie, and make a dressing using a bit of the juice. A grain bowl of canned carrots, oranges, quinoa, legumes, and proteins would also be fantastic for a quick, easy, and nutritious meal.