The Secret Ingredient To Make Your Canned Fruit Even Better

If your favorite fruit isn't in season, the canned version can make for a great replacement. Not only is it available year-round, but as Livestrong points out, canned fruit is often cheaper than its fresh counterparts — making it the perfect choice for anyone on a budget.

Although canned fruit does have several benefits, there is one drawback: The flavor can be somewhat one-dimensional compared to fresh fruit and, depending on the canning liquid, extremely sweet. According to Taste of Home, fruit can be canned in a variety of liquids that range in sugar content. Heavy syrup is the sweetest of the bunch, as it contains both sugar and corn syrup in addition to water. Light syrup, in contrast, is made from just sugar and water.

Fruit can also be canned with water or fruit juice. And while these won't leave the fruit overly sweet, their flavor can sometimes be lacking.

How to improve your canned fruit

According to Self magazine, there's a simple and ultra-quick trick that can revive canned fruit, especially if it's too sweet: Just add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. In this case, the acidity of the citrus juice works to brighten up and balance the fruit's sweeter flavors, giving the whole thing more complexity. As Lola Milne, author of "Take One Can: 80 Delicious Meals From the Pantry," explained to the publication, this trick will work with pretty much any variety of canned fruit, ranging from traditional choices like peaches, pears, and mandarin oranges to more tropical options like pineapples and mangoes. "It really livens them up," said Milne.

If you want to elevate things even further, Milne says that you can add chili powder or ginger to the fruit and citrus juice. Doing so will add just a touch of heat that pairs beautifully with the tart flavors you've already developed.