Why You Should Always Have Canned Fruit In Your Pantry

You already know that fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. In fact, the USDA recommends that adults consume two cups of fruits daily. And while many think of fresh when it comes to fruit, fresh fruit is not always readily (or affordably) available. Luckily, canned fruit is an option, though one potential concern with canned fruit is whether they're as nutritious as fresh fruit.

According to researchers at Michigan State University, canned fruits are just as nutritious as fresh or frozen. The fruits used in canned fruit are typically picked at their peak freshness for the best flavor and quality. And while the canning process may decrease the amount of water-soluble vitamins like B and C, it doesn't have any impact on protein, carbs, minerals, or fat-soluble vitamins (like A and E), and may actually increase the antioxidant content in some cases. And when it comes to vitamin C, the content decreases in fresh fruit as well the longer it is exposed to air, explains the Food Network. And canning can actually improve the safety of fresh produce, since the high heat used in the process helps to prevent the growth of pathogens that can cause food poisoning (via BBC Good Food).

Canned fruit is easy to use and has a long shelf life, making it ideal for pantries

Many fruits, including peaches, pears, mandarin oranges, and pineapples, come in canned form, ensuring access to your favorite fruit even if it's out of season. Canned fruit is also typically cheaper than its fresh counterpart, according to Livestrong. Convenient to use, canned fruit makes for an easy addition to breakfasts, salads, and desserts — canned fruit can be enjoyed as an after-meal treat on its own or used to supplement the canned filling in your fruit pies for a heartier and tastier pie. Canned fruit also has a long shelf life — Eat By Date recommends consuming canned fruits within one to two years of the date printed on the can.

One concern with canned fruit it that it can be high in sugar, since it's often packed in syrup, which can add an extra 20 grams of sugar, warns Eat This, Not That!. Look for canned fruit packed in its own juice, or better yet, water. If that's not an option, try rinsing the syrup off the fruit before use. Also try squeezing a bit of lemon or lime juice, the secret ingredient that will make your canned fruit taste better. So, the next time you're at the grocery store, make sure you pick up a few cans of your favorite fruit to stash in your pantry as a key staple.