Using Frozen and Canned Vegetables & Fruits: A Guide for Success

Content provided by: Alberta Health Services Dietetic Interns and Registered Dietitians


A balanced diet is important for good health. Canada’s Food Guide suggests eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and protein foods every day for good health. One way to include more vegetables and fruits in your diet is by choosing frozen and canned options. These options could be new to you.  This article tells you about nutrition facts, the benefits of eating frozen or canned vegetables and fruit, and gives you ideas on how to include them in your meals.

image: Frozen Vegetables | siddhu2020 | Flickr

Why Choose Frozen and Canned Vegetables and Fruits?

  • Vegetables and fruits are nutritious.
  • Save time! Frozen and canned products are pre-washed, pre-cut, and ready to use – saving you time in the kitchen. Many vegetables are also quickly steamed or boiled before freezing, allowing faster cooking.
  • Save money! These options often cost less. They also last longer, so you can buy more during sales while also reducing food waste.
  • Available all year long!  Freezing and canning extend the life of vegetables and fruits, allowing them to be available anytime.
  • Safe! Canning and freezing processes in Canada are monitored and regulated to make sure products are safe to eat6
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Making Healthy Choices

To get the most benefits from frozen and canned vegetables and fruits, consider the following tips:

  • Reading Labels: Choose products with little to no added sugars, sodium (salt), and fat1. Choose fruits canned in juice or water, and vegetables labeled as “low sodium” or “no salt added.” Rinsing canned vegetables can also help reduce sodium (salt) content.
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  • Cooking Methods: Prepare frozen and canned vegetables using cooking methods like steaming, roasting, or sautéing with a small amount of cooking oil.

Mixing into Meals: Add frozen or canned vegetables to soups, stews, stir-fries, and casseroles. Use canned fruits as a topping for yogurt, cereal, or salads. Frozen fruits work well for making cold desserts and smoothies.

Image ref: Making soup | Ruth Hartnup | Flickr

Cultural Relevance

 Food is an important part of social interactions and celebrations across most cultures. Below are some ways you can incorporate frozen and canned vegetables and fruits into many different cuisines:

  • Add frozen vegetables like broccoli, peas, and mixed stir-fry blends to rice and noodle dishes. Use canned tomatoes and frozen spinach in curries.
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  • Use canned tomatoes and chickpeas in stews and soups like shakshuka and chickpea stew.
image ref: #Egyptian #breakfast feast #Doha #Qatar #middleeast #gcc #… | Flickr
  • Use canned corn, beans, and peppers into dishes like tacos, burritos, and salads.
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  • Use canned tomatoes for stews or jollof rice. Add frozen spinach or okra to traditional dishes such as egusi soup or okra soup. Canned beans can be used in bean-based dishes like akara (bean fritters) or bean stew.
image: 4 types of African cuisines you can find in Calgary – Calgary Journal
  • Add canned beets into borscht (beet soup) or use frozen peas and carrots in traditional salads like Olivier salad. Canned sauerkraut can be added to dishes like bigos (hunter’s stew).

Frozen and canned vegetables and fruits are nutritious, convenient, safe, and often lower in cost. Knowing how to select and use these products, can help you save time and money, while following Canada’s Food Guide.

Learn more about Canada’s Food Guide: Canada’s Food Guide

Looking for recipes? Get started here:

Food guide kitchen – Canada’s Food Guide

Recipes: Inspiring Healthy Eating | Alberta Health Services


  2. Canadians increasingly turning to ‘imperfect’ food as grocery prices soar – National |
  5. Healthy cooking methods – Canada’s Food Guide