In an ideal world, everyone would always have fresh vegetables in their refrigerator, bags upon bags of dried beans and legumes in their cupboard, and plenty of time to consume all of this food before it spoils. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world, and as much as we might like to maintain a fresh-food lifestyle, sometimes it’s nice to take the convenient route. Canned foods are excellent in terms of allowing you to purchase all of the vegetables and legumes you want, without having to race against the clock to eat them. You can leave these cans on the shelf for up to a year (sometimes multiple years) and eat them later.
As with any type of food, there are healthy choices and less-than-ideal choices when it comes to canned foods. Many brands choose to add various seasonings, spices, and salt to their canned products so that consumers can take their food from can to plate instantly. While this is convenient in some instances, you should try to opt for simpler products that have less than ten, or even five, ingredients, are unsweetened, and contain a low amount of sodium. Foods that have 140 milligrams of sodium or less are considered low-sodium foods, although there are some products out there that are labeled as low-sodium because they contain less salt than the original. Finding both the organic and low-sodium versions of your favorite canned foods may prove a bit difficult in supermarkets, but you can find plenty online! Here are 15 we think you should check out.
Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes No Salt
Considering tomatoes are one of the vegetables you should always try to buy organic, it makes sense that organic canned tomatoes would be the ideal, as well. Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes No Salt is a USDA certified organic and non-GMO project verified product made with organic tomatoes, organic tomato juice from concentrate, naturally derived citric acid, and calcium chloride. Each 1/2 cup serving has 30 calories and 25 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that these diced tomatoes are healthy (especially since they come in a BPA-free can), tasty, flavorful but not overpowering, and fresher than some other diced tomato products. You can get a pack of 12, 14.5-ounce cans for about $15.
Eden Foods Organic Pinto Beans
Many canned pinto beans on the market today submerge their beans in a salty, sometimes overly seasoned brine, upping the sodium content in the process. Eden Foods Organic Pinto Beans, however, keep things fairly simple. Their organic beans are submerged in a mixture of just water and kombu seaweed. Each serving of these beans (1/2 cup) is 100 calories and has 15 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that these beans are extremely tasty (especially for being canned beans), are one of the only (if not the only) pinto beans that are canned in a BPA-free can, and are consistent in quality. You can get a pack of 12, 15-ounce cans for about $32.50.
Farmer’s Market Sweet Potato Puree
There are so many different ways to cook with sweet potato purée during Autumn. In order to put your own flair on purée, you’re going to want it to be as plainly seasoned and low-sodium as possible. Farmer’s Market Sweet Potato Purée is made with just one ingredient: organic sweet potato purée. Each serving of this purée has 68 calories and 35 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that this purée is convenient (it’s already cooked), is very versatile (can be used for sweet or savory dishes), and is healthy. You can get a pack of 12, 15-ounce BPA-free cans for about $31.50.
Green Valley Organics Corn
Before adding vegan butter and spices to your corn, it’s usually best to start with a clean, low-sodium flavor profile. Green Valley Organics Whole Kernel Corn, for example, is made with just one ingredient: organic corn. Each 1/2 cup serving of this corn has 60 calories and 140 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that this corn is tasty, consistently good quality, and healthier than some others on the market (especially since it comes in a BPA-free can). You can get a pack of 12, 15-ounce cans for about $25.
Walnut Acres Organic Whole Black Beans
Black beans are a protein-rich staple that everyone should try to include in their diets every once in a while. While some brands submerge their beans in a seasoned liquid or add ingredients like seaweed to their product, Walnut Acres Organic Whole Black Beans does not. This organic product is made with just organic cooked black beans and a touch of sea salt. Each 1/2 cup serving is 120 calories and has 85 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that these beans are a pantry staple, are very versatile (especially because they are unflavored), and have way less sodium than some other brands. You can get a pack of 12, 15-ounce cans for $24.
Native Forest Organic Sliced Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots are a great way to add some Asian flair to your cooking. Native Forest Organic Sliced Bamboo Shoots is an organic, BPA-free product made with just two ingredients: organic bamboo shoots and water. As Native Forest shares, the bamboo shoots they utilize are harvested when the bamboo are young and at their most tender. Each drained 1/2 cup serving of these bamboo shoots are 15 calories and have five milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that these shoots are tasty, can be made even more tender if added to a dish while it’s cooking and they do not have a “tinny” taste like some other canned products do. You can get a pack of six 14-ounce cans for about $18.50.
Kirkland Organic Diced Tomatoes
Kirkland Organic Diced Tomatoes is a product that aims to be as close in taste to a fresh tomato as possible. This product is made with organic tomatoes, organic tomato juice, citric acid, sea salt, and calcium chloride, all in a BPA-free can. Each 1/2 cup serving of these tomatoes is 15 calories and has 140 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that these tomatoes are “cleanly diced and meaty,” taste “remarkably fresh,” and are an all-around pantry staple. To see if you feel the same, you can get a pack of eight 14.5-ounce cans for about $15.75.
Westbrae Natural Organic Garbanzo Beans
When it comes to garbanzo beans, most of the salt can be found in the brine. While you can usually drain and rinse the chickpeas for a lower sodium content instantly, if you’re following a recipe that calls for the brine, you may consider buying a low-sodium version. Westbrae Natural Organic Garbanzo Beans are made with organic chickpeas, water, and sea salt, all in a BPA-free can. Reviewers are saying that these chickpeas are nice and firm (as opposed to mushy), great for making homemade hummus that isn’t overly salty, and is an excellent staple to have around the house. You can get a pack of 12, 15-ounce cans for about $27.50.
Amy’s Organic Low Sodium Refried Beans
We’re used to seeing refried beans layered into nacho dips and poured over mountains of tortilla chips. In these contexts, refried beans are usually fatty and laden in salt. However, there are some brands out there who have made a low sodium version of refried beans so we can eat our Latin creations in a healthier way. Amy’s Organic Low Sodium Refried Beans are made with organic pinto beans, filtered water, organic onions, organic high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic garlic, sea salt, and other spices in a BPA-free can. Each serving (1/2 cup) is 140 calories and 190 milligrams (more than half of the sodium content of the brand’s regular refried beans). Reviewers are saying that these beans are taste wonderful, “they have just enough onions, garlic, and other spices to complement the beans rather than overpower the flavor of the beans,” and are definitely healthier than the regular refried variety. To try them out, you can get a pack of 12, 15.4-ounce cans for $32.
Farmer’s Market Butternut Squash
Butternut squash has a slightly sweet flavor to it, so why muddy it up with too much salt? Farmer’s Market Butternut Squash keeps the natural flavor of this vibrant squash intact by not adding any other ingredients to their canned BPA-free product. By doing this they are able to offer a product that has 52 calories and zero milligrams of sodium! Reviewers are saying that this butternut squash is tasty, good quality, and very versatile. Reviewers have been using this squash to thicken soups and oatmeals, as a unique pasta addition, and for baked goods. You can get one 15-ounce can for about $8.
Grown Right Organic Jellied Cranberry
Cranberry goods are not only tasty on Thanksgiving, you can add them to your dishes all year long! Grown Right Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce is made with organic cranberries, organic sugar, filtered water, and organic lemon concentrate. Each serving (1/4 cup) has 100 calories and 10 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that jellied sauce is good quality, “delicious, tart, and sweet,” and “does not have the junk that some other canned cranberry sauces contain. You can get a pack of three 14-ounce cans for $20.
Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk Unsweetened
Coconut milk may seem like the type of product that would be naturally low-sodium, but since it is often used in savory dishes, some brands actually do add salt for convenience to consumers looking to use it in curries and other dishes. Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk Unsweetened, however, keeps both added sugar and salt out of their product. The milk is made from organic coconuts, water, and guar gum. Each 1/3 cup serving has 140 calories and 20 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that this coconut milk is very good (especially for the price point), is nice and creamy, and has a nice flavor (although it is noticeably coconut-y). Reviewers also pointed out that this can is not BPH-free. If you’d still like to try it, you can get a pack of six 13.66-ounce cans for about $13.
Eden Foods Organic Cannellini White Kidney Beans No Salt Added
Cannellini white kidney beans are an excellent fiber-rich food to include in a healthy diet. While some brands add salt to canned beans to up the flavor, Eden Foods Organic Cannellini White Kidney Beans No Salt Added allows the consumer to decide how salty they want their kidney beans to be. Instead, they submerge their organic beans in a solution of water and Kombu seaweed for a touch of flavor. Each 1/2 cup serving is 100 calories and has 40 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that this product is excellent (especially in terms of canned products), does not have excessive salt, chemicals, or preservatives, and tastes good. You can get a pack of 12, 15-ounce cans for about $35.50.
Westbrae Natural Organic Black Lentils
As the company’s name suggests, Westbrae Natural Organic Black Lentils aims to keep things natural. That’s why they keep the ingredients and seasonings of this product to a minimum – organic black lentils, water, and a touch of sea salt. As a result, each 1/2 cup serving of these lentils is 100 calories and has 120 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that these lentils are good quality, economical, flavorful (very natural-tasting), and “smaller, darker, and rounder than most lentils on the market.” You can get a pack of 12, 15-ounce cans for about $22.
Natural Value Organic Diced Tomatoes
Vegan, gluten-free, and preservative-free, Natural Value Organic Diced Tomatoes aims to be a healthful tomato product that is also convenient. Specifically, this BPA-free product contains organic tomato, organic tomato juice, calcium chloride, and naturally derived citric acid. Each serving of these tomatoes (1/2 cup) is 20 calories and has 15 milligrams of sodium. Reviewers are saying that these tomatoes are a great pantry item, have a nice “natural savory flavor” of tomatoes, and is ideal for adding to recipes where there already is seasoning without affecting the overall dish. You can get a pack of 12, 14.5-ounce cans for about $28.50.
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