Eating healthy can help boost energy levels and improve overall wellness, making it easier to enjoy a vibrant lifestyle. The nutrition team here in Bethesda Gardens Frisco serves daily fresh meals for our residents with this goal in mind. Switching up your routine can be interesting, even if you usually dine with us. There are many dishes you can prepare yourself in your assisted living apartment.
Getting started can be as easy as grabbing a can opener if you keep a few of your favorite canned goods on hand. While these pantry essentials often have a poor reputation for being loaded with salt and additives, many healthy canned foods are readily available today. The key is to read labels and choose brands with low-sodium and no-sugar options.
Here are five of our favorites, their nutritional information and kitchenette-friendly recipes.
Pumpkin is a versatile meal ingredient all year, not just for autumn treats. Traditionally used in desserts, it also blends smoothly into savory entrees and snack recipes, such as chili and hummus. Many dishes can be fixed using only a microwave, slow cooker or pressure cooker, ensuring minimal effort and cleanup.
Nutritionally, pumpkins are stellar additions to a senior's diet. Like carrots, the orange puree is packed with vitamin A, which can help improve eye health and reduce the risk of cancer. It's also high in potassium and fiber, which are essential to good health.
Although eating a can of spinach won't make you as strong as the cartoon sailor man, it does offer many health benefits when included in your favorite recipes. Considered a superfood, the dark-green leafy vegetable is high in vitamin C, iron and calcium, giving the body the ingredients it needs to create bone tissue and help prevent osteoporosis.
Often cheaper than fresh spinach, the canned variety is easy to store until needed. Canned and frozen spinach is cooked during the preserving process, which significantly reduces its volume, so be sure to convert measurements when following a recipe that calls for fresh spinach.
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, making it a great centerpiece for a healthy meal for seniors. Opting for canned chicken is a simple way to speed up dinner preparations while enjoying its nutritional benefits.
Because it can be stored unopened on a shelf for a long time, you can keep meat on hand without using valuable space in your Frisco assisted living apartment's refrigerator. Cans of chicken usually range from 12.5 ounces to 50 ounces, letting you customize portions to suit one person or prepare plenty of helpings for visiting friends and family.
As with many dark-colored foods, black beans are considered a superfood. Rich in folate, potassium, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals, the legumes offer a good helping of protein and fiber without adding much fat to your diet. If you don't regularly eat beans, try adding them slowly to your diet to let your body adjust and reduce unwanted bloating and gas.
Dried beans require soaking and cooking for long periods. Alternatively, canned black beans are pre-cooked, saving time and effort. This lets you rinse and add a can straight to a salad or wrap for a tasty no-cook meal.
Soft and sweet, canned peaches are a great way to satisfy a sugar craving. The fruit's lovely orange color is caused by beta carotene, which can enhance immune system health. Also high in fiber, canned peaches are gentle on the stomach and can help soothe upset stomachs and promote regularity.
Peaches are naturally low in calories. Picking brands canned in juice or water instead of syrup ensures the fruit doesn't contain unnecessary calories and sugar. Combined with toppings such as a sprinkle of melted dark chocolate and nutmeg, canned peaches provide a quick, irresistible treat.
An electric can opener makes short work of getting into canned goods, but it can take up counter space in your kitchenette. There are several ingenious tools on the market today that quickly pop open a can without creating unwanted clutter.
This handheld unit can be stored out of the way when not in use. Battery-operated, it automatically cuts through the side of cans, leaving a smooth edge to increase safety. It's designed to clamp onto regular and ring-pull can tops and remove the lids without touching the food inside.
Organization keeps things looking tidy and helps reduce stress by eliminating clutter. Keeping several cans on hand can be problematic since they're hard to stack and store. You can remedy this with a simple organizer. Crafted from heavy-duty steel, this wire rack holds up to 36 standard-sized cans or soda cans. Dividers keep the cans in neat rows, letting you quickly scan the labels and grab your choice.
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