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Kent Wang

Why do people use canned vegetables?

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If I can't get fresh, I almost always go for frozen vegetables. Canned tomatoes and beans (black, pinto, navy, etc.) are fine. My one exception to frozen green vegetables is green beans. I am a devotee of southern, long cooked green beans. I get fresh when they are good, but canned works much better than frozen for this. I detest crunchy green beans. They must have every bit of resistance cooked out and a good bit of pork cooked in :laugh::laugh: . Frozen green bean never, ever get tender and have a squeekiness that bothers me.

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If I can't get fresh, I almost always go for frozen vegetables.  Canned tomatoes and beans (black, pinto, navy, etc.) are fine.  My one exception to frozen green vegetables is green beans.  I am a devotee of southern, long cooked green beans.  I get fresh when they are good, but canned works much better than frozen for this.  I detest crunchy green beans.  They must have every bit of resistance cooked out and a good bit of pork cooked in :laugh:  :laugh: .  Frozen green bean never, ever get tender and have a squeekiness that bothers me.

I think my seniors would agree with you on the green bean issue. They told me I didnt cook the frozen long enough. I was perplexed.

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The very day that home freezers were readily available and came with a freezer plan, my Mother bought one. I would almost rather starve than eat mixed frozen carrots and peas. Or mixed any vegetable combos.

I love fresh peas but how often do you find them?

Canned niblet corn is fine for soups, and such like.

Our dogs eat canned green beans in emergencies when I run out of pulped veggies for them. I suppose we could do share-zies.... :raz:

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The only thing green from cans that I'll use are pickled jalapenos, green olives and tomatillo salsa.

Other canned veggies that make an appearance in my pantry are beans (because I don't generally have the time to soak dried ones), tomatoes, corn, black olives, pumpkin, bamboo shoots and pumpkin. Oh, and the occasional can of canned mushrooms that I use in my MIL's pilaf recipe.

Typically if the veggie is too expensive to buy fresh, I'll choose frozen over canned first.

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It's funny this winter how empty the shelf I use for canned veg is. After spending the summer at the farmers market and freezing a lot of stuff I don't want canned any more. I never used to think about the winter but this year something clicked and now I bristle when the husband wants to pick up canned this and that. Of course I use canned tomatoes and a few others.

How we get into the canned food rut is funny sometimes. A friend told me recently how she puts a can of ranch beans with jalapenos into a pot of dried beans to give it a little kick every time she makes it. As I thought about this later, I realized how she has a great garden every year and wouldn't the same result be gotten with the addition of a fresh jalapeno, which I know she grows as I'm the recipent of a few bagfuls every year.

Another gal has raved over canned potatoes as long as I've known her, most recently over cannned cabbage which really I don't get. I can't think of anything simpler to prepare and that keeps a long time too.

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I just realized that we also prefer canned saurkraut to refrigerated because it has a stronger flavor. I know that a lot of people rinse it, but we like the kick.

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If I can't get fresh, I almost always go for frozen vegetables.  Canned tomatoes and beans (black, pinto, navy, etc.) are fine.  My one exception to frozen green vegetables is green beans.  I am a devotee of southern, long cooked green beans.  I get fresh when they are good, but canned works much better than frozen for this.  I detest crunchy green beans.  They must have every bit of resistance cooked out and a good bit of pork cooked in :laugh:  :laugh: .  Frozen green bean never, ever get tender and have a squeekiness that bothers me.

I think my seniors would agree with you on the green bean issue. They told me I didnt cook the frozen long enough. I was perplexed.

I love crunchy green beans having grown up in a home where any recognizable vegetable had clearly not been cooked long enough! I thought mushrooms grew in cans! But I digress. In Molly Stevens "All about Braising", she has a wonderful recipe for end of the garden green beans- those beans that have stayed on the vine WAY too long- it involves fresh tomatoes, anchovies and braising and is my new go to favorite. The beans just kind of melt into this wonderful luscious goodness-YUM!


Edited by NWKate (log)

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This thread inspired me. This morning I did an inventory of my pantry. WOW.

I found 15 year old black olives, 8 yo Pumpkin puree, and so on.

It seems that the real stock of canned goods were tomatoes, peppers [jalapenos], tuna a few things like hearts of palms, and coconut milk. Also some things that I don't want to make like Thai Curry pastes. I expected to find hominy but there was none so I'll have to pick some up [yes I know that the product that I cook will be better but , you know].

Most every thing else is dry goods like grain , beans, and pasta.

Reckon its time to throw the pumpkin and Olives out; don't you think?

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for the longest time, i preferred canned haricot verts to fresh ones. i cant really say ive switched sides on the issue - its just a different vegetable than fresh ones. different appeal. as much as i love the crispy fresh sweetness of fresh ones, i also love the mushiness and slight pickled taste of canned haricot verts.

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If I can't get fresh, I almost always go for frozen vegetables.  Canned tomatoes and beans (black, pinto, navy, etc.) are fine.  My one exception to frozen green vegetables is green beans.  I am a devotee of southern, long cooked green beans.  I get fresh when they are good, but canned works much better than frozen for this.  I detest crunchy green beans.  They must have every bit of resistance cooked out and a good bit of pork cooked in :laugh:  :laugh: .  Frozen green bean never, ever get tender and have a squeekiness that bothers me.

If I can't get fresh, I almost always go for frozen vegetables.  Canned tomatoes and beans (black, pinto, navy, etc.) are fine.  My one exception to frozen green vegetables is green beans.  I am a devotee of southern, long cooked green beans.  I get fresh when they are good, but canned works much better than frozen for this.  I detest crunchy green beans.  They must have every bit of resistance cooked out and a good bit of pork cooked in :laugh:  :laugh: .  Frozen green bean never, ever get tender and have a squeekiness that bothers me.

I think my seniors would agree with you on the green bean issue. They told me I didnt cook the frozen long enough. I was perplexed.

I make Southern style green beans using cut, frozen beans.

I cook some bacon, then remove. Saute onions in the bacon fat. Add in beans. Cover with chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cook. And cook. When tender, I add some brown sugar and a small splash of cider vinegar.

I LOVE the cut ones for this cause it makes for less work to get a bite sized green bean.

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The only canned stuff I use regularly other than tomatoes are beans - the high level of sodium in most brands scares me, but there are some organic labels that have no added sodium and I think they taste fine. I've actually never soaked dried beans (more because I don't plan ahead than any other reason) and am curious - is there a noticeable difference in taste?

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Canned tomatoes are a staple. I couldn't cook without them. Not that they'd replace fresh in many instances, but in just as many others, they're preferable.

Canned beans are also a staple. I actually prefer them to fresh (dried and cooked), but maybe its because I've never learned how to cook dried beans. My mom never made them, so until I attempted them as an adult, I never had them. I prefer the texture of the canned. My dried and cooked beans are either a) too mushy or b) too crunchy. I'm still trying to master them, though.

Canned (not marinated) artichoke hearts are good to add to braises and pasta sauces. They're also a staple. Jarred (and marinated) 'choke hearts also have a place in my pantry.

Canned cream corn is a comfort food I sometimes simply must have.

All other canned veggies are evil. Bland, mushy, overly processed evil ick.

Canned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts have an off taste that I can't tolerate any longer after having tasted dishes made with fresh.

Canned sauerkraut is just nasty and should be banned. Only the fresh, refrigerated stuff in the glass jars is acceptable. And since I have sauerkraut juice running in my veins, you know I speak the truth.

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If I can't get fresh, I almost always go for frozen vegetables.  Canned tomatoes and beans (black, pinto, navy, etc.) are fine.  My one exception to frozen green vegetables is green beans.  I am a devotee of southern, long cooked green beans.  I get fresh when they are good, but canned works much better than frozen for this.  I detest crunchy green beans.  They must have every bit of resistance cooked out and a good bit of pork cooked in :laugh:  :laugh: .  Frozen green bean never, ever get tender and have a squeekiness that bothers me.

This is the case in point that made start this topic. I just tried cooking some fresh green beans (actually haricots verts), braised for 20 minutes and they were very soft, no squeaking, and best of all, no nasty canned taste. If you really wanted them softer, I'm sure another 10 or 20 minutes would've done the trick.

Essentially, canned goods were the only game in town for over 100 years, and people got used to eating them.

Bingo. Now that we're living in the 21st Century, let's give up the outdated relic of canned green beans.

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I buy canned corn in Japan when I just want a little corn. Frozen corn sucks, and an (yes, that's one) ear of corn is Y200 while I can get a can for Y100. I only buy ears when I want to make pork corn balls or when I have a craving for corn on the cob.

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I have pretty much purged my pantry of canned products, except for the mentioned staples(tomatoes, tomato paste), I may use a can of corn and canned jalapenos for cornbread, or maybe a can of crushed pineapple for a bbq sauce or to make a glaze for pork, but I have, (thanks you Ruhlman) no longer buy broth,stock, etc. in a can or a box. I think most canned goods are probably best used by taking them to a food bank.


Edited by franktex (log)

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I have found canned corn, especially Niblets, to be more consistent and reliable than frozen corn, so I keep it in the cupboard. 

Tiny Le Seur peas are a unique product and a good transformation, but not that easy to  find.

Sauerkraut in cans is another mainstay, and the imported cans are usually better than packaged kraut in the cooler.

Canned peaches or pears are another good transformation, so I keep them at hand, even if used only twice a year.

Canned corn and LeSeur peas -- those are the 2 canned vegetables I keep on hand, too (well, and tomatoes).

LeSeur peas are a bit mushy, but they're traditional around here and I like to make roux peas with them. (Saute a little minced onion in butter until softened but not browned; add flour to make a blonde roux; then add the peas from the can, liquid and all.)

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