How to Cook and Eat Canned Sardines? Recipes, Shelf life

Canned fish go a long way in human history. Salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, etc are the fish that are commonly used for canning. Canned sardines have always been popular for their cheap price, ease of availability, and health benefits. Let us take a detailed look at the different ways to consume canned sardines, their health effects, recipes, and so on:

how to eat canned sardines

How well do you know the Sardines?

Sardines are said to be a group of fish, very small in size and very oily. They are said to be rich in several nutrients and hence very beneficial for health. Sardines are mostly consumed in their canned form, but they can also be consumed fresh by grilling or frying. They are also forage fish that are eaten by bigger fish. Since sardines belong in the lower levels of the food chain, they contain fewer traces of mercury or other pollutants.

“Packed like Sardines”

This is a common phrase that has been popular for a long time. It simply throws light on how the sardines are being packed in their cans. Tightly packed inside small cans, they will be found submerged in water, oil, or a sauce of some kind. The head of these fishes is usually removed before being packed into the cans. Their skin and bones will remain, which counts for the several health benefits. Here comes one of the common queries regarding the consumption of canned Sardines is: Do canned Sardines have bones? The answer is yes and no. This is because there are boneless versions of canned sardines available in the market. But the bones of this fish are perfectly edible if you choose the ones with bones. The bones will be soft and perfect to be eaten. It is no chemical process that makes the bones soft. Rather, the cans will be acting as a pressure-contained cooker once they are heated to avoid the growth of unwanted germs. The heat will make the bones of Sardines packed close inside to become soft and tender. It is also worth pointing out that the bones are a good source of calcium.

Before being packed, these fishes are normally dried after being cooked by some method, either frying or steaming. Hence, they can also be consumed just out of the tins. Just grab one from the can, place it on the top of bread, and you have a nutritious meal ready.

Can you eat canned sardines every day?

It is said that there are several health-conscious people around the globe, who include Sardines in their everyday diet. This is because of the contents of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and good fat in the fish. They are said to improve heart health, bone strength and it is even a preferred food for those suffering from depression.

The several minerals present in Sardines include potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, etc. These are effective in improving metabolism, nervous functioning, and other activities inside the human body.

The Omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish are excellent for cell formation in the human body. They are also effective in managing cholesterol levels, improving your immunity, and for brain and heart health. It can reduce the blood sugar level and keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay. The Omega 3 fatty acids are not produced inside our body and need to be consumed through the food we eat. Hence, Sardines can be your best choice in a nutrient-rich meal.

Master chef-ing with some Canned Sardines

As we discussed earlier canned Sardines can be the quickest bite you can have. Straight out from the can to your mouth or on a toast or cracker, they can be just the right food. But, there are a number of different preparations including canned sardines. Most people see sardines as a cheap ingredient or it is even dreaded by many in the younger generations. Hence, it is important to point out that these humble canned fish can be made good use of in luxurious meals. Here are a few recipes with canned Sardines as the major ingredient:

  • Healthy start with canned Sardine salads: A number of different salad recipes with canned Sardines are available online. They can be paired well with cheese, chickpeas, and all kinds of veggies you like. Check out the Sardine Salad with Chickpeas and Feta by Sara Kate Gillingham. This will be a refreshing twist to the canned Sardines.
  • An Italian twist to the canned Sardines: When you crave Italian food but also want some Mediterranean drip to it, introduce the canned Sardines. There are numerous recipes to make Spaghetti and many contain different types of canned fish. Sardines are also a fair choice to make your Spaghetti taste like the ocean. The Mediterranean Sardine Pasta with Lemon, Capers, and Chili Flakes by Tori Avey is a great choice for your Italian-Mediterranean meal.
  • Sandwich some Sardines: Sandwiches are the go-to option for many. This is mainly because they are handy and there is no drama involved in eating them. So, what is more, suitable than the easy-to-eat Canned Sardines to go into a sandwich? You can simply mix in some mayonnaise and make a spread with the canned fish to jam your bread together. Throw in some veggies to add a crunch. But how can we make it look and taste like a gourmet meal? Try this Sardine Sandwich with Crunchy Fennel Slaw by Amelia Rampe.

There are several recipes for Sardine rice bowls, Canned Sardine masala, etc from different cooking enthusiasts from around the globe. You should also try out the super humble recipes like Sardines in Lemon Thyme oil, which does not require a range of ingredients.

The shelf life of Canned Sardines

It is right to point out that the process of preserving food itself is to extend the shelf life of products. But you still see an expiry date to these tinned/canned products. What does this mean? This only shows that the product will remain in the best quality till the mentioned date. They will remain preserved well for several years after that, but it is very important to check if the container remains undamaged and stored in suitable conditions. Canned Sardines can stay unopened for 3-5 years or even more if kept in the best circumstances. If opened, they would need to be refrigerated after being tightly packed in another cover or container. It is safe to give it another 4-5 days when being refrigerated and tightly packed.

Throughout this article, we openly discussed the health benefits, recipes, and shelf life of canned Sardines. An important point to keep in mind is regarding the cans in which these oily fish is being preserved. BPA or Bisphenol A is a toxic chemical that is used in the can material. The risk of cancer and other diseases is high for this chemical which has been listed by several authorities and agencies. The chemical will enter food from the inner linings of the can. Hence, look for safe brands that use BPA-free cans. Also, those with kidney stones or gout pains should avoid consuming canned Sardines.

Canned Sardines are shunned by many for their humble origins, cheap price, and moreover the strong “fishy” flavor. Give it a try and see how this tiny, oily fish surprises you with its flavor and texture. Say “Hola” to canned Sardines!

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