Rushden dietitian talks tinned foods as she shares more of her knowledge on eating well during the pandemic

Whether it is tinned fruit, vegetables or other foods, Dr Blades say they are good to have as store cupboard staples
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An expert on diet and nutrition says having some tinned foods in your cupboard is good to tide you over if restrictions are stopping you getting to the shops.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a PhD in diet and diabetes.

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She has her own business, Nutrition and Dietetic Services, after working in the NHS for many years and now does consultancy as well as writing books.

Dr Blades says tinned foods are good to have in the cupboard to tide you over if you can't get to the shopsDr Blades says tinned foods are good to have in the cupboard to tide you over if you can't get to the shops
Dr Blades says tinned foods are good to have in the cupboard to tide you over if you can't get to the shops

Dr Blades has been sharing her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph in recent months, helping us make good use of the food in our cupboards and offering advice on getting a balanced diet during the pandemic.

This week she is talking about how to make the best use of tinned foods in your cupboard.

Dr Mabel Blades told the Northants Telegraph: "Canned or tinned foods are good store cupboard staples to tide you over the times when you cannot get to the shops."

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When it comes to storing and using them, Dr Blades says normally cans are stored at room temperature so can be stored in dry cupboards.

But when it comes to selecting cans, Dr Blades says there are several things to look out for.

She says do not choose cans with:

- swelling and/or leakage

- rust and scratches

- broken tamper-evident seals

- dents or damage

- damaged seams (joins)

And she recommends rotating food in your pantry by using older stock first.

When it comes to the best before date, the Food Standards Agency says: “The best before date is about quality and not safety."

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And Dr Blades added that the food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best, its flavour and texture might not be as good.

With canned fruits, she says canned fruit contains the fibre and some of the vitamins and most of the minerals that are found in fresh items.

Dr Blades said: "Cans of peaches, pineapple, mandarin, apples to mention but a few are lovely with yogurt, jelly or in crumbles or sponges for desserts.

"Canned prunes are helpful pureed as they give a really good texture in puddings and cakes and I did a recipe for a Christmas pudding with them.

"Canned vegetables are also useful standbys.

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"Chickpeas and butter beans can be made into hummus which can be flavoured with garlic, lemon or chilli.

"Chickpeas make a fabulous curry with a can of tomatoes and spices, onions and peppers.

"Red kidney beans or indeed any type of bean is useful in chillies.

"Canned lentils and mixed beans can be used in hotpots and soups.

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"Canned beans can be the basis of a salad with sweetcorn and a vinaigrette."

Dr Blades recommends this website for more recipes.

If you have a question relating to food, nutrition and eating well during lockdown, email your question to [email protected] and we will put it to Dr Blades.

To follow Dr Blades on Twitter, search for @blades_mabel.

And to read Dr Blades' previous piece on Vitamin D, click here.

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