Can blanks be useful?

Canned foods Can blanks be useful?

Canned foods are accused of all sins: it is believed that they contain a lot of salt and sugar, which are harmful to health; if the jar is metal, then the food is toxic, and the blanks can be stored forever. Is it? We understand and share recipes for homemade canned food that will not harm your health.

And yet, is blanks harmful or beneficial?

We have repeatedly written that dividing products into exclusively useful and harmful is not worth it – this is fraught with eating disorders. It is better to be guided by the recommendations of reputable communities and eat a balanced diet [1]. 

In most preparations, the quality is maintained due to sterilization, but at the same time, the products do not lose their nutritional value [2]. However, we are talking about those processed at their peak – this is done so that the nutritional quality and freshness are not affected: for example, this happens with canned tomatoes or tuna, as well as frozen fruits or vegetables.

In order not to deny yourself canned food, remember:

  • Free sugars should be no more than 10% of total calories per day and preferably less than 5% [3];
  • Salt should also be consumed in moderation: no more than 5 g per day (⅔ teaspoon); this is equivalent to 2 g of sodium [4].

And do not believe the horror stories about GMOs – such products undergo serious testing, after which they are considered safe.

Canned foods
Can blanks be useful?

What about metal cans?

There is an opinion that the metal packaging of canned foods is no less harmful than the contents: the jar reacts with it, oxidizes, and toxic substances poison the body. It is just another myth.  

The only danger of cans is the reputation of “eternal food.” Canned foods, like anything else, have an expiration date, and if an expired jar is left on the table, it is fraught with botulism, a serious disease caused by a toxin that affects the nerves. Its symptoms are difficulty breathing and muscle paralysis, and especially severe cases can lead to death. The toxin is most often produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, and improperly preserved foods, including those that have expired, can create favorable conditions for these microorganisms. The danger is that you cannot see, smell or taste the toxin, but even a small dose of it can be fatal [5]. 

Canned foods
Can blanks be useful?

You can protect yourself if you follow the following rules:

  • Always use proper canning methods;
  • If you doubt the quality of canned foods, throw them away: cloudy contents, a swollen lid, or an unpleasant odor should alert you;
  • Never try canned foods of dubious quality to check their safety.

What about recipes?

Here are some homemade recipes that will delight you in the fall and winter. Most importantly, remember that everything needs a measure, and in cooking – also compliance with technology.

Soaked apples with cabbage

(per 100 g: proteins 1.4 g; fats 0.1 g; carbohydrates 5.2 g; 25 kcal)

What do you need: 

  • apples – 5 kg
  • white cabbage – 10 kg
  • carrots – 1 kg
  • cranberries – 2 handfuls
  • cumin – 3 tbsp. l.
  • salt – 270 g
  • water – 5 l
Can blanks be useful?
Canned foods

How to cook: 

  1. Chop cabbage, grate carrots on a coarse grater, mix everything in a separate container, and add cumin and 200 g of salt.
  2. Place a layer of cabbage on the bottom of the pickling container, and tamp tightly until juice appears.
  3. Put a layer of apples on top. Repeat the layers, filling the container space; the top layer should be cabbage.
  4. Dissolve 70 g of salt in water, pour apples with cabbage, put a load on top, and put in a cool dark place. Soaked apples will be ready in four weeks.

Pickled Onion Tomatoes

(per 100 g: proteins 1.6 g; fats 0.3 g; carbohydrates 7 g; 32 kcal)

What do you need:

  • plum-shaped tomatoes – 3 kg
  • white onion – 300 g
  • garlic – 30 g
  • dill – 10 g
  • parsley – 10 g
  • basil – 10 g
  • vegetable oil – 20 g

For marinade:

  • drinking water – 3 l
  • vinegar – 7 ml
  • sugar – 110 g
  • allspice – 10 peas
  • bay leaf – 2 pieces
  • hot red ground pepper – 5 g
  • salt – 45 g
Can blanks be useful?
Canned foods

How to cook:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a saucepan, bring to a boil and wait until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Cool down to 50 °C. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water, transfer to ice water and peel.
  3. Cut lengthwise into quarters, and put in jars.
  4. Peel the onion, and cut it into thin half rings. Crush the garlic and peel.
  5. Coarsely chop the greens.
  6. Add garlic, onion, and greens to tomatoes, pour oil, and marinade.
  7. Cool completely and put in a cold place for two days.

Adjika, without cooking for the winter

per 100 g: proteins 1.8 g; fats 0.2 g; carbohydrates 7.3 g; 39 kcal)

What do you need:

  • ripe tomatoes – 2 kg
  • sweet pepper – 1 kg
  • garlic – 300 g
  • hot pepper – 4-7 pieces
  • salt – 1 tbsp. l. 
  • greens (dill and parsley, cilantro optional) – 1 bunch
  • sugar – 1 tbsp. l. 
  • vinegar 9% – 5 tbsp. l.
Can blanks be useful?
Canned foods

How to cook:

  1. Wash and dry the ingredients.
  2. Peel and cut tomatoes and sweet peppers.
  3. Remove the tails from the sharp one.
  4. Peel the garlic. Peel and cut the vegetables, and place the prepared ingredients in the blender bowl. Grind until smooth.
  5. Add salt and finely chopped greens and mix with a spoon.
  6. Keep adjika for one or two days at room temperature, so the mixture ferments. Then transfer to sterilized jars and store in a cellar or refrigerator for further storage. 

Vanilla Pear with Sugar-Free Pecan

(per 100 g: proteins 4.2 g; fats 15 g; carbohydrates 23.2 g; 224 kcal)

What do you need:

  • pears – 1 kg 
  • pecan – 100 g
  • drinking water – 300 ml
  • One vanilla pod
  • stevia – 1 tsp 
  • agar-agar – 1-2 tsp 
  • cognac – 4 tbsp. l. 
Can blanks be useful?
Canned foods

How to cook:

  1. Lightly dry the halves of the nuts and fry in a dry frying pan until a pleasant smell appears.
  2. Pour water into a wide saucepan, 2 tbsp. l cognac, add stevia.
  3. Peel the pears from the peel and seed pods, cut them into quarters, then each quarter into thin slices.
  4. Place in a bowl with water. Let stand for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Put on the stove, add the vanilla pod and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Turn off the heat and leave for 30 minutes, then boil for 10 minutes. The pear slices should remain intact and become translucent.
  7. Set aside a quarter of the slices of pears, remove the vanilla pod, divide it in half lengthwise and, scrape out the seeds with the blunt end of a knife, return to the broth with pears.
  8. Puree with a blender until smooth.
  9. Return puree to heat. Add agar-agar to almost ready jam, and boil for another minute. Remove from fire.
  10. Add another spoonful of agar-agar, the remaining cognac, the remaining slices of pears, and pecans to the hot jam, pour into sterilized dry jars, and close.

Beet marmalade

(per 100 g: proteins 1.7 g; fats 0.1 g; carbohydrates 32.4 g; 136.6 kcal)

What do you need:

  • beets – 3-4 pieces
  • lime – 1 piece
  • brown sugar – 100 g
  • ginger – 1 tbsp. l.
  • juniper berries – 4 pieces

How to cook:

  1. Wash the beets, wrap them in foil, and bake in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour, then let cool in the oven.
  2. Ready beets should be easily pierced with a knife. Clean and grind with a blender. Ginger grate on a fine grater.
  3. Peel the zest from the lime and squeeze out the juice.
  4. In a saucepan, combine the beet puree, brown sugar, grated ginger, lime juice and zest, and juniper berries.
  5. Bring marmalade to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring gently. Put the marmalade hot into jars and sterilize in boiling water.

In summer, you need not only to prepare the sled but also roll up jars of fruits and vegetables. In the season, they are inexpensive, and, subject to technology, they are stored for a long time to delight you on gloomy autumn and winter evenings.


  1. Canada’s food guide.
  2. What should you know about processed foods / Mayo clinic.
  3. Sugar Guidelines for Children and Adults / World Health Organization.
  4. Sodium Intake Guide / World Health Organization.
  5. Home Canning and Botulism / CDC.


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