Friday, February 21, 2014

"Tasty Turkey Chili" For "National Canned Food Month"

February is, “National Canned Food Month.” Is fresh food better than canned food? Studies show that canned foods are just as nutritional as fresh foods. Fresh foods begin losing vitamins as soon as they are picked, and often sit in warehouses or in transit for as long as two weeks before they find their way into the market to sit even longer waiting to be purchased. Canned foods are harvested at their peak of ripeness and normally cooked and processed from the source within hours, thus preserving more vitamins than their fresh counterparts.

Over 1,500 food products are available in cans.  Most canned foods are also now available in low-salt, no-salt, low-sugar, and no-sugar preparations for those with special dietary needs and/or those who want a more natural flavor. Now, as you know I am an advocate for fresh fruits and vegetables, but there are some things that you need to eat that come from cans. When I was growing up my family used canned foods a lot. At that time, (1950-1970) they did not have all of the fresh or organic fruits and veggies that they have today. Frozen foods were not readily available either at that time. Some of these items were what you would have called “off season.” So that is why canned foods were used more often. Foods in a can have a longer shelf life especially with canned soups and vegetables. What was a grilled cheese sandwich without a bowl of hot Campbell’s tomato soup? Or what would an Ambrosia Salad be without your cans of fruit?

We know that canning is a way of processing and preserving food to extend its shelf life. This is done by using a method of sealing foods in an airtight container. A cans typical shelf life ranges from one to five years. In the late 18th century in France, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was concerned about keeping his armies fed and offered a cash prize to whoever could develop a method of food preservation. After 15 years of experimentation a man by the name of Nicholas Appert came up with the idea of an airtight container so the food would not spoil. He used glass jars sealed with corks held in place with wire. In 1812, Thomas Kensett who immigrated to the United States, opened New York’s first canning facility for meats, fruits, and vegetables. At that time the cans were made of tin, now in 2014 today’s cans are made of 100% recyclable steel. Canned foods still remain an essential part of your modern day pantry. 

Some Canned Food Trivia For Fun:

1. Did you know that the “Can Opener” was invented 48 years after cans were introduced?  Most people feel they still haven’t invented one that works all the time.

2. Almost 200 Billion cans of food are produced in the world each year. 

3. The Hormel Company of Austin, Minnesota sold the first canned ham in 1926.

4. What a story! A 40-year old can of corn was found in the basement of a home in California. The canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.

5. Did you know the most common food found in a can are baked beans, canned sardines, canned tuna, Pineapple, Vienna Sausage, Tomato soup, and last but not least Spam? 

Tasty Turkey Chili” is my recipe this week. A perfect dish to celebrate “National Canned Foods Month.” The combination of all the ingredients mixed together is harmonious in your mouth. Nothing beats a bowl of chili on a cool evening. This hearty recipe is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. This easy chili made with ground turkey not only tastes good, it's also a heart healthy meal. Feel free to make it ahead and reheat. It's even better the next day. I hope you all enjoy and don’t forget to buy some extra canned goods for your local Food Pantry, which will help some people to eat a meal that can’t afford to. Thank you….

"Tasty Turkey Chili"

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 large onion
2 tbsp corn oil
1-1/4 pounds fresh ground turkey
2 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 15-ounce can black beans
1 (14-1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice, un-drained
1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste
1 (14-1/2 ounces) can chicken broth (low salt)
1 can of corn kernels
4 green onions (scallions)

Peel and chop onion. Pour oil into Dutch oven or large saucepan. Place pot on burner. Turn heat to medium. Heat oil for 1 minute. Add onions to hot oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, for 5 minutes, or until onion is almost clear. Add ground turkey to pot. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up large pieces. Brown turkey for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in garlic, chili powder, black pepper, and cumin until well combined. Open cans of pinto and black beans. Pour both into large strainer. Place strainer under cold running water. Rinse beans thoroughly and drain. With wooden spoon, stir beans, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, chicken broth, and corn into pot. Heat 5 to 7 minutes, or until thoroughly hot, stirring often. Rinse and slice green portions of green onions. You should have about 1/2 cup. Stir green onions into pot. Remove from heat. Ladle hot chili into bowls. Serve with green salad and cornbread. Enjoy….
Yield: 8 one-cup servings

Till Next Time………………………………...........

Copyright  © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved  


  1. Hi Dottie , love your post as usual , lots of good information ... and yes can foods or a staple in my home , as you said just as good and some are better . I do a lot of canning and freezing . What a great idea it was to remind people about the food pantry , we have food drives regularly and it feels good to know we are helping someone less fortunate than we are . Thanks so much for sharing :)

    1. Dearest Nee,
      Thank you so much for visiting my blog post...I agree, still use cans a lot, especially in the winter as you can't always go out to the store with the weather, so caned goods are a total staple. I always wanted to learn how to can veggies, but never had the opportunity. That is great if you can and then freeze them. Thanks, it is so important that we help our community and anytime I can I will post about food pantries and also about using local farmers markets..That I usually post in the Spring. You never know like you said how you are helping someone. I am so glad that you enjoyed this blog post!
      Blessings...Dottie :)

  2. Dear Dottie, Wonderful and informative as well.
    This chili looks delicious, especially for the cold weather that is back!
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  3. Dearest Catherine,
    Thank you so much for your kind words and stopping by. You are correct, Chili sounds really good for a cold day. Yes, the Polar Vortex is back, not as bad as the last one, but bad enough. Be safe and keep warm.. Blessings Dottie :)