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The Tasty Truth about Tinned Fish

Canned Seafood on Cutting Board with Tomatoes and Spices

The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a recipe calling for tinned mackerel of all things. Up until that point, my culinary experience with tinned fish was limited to the occasional tuna fish sandwich.

Little did I know, this simple and delicious recipe for Mackerel Pesto Pasta would become the catalyst for my newfound fascination with the wonderful world of tinned seafood—a nutritious, flavorful, convenient, and economical protein solution for any meal.

Before diving any deeper, it’s important to understand what “tinned seafood” is. Commonly referred to as “canned seafood or fish,” tinned fish is seafood that is packaged, sealed and preserved in tin cans or containers. It is shelf stable, loaded with nutritional value, just like fresh seafood, and available in the Grocery Department at your local Heinen’s. Tinned tuna is among the most well-known varieties of tinned fish, but at Heinen’s, you can also find tinned anchovies, salmon and sardines!

Due to its impressive omega-3 fatty acid profile—namely EPA and DHA—a recommendation was put into place to eat two to three 4-ounce servings of seafood per week. These omega-3 fats can potentially benefit your health by supporting:

  • Lower triglyceride levels
  • Higher “good” HDL cholesterol, which removes other forms of cholesterol from the bloodstream.
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced inflammation
  • A healthy brain and improvement in symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and age-related mental decline
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels

The following omega-3-rich varieties of tinned seafood at your local Heinen’s can help you reach this goal and reap the amazing benefits that go along with it.

Sea Tales Anchovies

Sea Tales Wild Anchovies

Anchovies are small, fatty fish best enjoyed as part of a meal to balance their strong taste. Umami—more commonly known as savory—is a taste that’s unique to anchovies and other foods like soy sauce, mushrooms and cheese.

Try anchovies on Caesar salad, layered atop Caprese Stuffed Garlic Butter Portobello Mushrooms, or added to grilled vegetables for a quick meal on busy nights!

Kirll Arctic Antarctic Krill Meat

Krill Arctic Antarctic Krill Meat

Antarctic krill are small crustaceans harvested in the pristine waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Krill Arctic’s freshly caught krill are cleaned and processed on board their factory vessel within 3-4 hours to maintain maximum taste and nutritional value.

Krill has a delicate texture and mild flavor, like shrimp or lobster. It can be used as a primary or complementary ingredient in several recipes including dipping sauces, salads, spreads, soups, pizza, sushi, burgers and more!

King Oscar Mackerel

King Oscar Mackerel

Sustainably wild-caught in the ice-cold waters of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, King Oscar mackerel is a smaller species with a tender texture and mild taste. Smaller fish are lower on the food chain, which means they are less likely to contain contaminants like mercury.

Boneless and skinless, these small, juicy fillets make the perfect Fx™-approved protein for fresh salads, topping for baked potatoes or pasta addition.

Wild Planet Wild Sockeye or Wild Pink Salmon

While both are rich in omega-3 fats, wild sockeye salmon contains a higher percentage of these essential anti-inflammatory fats and has a richer, fishier flavor. If you’re looking for something on the milder side, opt for pink salmon instead.

Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon

There are so many ways to get creative using tinned salmon in meals and snacks:

  • Build an Fx™-approved, sushi-style dinner bowl with Heinen’s brown rice, a can of Wild Planet sockeye salmon, sliced avocado, fresh grated ginger, two sheets of crumbled SeaSnax (roasted seaweed) and a splash of Bragg liquid aminos.
  • Upgrade traditional cobb salads by replacing chicken with Wild Planet pink salmon.
  • Mix with two Tbsp. of Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayonnaise and use as a dip for raw veggies.

Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Water with Salt

Wild Planet Sardines in Water with Sea Salt

Sardines are nutritional powerhouses with a delicious mild flavor and firm meaty texture. Wild Planet sardines are scale-free fish sustainably harvested in the North Pacific Ocean in Japan. One can will supply 18 grams of protein and meet 70% of your vitamin D and 15% of your calcium needs for the day.

Try them over Fx™-approved Lucini marinara sauce served on a bed of zucchini noodles from Heinen’s Produce Department.

Sea Tales Solid Light Skipjack Tuna in Water

Sea Tales Wild Albacore or Wild Skip Jack in Water

Albacore tuna is firm and meaty, with a mild flavor, while skipjack is a bit softer and has a more intense taste. Whatever your preference, here are some simple and nutritious ways to enjoy tuna that you may not have considered.

  • Turn up the heat on traditional tuna salad with Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime avocado oil mayonnaise. Serve on Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted bread and you’ve got an Fx™-approved lunch you can feel good eating!
  • Add to pasta salad or mix into mac and cheese.
  • Make this blood sugar-friendly Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole for dinner tonight.

Freshe Tuna

Freshé Tuna

Freshé meals offers ready-to-eat, globally inspired small meals with vibrant superfoods, savory herbs and spices and certified sustainable wild skipjack tuna. Choose from Freshé’s many flavors, including Sicilian Caponata, Provence Niçoise, Aztec Ensalada and Thai Sriracha.

Enjoy it right out of the BPA-free tin, rolled up in a Siete almond flour tortilla or stuffed inside a whole grain Ezekiel pita with a handful of Great Lakes Growers Sweet Crispy Blend lettuce and broccoli sprouts!

Key Takeaway

Make your meals more nutritious and delicious with one or more of the above tinned varieties available at your local Heinen’s and enjoy the many health benefits that seafood has to offer. It’s that simple!

Melanie Jatsek
By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD
Heinen's Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. As a publlished author with over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking, Melanie offers expert guidance through Heinen's Club Fx program to help customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in without giving up their favorite foods.

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