Daily Archives: December 12, 2010

Food For Thought Sundays: Sardines

Wait! Don’t click away yet! I know a lot of people get the heebie-jeebies from sardines. But you must hear me out ;)

You actually have Kristin to thank this week’s Food For Thought topic. We were discussing sardines today whilst eating the world’s best pancakes. Alas, the pancakes will have to wait for another day. I’m doing this for your own good.

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First, let’s go over why they’re so awesome. Sardines are one of the best foods out there for Omega 3 fatty acids (behind flax, walnuts and salmon).

Fast facts about Omega 3:

  • It’s an essential fatty acid, meaning our body requires it but can only get it through nutrition.
  • Helps sweep cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
  • Heart disease is the number one cause of death in North America, so nothing to be taken lightly.

Sardines also have as much calcium as yogurt along with a hefty dose of Vitamin D to naturally help absorption.

Sardines are also a fantastic source of Vitamin B12. The most important function of B12 is its role in the formation of red blood cells. It’s found mostly in meats and many vegetarians are deficient in it. Not good.

Now, let’s talk about how you can eat it!

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I am partial to Brunswick Sardines because they come in fun flavours, but also my home province!

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You should be able to find these in many grocery stores around the world – they have a fairly wide distribution.

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One whole can is only 140 calories, 7g fat, 16g protein. This particular one is high in sodium because of the flavouring. Keep an eye out for water-packed cans, they should be lower in sodium.

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It’s also important to know most brands of sardines don’t come with the heads. Just wanted to make that clear, as some people think they do! If that were the case, then I would agree that they’re gross.

I usually mash the fish up right away in the can. You honestly can’t detect any hint of scales or bones when you mash it up. And it’s important to keep those bones in to get the calcium!

My favourite way to eat the tomato sardines is as a base for pita pizzas.

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Melt cheese on anything, and it immediately becomes delicious.

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Like the above plain sardine melt with oregano, chives, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Brunswick also carries a mustard flavour. It makes for a great spread on crackers with some capers and green onion.

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Or with tomato and hummus on a bun…

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My favourite way to eat sardines? Mashed with cream cheese and used as a spread on a sandwich with turkey.

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It adds an amazing dimension of rich flavour to an otherwise boring poultry sandwich.

Sardines are also low in mercury, so they make for a great tuna replacement. Canned sardines are of course the most available, but they’re great fresh too!

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Like topped in pickled onions and pine nuts. Much milder than the canned variety.

So there you have it! A bunch of reasons to give sardines a try if you aren’t already. Remember, sometimes it isn’t about removing stuff from your diet, but rather adding some better stuff in ;)

Question of the Day: Do you eat sardines? What’s your favourite way to have them?

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