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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Posted on December 12, 2010, in Food For Thought Sundays and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Mm. I have actually been trying to incorporate more fish into my diet. I have always been nervous for sardines (just because I thought they always had heads). I’m going to have to get some cans when I get home then.

  2. I love sardines… especially Brunswick – I love the flavors! :D

    I like them on saltines… oh so good. but I may have to try some of these ways too!

  3. I don’t eat sardines now, or at least I don’t go out of my way but I’m sure I’d be okay with them. When I was younger though I went through a time when I ate them everyday. I loved them then all of a sudden I didn’t anymore.

  4. No possible way i will EVER be eating sardines; the smell alone but I digress. They are actually “recommended” for pregnant women, ie. the low mercury, and high protein content as well as the DHA (like salmon has). Unlike tuna which has tons of mercury and not as much DHA. So there’s your random trivia du jour…and during my preg I glossed over most of these facts b/c I wasnt gonna eat em anyway…ha!

  5. i do love sardines. so many people are squeamish about them! and, like you, i eat the brunswick brand. i’ll think of you every time i crack open a tin!

  6. I’ve never had them before, I guess I am part of the stereotype hehe.

  7. I think you’ve actually convinced me to give sardines a shot! I’ll probably try them in the pizza form smothered under cheese and veggies … if I can’t see them, then I can’t think about how I’m eating them.

  8. I will hang in there on sardines for ya! I actually used to love them when I was a kid (along with liverwurst, but not together because then that would be gross). I’m vowing to eat a little more adventurously in 2011 so sardines and anchovies are on the list. Thanks for the suggestions!

  9. I prefer anchovies, but sardines are good in my book too! I love this sardine pate recipe http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/07/sardine-pate/

  10. I have never had sardines. I always glance at them when I’m picking up a couple of cans of tuna. Maybe I’ll grab a can the next time I’m at the store!

  11. I was terrified of these until Kath’s posts about them convinced me to finally give them a go. I really enjoyed them too – mine were mashed into a salad with Greek yogurt – sort of like tuna salad with lots of diced veggies in it. Yum!! :)

  12. hahah! love this! and I love sardines now :D

    xo

  13. I do eat them, but only the plain, packed in oil kind. Usually with rye bread. It’s actually a popular snack in Russia, where I lived until I was 10, so they don’t gross me out at all. And I am super easily grossed out. I think if one tries sardines with an open mind, one will find them tasty.

  14. don’t you need omega 3 and 6 combined? I’ve been trained in ANP supplements and apparently if you just intake omega 3’s, it can cause your skin to become very dry!

  15. Ooops…don’t know what I did there with my comment. lol

    I have never tried sardines, but I may have used them in a prank when I was younger. ;P I kind of get grossed out by the skin and bones. Plus an ex-boyfriend of mine used to eat them and I remember the smell when the can was opened. :( Maybe one day I’ll be brave…

  16. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten into sardines in the past few months. I like to bring salads to work and top them with canned sardines. Still not sure if I LOVE the taste, but the extra protein can’t hurt.

    • Yeah, of all the fish out there, not sure how high up sardines would be on my preference list for taste. But their texture is probably my favourite of all of them :)

  17. i know they are SUPER healthy! but I haven’t brought myself to try them yet. Something abotu small fish in a can scare me lol

  18. I LOVE SARDINES! You know one of my favorite ways to eat sardines would have to be heated with a teaspoon of peanut butter mixed in then a load of steamed veggies mixed in to. I know I say sound crazy but I guarantee you’ll love it! x x

  19. P.S Adding some rice noodles to the mix is pretty damn good too! x x

  20. I love sardines. I buy that brand here in Australia too, i like the tomato flavour. I just like having it on toast :)

  21. This is the one time I’m happy I’m allergic to seafood LOL! Sorry!!!

    Jen

  22. i’ve never had sardines but i’ve got to be honest that i HATE how you have to ask to keep them off greek salads. i feel like it’s standard that you should have to ask to put them ON not keep them off. hahaha just a little rant.

  23. Love them! My favourite is the mustard flavour just mashed up and eated as a salad topping. I’ve never tried the tomato flavour but now I want to!

  24. i am still going to need more convincing.

    i am sorry.

    but they totally skeeve me out.

  1. Pingback: The Best Pancake I’ve Ever Had | The Great Balancing Act

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