Lately I have been eating this food on crackers, in salads, with pasta, on top of rice and by itself. It is high in omega 3’s, contains 30% of my calcium needs, an excellent source of vitamin B12 and selenium, a natural source of vitamin D, and packed with protein. Not to mention it is brown bag friendly and does not require refrigeration. Can you guess what it is?
Wait Wait! Don’t go yet. I know this salty protein may not be very popular, but it has loads of benefits and worth giving a chance. And my philosophy is, “Don’t knock it , till you try it……maybe 10-15 times”
If you are not used to eating a food it may take 10-15 times before you like it. When trying something new your taste buds may need to acclimate to the new flavor. The first time just take one bite, then the next time take just take two bites. Don’t force yourself to continue eating something you do not like because you will likely develop an aversion to it. Instead try preparing it in different ways and eventually you may develop a taste for it.
After learning about all the different health benefits of sardines and with the increasing price of wild salmon I had to give sardines a try. My first plunge into sardines was straight out of the can. Yep. Hardcore. I can’t say I would recommend this route. They are quite fishy and visually unappealing. But I did not give up hope.
I began searching out different brands of sardines. Did you know they are prepared in a variety of ways? You can find them packed in water, in virgin olive oil with lemon, in tomato sauce and even in cayenne pepper? I am sure there are even more ways but that is how I found them. My favorites were the ones packed in tomato sauce or in olive oil with lemon.
Next, I began looking for variety of preparation styles. I first went back to my Italian roots and prepared it with a pasta. It was a smart smart move. I combined my comfort food (pasta) with a food less familiar. By doing this I began to enjoy the sardine flavor. Even my husband liked it! If you are interested I used a recipe from Food52 (The one featured in the picture).
Then I continued to try sardines in a variety of ways. And you know what? I eventually developed a liking for these salty little fish. I even have a can of sardines in my desk at work (And yes, my co-workers think I am a little strange).
I have discovered my favorite way to eat sardines is in a salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. There is something about the balsamic flavor that brings out the best flavor in sardines. Including avocados and red onions is also a good bet.
My sister-in-law enjoys sardines best over rice. There are just so many ways to eat them
Now that I have you curious about sardines I also want to let you know they have very low mercury content compared to other fish because they are low on the food chain. Plus Pacific Sardines are a sustainable source of protein according to the Seafood Watch Program. It is a win-win. They are good for your body & sustainable for the planet. Plus, if you are eliminating dairy from your diet, sardines are an great way to get your calcium and vitamin D in. The next time you are in the grocery store give these little fish a try. As a bonus they are also good on the pocket book