You have probably heard that sardines are good for you. But are they delicious? Yes! Well, at least the recipes we have rounded up are. And tasty sardine recipes are a little hard to find.
But as the health benefits of sardines are more widely shared the number of great recipes is increasing. We love sardines for their simplicity. A pantry staple and perfect for those who follow clean eating principles.
If you are new to the world of sardines let's start with a few basics. First off, this delicious little fish is sustainable. They have much more rapid growth than larger predatory fish.
Because these fish are smaller they also have low mercury levels than predatory fish.
And we love sardines because they are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein that is widely available.
Want to know more?
Common Questions about Cooking with Sardines
Also known as pilchards, sardines are small oily fish that belong to the herring family. Sardines are named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia where they are found in large numbers.
Sardines are also abundantly found in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. (1).
* High in Anti-Inflammatory Omega-3 Fatty Acids which helps prevent heart disease due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have also shown there is a strong correlation between omega-3 and lack of depression.
*Contains Vitamin B12, important because studies show that about 40% of Americans are actually deficient in this vitamin.
* High in Selenium which helps neutralize free radicals and protect organs from damage.
* Hign in Protein which is essential for you to build healthy bones and muscles.
*Low in Mercury and Pollutants because they are smaller, nonpredatory fish. Making sardines an excellent alternative to tuna or salmon.
Fresh sardines can be a bit hard to find in the US. But they are fantastic if you can get your hands on them. Fresh sardines are typically fried, baked or smoked.
All the recipes in our round-up use canned, or tinned, sardines because they are easier to find. Most American grocery stores stock them.
Canned sardines come in many varieties including
* Boneless & skinless, packed in water
* Boneless & skinless, packed in olive oil
* Bone-in and skin on, packed in olive oil
* Boneless & skinless, packed in tomato sauce for quick eating
One isn't necessarily healthier than the other. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that fresh and canned fish have comparable amounts of omega-3 fatty acids—good fats that may help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. (2)
Oily fish, such as sardines, contain high levels of omega 3 fats. These are essential for helping develop the baby’s brain. However certain oily fish are very toxic and should be avoided. Luckily, sardines are low in mercury and other toxins and can be consumed 2-3 times per week. (6)