Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Best Canned Items to Keep on Hand

Canned fruit can sweeten up any meal.
Canned fruit can sweeten up any meal.
Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images

Adding a few canned fruits to your pantry, like pears, peaches and apples, can make a big difference at mealtime. Use the sweet flavor of fruit to transform even savory dishes from bland to exciting and take a step up from meat and greens. Don't think that you have to stick with the same old vegetables to stay healthy. Use fruit to add a little zest to dinner. Try putting canned pineapple on your next baked ham, kabobs or teriyaki. Poach some pears in wine for dessert, and serve them with cheese. Canned fruit doesn't have to be loaded with extra sugar and calories, either. Just look for varieties that are packed in their own juices.

If you want to have a dessert backup plan for when company drops by, keep a can of apple pie filling around for a quick apple crumble or to serve with ice cream.