Most people hear the word “sardine” and envision a greasy old tin can stuffed with smelly little bits of grayscale mush. And to be honest, that portrayal isn’t too far from reality. However, what most people don’t realize is that sardines are not only a super tasty salty oily treat, but also a super healthy one loaded with omega-3s, critical B vitamins, selenium, and even calcium (don’t be afraid to eat the bones)!
In addition to the wide array of nutrients you can receive from these little guys, they also come with a slew of health benefits. In fact, regular consumption of sardines has been shown to help ward off inflammation, mood disorders like anxiety and depression, cancer, as well as heart disease. The high levels of selenium help promote the production of antioxidants, the high protein content helps control blood sugar, and we could all use a little bit more of that vitamin D. And unlike many of the bigger fish in the sea, you can feel at peace eating sardines on the regular because they are both extremely low in mercury and environmentally sustainable.
Why then do we so often snub this amazing gift to food? Perhaps we just haven’t discovered how to properly enjoy them. Here are some delicious and wholesome ways of preparing these little suckers.
Wrap ‘Em in Lettuce
Either as a tuna salad-like amalgamation or just plain old whole fish, sardines and romaine lettuce were practically made for each other. Some great additions to this snack are cream cheese, avocado, mustard, hot sauce, and lemon juice!
Give this recipe from Laury Raiken a try!
Whip Up Some Pate
It may not be the most popular snack, but the richness and creaminess of a good fish pâté will leave you begging for more. It makes an excellent dip or spread for sliced cucumbers, fresh veggies, or even gluten-free crackers!
Give this recipe from Food52 a try!
Try Your Hand at Fisherman’s Eggs
A cult classic you may not have heard of, fisherman’s eggs is a richly flavorful egg dish similar to a frittata, but with a piscine twist the whole family will enjoy!
Give this recipe from Garlic Matters a try!
Toss ‘Em on a Salad
The Caesar salad hit the nail on the head by including the delicate flavors of the anchovy. So what’s stopping us from putting other tiny fish on our salads? Any salad will do: Greek, spinach, Caprese, chef, side, just throw ’em on!
Give this recipe from Eating Well a try!
Fry Some Fish Cakes
Tuna and salmon cakes have always been one of my go-to comfort foods, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to realize I could make the same thing with sardines. They go great with mustard!
Give this recipe from Cultivate Beauty a try!