Sardines are making a comeback!
Loaded with many nutrients that support cardiovascular health, they are a concentrated source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12, which also promotes cardiovascular health since it is tied to keeping levels of homocysteine in balance; homocysteine can damage artery walls, with elevated levels being a risk factor for atherosclerosis.
Sardines are also a rich source of bone-building vitamin D, a nutrient not so readily available in the diet, and a good source of phosphorus, an important bone strengthening mineral.
Because they are small fish at the bottom of the food chain, feeding solely on plankton, they do not concentrate heavy metals, such as mercury, and contaminants as do some other fish.
If your past experience with canned sardines has been an unpleasant attempt to remove tiny bones and skins, you can now purchase boneless, skinless sardines. Of course, the taste has often been an obstacle for many people as well.
This recipe gives you all the benefits of sardines without that strong fishy taste. Feel free to make your own modifications by adding fresh dill, using lime juice instead of lemon juice or adding capers or a few chopped olives.
2 tins boneless, skinless sardines, packed in water or olive oil,(3-4 oz. each), rinsed and drained
1/3 – 1/2 cup thawed frozen chopped spinach, drained to remove as much water as possible
1/2 cup thawed frozen mango cubes or fresh mango, finely minced
2 artichoke hearts from canned or frozen artichokes, finely minced
1 tablespoon minced red onion ( or 2-3 minced scallions)
juice from 1/2 small lemon
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup (do not skip this ingredient. The small amount of sweetness balances the flavors)
salt and pepper if desired
In a bowl, mash sardines with a fork.
Mix in all the other ingredients.
Serve as an appetizer with your favorite crackers
Use as sandwich filling or wrapped in romaine leaf or raw collard leaf with the center stalk removed.