No matter where you are living right now, you’re likely all affected by the recent restrictions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic! This is not a time to panic-buy, but it is a time to be strategic about the foods you’re stocking up on! We don’t want to over-buy, to leave foods to spoil, and we don’t want to find ourselves at a grocery store too frequently at this time. We are all in this together and we will get through this, but it helps to know where to turn to for resources. For some of you, cooking is not your forté and you don’t know where to begin, outside of frozen or pre-made meals. For others, you’ve only cooked with fresh ingredients, which can spoil in a short time, and you’ll want to branch out.
Here are some of the things you’ll find in my pantry and freezer right now. I selected these items based on their nutrient-density and for the length of time they’ll keep! These items will also be the most cost effective for you. While perishable foods are great to buy, it’s best to plan ahead. You may find yourself unable to get to a store or without a reliable delivery option. Up here in the Seattle area, which was the initial US epicenter for the virus, shelves are being wiped clean at the supermarkets. I was shocked to discover that I bought the last dozen eggs available at the store yesterday.
While you might find yourself drawn to snack on chips or cookies, it’s really important to have nutritious food sources available in your home. Over time, unhealthy eating will begin to make you feel lethargic, change your body composition, and could even decrease your immunity. Focus on high-quality fats for long lasting energy and brain fuel; protein sources, because our body is made up of amino acids, as well as healthy carbs, and immune-boosting nutrients too.
Here is my personal long-term food storage list (aside from MRE purchases):
Frozen seafood, poultry, meat
Frozen animal protein can be used for a variety of meals. Most keep for months in the freezer. The fattier the meat, the quicker it looses flavor, but all are key. Make soups and casseroles, and know that you will always have a sustaining food source available.
Greens typically only last a short time in the fridge, but the frozen one can last ages! Buy frozen spinach. It doesn’t lose much flavor or texture when frozen, for your dishes.You can add this to soups, sauces, smoothies and casseroles for a big nutrient boost, when you don’t have access to fresh salad greens.
While berries or other fruits won’t last long on your counter or in the fridge, the frozen ones will!
Raw or roasted nuts
This is high quality snacking packed with essential nutrients and protein that lasts for months without losing flavor.
Collagen or other quality protein powder
I love protein powders because they are nutrient-dense and last a while on the shelf. Look for one with high quality ingredients and less sugars and preservatives.
This is one of my favorite canned items available because it is easily added to soups and sauces. You can even make your own salsa. Tomatoes are packed with immune boosting Vitamin C, and other vitamins, and minerals.
Canned and dried beans
Very economical, but highly nutrient-dense. Beans are the perfect addition to soups, but also great on their own for a good protein and aquality carb source.
Canned tuna or other canned seafood for meat
Great source of protein and even lasts years after the “best buy” date. You can add to salads, eat on its’ own, or make into casseroles. Load up with your brain-boosting omegas.
Dried grains ie. rice, quinoa, steel cut oats
Grains can have an indefinite shelf life if stored properly. Make sure you store them in an airtight container. These can give you energy and nutrients and are incredibly versatile for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Olive oil, coconut oil
I always keep a variety of healthy oils and fats on hand for cooking, making salad dressings, baking, or even just consuming on their own. It is important that you choose high quality natural oils for your health. We all need essential fatty acids for our bodies to function well, and they also last a long time on your shelf.
Vinegar (especially apple cider vinegar)
Apple cider vinegar is known for its antimicrobial and anti-oxidant properties. Not only is it an immune boost, but it makes a great addition to make your own salad dressings, add flavor to dishes, etc. Try other vinegars too.
Quality mineral salt (Himalayan, sea salt)
Here is your great source of natural electrolytes! Not only does it add flavor to every dish, but helps to preserve food. Add salts in to get your daily dose of minerals
When fresh herbs aren’t available these can make or break the flavor of your dish. Dried herbs can last for years! make teas, dressings, soups, and dish, altering the flavor with the herbs and spices you use
Natural wholesome sweetener which we know can last indefinitely!
Chicken broth, concentrate, or bouillon cubes
Soups are one of the simplest, yet nutritious dishes you can make in bulk. Drink broths on their own for health or create a variety of dishes, loaded with flavor
Nut butters are a perfect protein and energy source. Try it in smoothies, on apple slices, breads or just a spoonful on its own!
Loaded with anti-oxidants and often caffeine for energy! Coffees and teas generally have a great shelf-life!