A list of the food supplies I’ve stocked up on (without going crazy) for my kitchen just in case and why. For peace of mind and maintaining a balanced and healthy diet if you are having to stay in or simply cook more at home.
When it comes to working out what food supplies to have on hand in the kitchen should you need to stay inside for a while, it can feel a bit overwhelming. Actually, it’s easy right now to feel pretty anxious thanks to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). While I am no nutritionist or expert, making sure I have the list (below) of items at home for healthy home-cooked meals has made me feel much more at ease. In the interest of sharing this peace of mind with you, I hope this post is useful for you.
WHICH HEALTHY FOOD SUPPLIES I’VE STOCKED UP ON AND WHY
Over the last week or so, I bought a few food supplies than I usually do. We tend to shop mostly at the bulk foods store and get fresh produce at our local farmers market. I thought last night about if I should write this post, since, at the moment, life here is pretty normal. Though the behaviour of the general public this weekend has felt more panicked. I’ve noticed less compassion and patience than I’d normally see. Actually, something I really noticed is how people are making less eye contact and giving each other more physical space.
It is easy to feel on edge.
Plus there is no point in going to the shops at the moment unprepared and coming out with a few random items you maybe thought you should get.
Speaking of compassion now is a great time to check in with your neighbours. Particularly if you have an elderly neighbour or in our case a pregnant one. If you are headed to the shops anyway, it’s worth checking in and seeing if they need anything you can pick up for them.
Now is a good time to actively practice calm. Take control of what you can by looking around and noting what you are grateful for. List it, you will notice, no matter how small the items on your list are, it adds up. We all need those positives!
TIPS ON ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO SHOP FOR SUPPLIES ONLINE
Being self-sufficient looks pretty good right now! We grow our own herbs but have been meaning to get up a balcony veggie/ herb garden since we left our old cottage. We were always lucky there to have things like chilies and herbs on hand which is a great thing to save on costs and waste.
If you can’t get to the shops, doing an online order to the supermarket is a good idea too. You can arrange a time and day for delivery in advance or you can do it for a pickup order. This is super handy if you are time-poor, don’t want to go out or in general, find yourself overbuying or overwhelmed at the supermarket.
START IN YOUR KITCHEN AND MAKE AN INVENTORY
My thoughts this week were that if I couldn’t as easily shop for essentials in the coming weeks, I should start by taking an inventory of what I have, and realistically assessing what I need. I am not a hoarder. We live in a roughly 60 square meter apartment and don’t have much storage space. This list is coming from an everyday person (not an expert). I have zero interest in doomsday prep behaviour (I think they are nuts). But I want to make sure I’m covered for a week or even two for supplies.
Since I keep extras of anything I use regularly to cut down on the number of times I commute to the shops, I had a lot already. It might be a small thing, but I consider the number of times I use our car a week and try to cut that down where possible.
EATING HOME COOKED MEALS REGULARLY & WHAT I EAT
Below, is a breakdown of kitchen items worth having to make plenty of healthy meals at home. We rarely order take away and I’m lucky that my boyfriend Mario is a passionate and excellent cook. I don’t love cooking as much as he does, but I am definitely a regular in the kitchen.
I’m not celiac or lactose intolerant but borderline. My doctors have all said I have to keep it to a minimum so I don’t put myself into those categories cumulatively. I eat about 90% plant-based, non-processed and sugar-free foods. Basically, I love eggs, occasionally eat chicken, fish and sometimes add butter to my scrambled eggs and I love a cheeky croissant! The rest of the time I eat mostly vegan.
MAKE SURE YOU STORE FOODS CORRECTLY TO AVOID SPOILAGE
If you are buying more than usual or opting to cook at home more, it is worth googling the best way to store any fresh fruit or veggies. To really make sure you get the optimum time out of them and prevent wastage.
For example, some fruits give off a gas called ethylene glycol which quickens ripening and may cause spoilage in some vegetables. Before doing our research, we often found some items like baby spinach would go off quickly. We were storing them in the same crisper as apples and pears. This was making the spinach spoil before we could use it all up.
THE SHOPPING LIST
Chicken, Fish, and lean meats – Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within two days. Beef, veal, lamb, or pork, should be cooked or frozen within three to five days.
Canned beans, kidney, black, chickpeas, white beans, etc. – Ideally, I get the organic ones and low sodium, but rinsing helps if not.
Dried beans and lentils. – And lots of them! We cook a lot with legumes, I love them. If you are ever in doubt, either look up recipes in a good old fashioned cookbook or simply google the item and see what sounds good. I did this recently when I first bought mung beans. Googling ‘mung bean recipes’ came up with the goods. I buy my legumes and dried beans at a bulk food store, you can bring your own bags in, fill them and decant into clean jars when you get home. Just make sure to label what is what in case you later forget.
Something I love about cooking with any of these are how versatile they are, whilst being filling and long-lasting. The options are endless for meals and you can always mix up flavours with spices and herbs.
Nuts and nut butters; seeds and seed butters. – Always great to have on hand, I use seeds in everything! The add crunch to meals and are so versatile. DIY or buy your butters and add them as a topping to meals for extra protein. Since I don’t have gluten or sugars, I make my own granola mixing coconut chips with seeds, nuts and coconut oil. It takes ten minutes to bake and can be used as a tasty topping or full breakfast. Pick the nuts and seeds you love, but things like buckwheat, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame, almonds, cashews, etc are all must-haves.
Canned tuna or salmon. – These come in handy!
Eggs – A cheap and excellent source of protein, shelled eggs can last three to five weeks in the fridge.
Frozen vegetables – squash, peas, corn, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, zucchini, squash, carrots. – Full of nutrients, this is a no brainer!
Yogurt and cheese. – you can store yogurt in the fridge for one to two weeks. I seem to tolerate sheep or goat cheese most which can be a tasty topping on a salad.
Frozen fruit – bananas, berries and mango.
Grains – brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, pasta, polenta, amaranth or Buckwheat puffs – These become a base for meals. Make sure you research the best portion size for each person you cook for so you aren’t overeating.
I make my breakfasts with steel-cut oats, my gluten-free granola and use a lot of other grains for dinners or add a little to wellness bowls at lunchtime. Eg, a lot of steamed green veggies, salad, pickled veggies, a steamed egg, avocado and brown rice or quinoa. Mixing those up you can make a lot of combinations that are tasty and exciting. If you don’t have time in the morning to make steel-cut oatmeal (it takes a good fifteen minutes), try soaking the oats overnight and eating it cold or warmed up in the morning. You can do this in batches to take to work too. It breaks down slowly leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
Flour – For baking, which always feels like a good slightly old fashioned activity with a tasty reward!
Crackers and Crispbread. – To have with hummus, or in replacement of toast for breakfast, lunch or snacks. I like mine topped with avocado and radishes. I love the quinoa, buckwheat, rice or corn crispbreads. They are such a good bread alternative if you can’t eat it.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin. – Store in a ventilated container in a dark cupboard away from fruits.
Canned vegetables (carrots, green beans, greens, mushrooms, okra, olives, artichokes) These will come in handy to add flavour to your cooking and keep for longer.
Canned or dried legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils).
Dried fruit (dates, raisins, cranberries, currants).
Olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil, ghee, apple cider vinegar, etc. – Not to be overlooked, you can use oils up much faster than you think if you are cooking more meals at home. Apple cider vinegar is something I add to water daily to improve my gut health (I then wash it down with another glass of water to prevent tooth decay). Make sure you buy one with the mother, or it won’t have the same benefits.
Baking powder and Baking soda – add to your baking.
Salt and pepper – No one would want to run out!
Vanilla, dried herbs, spices – If you end up having to cook pretty similar meals a lot, these are a lifesaver to mix up the flavours!
Low sodium broth (chicken, vegetable, or beef) – if you can make your own bone broth, it is great to freeze and is very useful if you do catch any viruses or colds.
Tea and Coffee – Where would we be without it?!
Longlife Milk – I’ve stocked up on my almond, coconut and macadamia milk. Everyone has a different milk preference these days and it’s worth having on hand.
Coconut Water – Another item I always have on hand to add to smoothies or pea protein drinks.
Dried Coconut – I use coconut chips a lot in my cooking, to replace other things I can’t eat, definitely an essential for me.
Protein powders, chia seeds, LSA mix, Hemp seeds, vitamin & pre and probiotic supplements, etc. – I use these all the time and more so I make sure I have them on hand to boost my immune system and gut health.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER PREPARING
Something I have been doing is a quick pickle. How? I cut up vegetables, add spices like mustard seeds and seal them in jars with water and vinegar to pickle. It’s a quick easy way to use up vegetables and make sure you preserve some. I love adding some to salads and wellness bowls. We also make our own kombucha so I make sure to have supplies for that on hand. It is great for gut health.
Finally, don’t forget to check if you need to stock up your medical cabinet supplies. Even if you just need pain relievers, common colds or stomach remedies, etc or things like batteries. Just in case.
Oh and please don’t forget about food supplies for your pets!!
LET ME KNOW HOW THINGS ARE IN YOUR PART OF THE WORLD!
It’s a really weird time and its vital that we are as aware as we can be, even if the information is confusing, conflicting and coming at us from every direction. I hope you are all safe and taking obvious measures to ensure good hygiene.
This week my friends have requested I share some ideas for what to do if you are locked in at home. If you are working from home and want some of my tips on how I do it and stay on task, read this blog post here.
Please let me know how you are doing, what you are doing to prepare. Have you needed to self-isolate? Or have any tips you can pass on? If I’ve missed something from the shopping list, please let me know too! As I said, I’m no expert but making this list and stocking up helped me feel more in control. I hope it helps you too.
I know I usually talk about fashion and beauty but I wanted to share something which I found useful. Plus I want to look after my community. Sending a lot of love.