As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, you may have asked yourself: “How can I minimize my trips to the grocery store?” During these times, knowing what the best non-perishable foods for health are is important to maintain diet quality.
I bought some of these items myself to keep my distance, and they served me well. However, as there has been less selection at the store, I had to get a bit creative in preparing meals!
Non-perishable ingredients for meals
Dried beans and lentils
Dried beans are an excellent meal option if you can find them on the shelves these days. They are rich in fiber to aid with digestion and weight maintenance, and also provide protein and iron. I had some organic coconut milk on hand and prepared a delicious lentil soup.
Dried shiitake mushrooms
Mushrooms have been featured in an issue of Today’s Dietitian featured mushrooms, which have been touted for their nutrient content and ability to potentially ward off disease. It is easy to sauté them with garlic to provide you with a serving of veggies.
Tomato-based pasta sauce is a great source of antioxidants and fiber and is relatively low in calories compared to other options such as cream-based sauce. I have found it to be useful given its versatility–in addition to use with pasta, you can also spread it on a homemade pizza or used in casseroles.
Nuts are an excellent food, with a dose of healthy fat, fiber and protein. You might want to select an option such as walnuts, which provide omega-3 fatty acids. If possible, you may also store in the fridge or freezer to maximize shelf life.
You might enjoy dried fruit as a dessert alternative that still provides fiber, vitamins and minerals. Dried fruit can also be a good source of antioxidants.
If you’d like to combine the two above suggestions, trail mix is also excellent for health. When selecting trail mix, focus on choosing one with little added sugar. You may also want to avoid brands with color additives and preservatives. I have found some high-quality organic trail mix with these features, and it can be a pretty satisfying snack or dessert if it contains dark chocolate.
I munched through a lot of popcorn in quarantine; this is excellent because of the fiber content. It’s a fairly filling snack due to that, and provides some crunchy satisfaction without large amounts of fat, salt, and artificial ingredients that other savory snacks might include. However, there are a few things you should know about microwave popcorn, so be sure to check out my post on that here.
Have questions? Comments? I would love to hear what you think below!
Wishing everyone good health during the pandemic–stay well, stay safe.