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How To Make Pantry Staples Into Healthy Meals
Having a good supply of good quality, tinned produce on hand is now the case in most households in preparation for the ever changing and escalating levels of lockdown due to COVID-19 and a little more organisation is also required. Although, as we have more time than we have had in a while, it is an opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.
Tins to have on hand for a range of versatile meals
Go for non GM (genetically modified), preferably organic and non BPA tins or glass jars / bottles:
- Black Beans
- Adzuki Beans
- Cannellini Beans
- Good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lentils and beans are a great source of protein and fibre promoting gut health and blood sugar regulation. This makes these excellent staples and can be turned into soups, curries and stews, adding other vegetables of choice, depending on availability.
We have an ever increasing number of recipes on our app that utilise these long life staples.
Other staples to have on hand
- A range of spices also adds to versatility, providing flavour and sometimes medicinal properties, such as the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and ginger.
- Dried foods, such as rice, quinoa, corn chips, pasta and flours (organic where possible for maximum nutrients and minimal toxic load). Think about variations of pasta such as chick pea, black bean, mungbean, just to increase variety of nutrients and keep meals interesting.
Consider growing your own herbs or sprouting
This is possible even without an outdoor space and a great way to have an ongoing supply of fresh, enzyme-rich food. Broccoli sprouts are easy and inexpensive to grow and can supercharge your meals with nutrients.
Depending on how adventurous you are and how much space you have, here are a few other ways to supplement tinned foods with fresh produce to increase variety and nutrients. Plant seedlings such as tomatoes, citrus trees and mushrooms. It is very satisfying growing even a small amount of your own produce and allows to ultimate freshness and provides connection to and appreciation of nature.
How to make fresh food last longer
We are still fortunate enough to have good supplies of fresh foods, although we need to restrict our visits to the supermarkets, which may well become even more stringent in the coming weeks. This is where organisation is required and some meal planning, so that more perishable foods are used first. It will not be a bad thing if we are encouraged to eat more seasonal, local food.
Foods such as onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes can be stored a little longer and are a great way to create flavour and extend meals.
We have become used to buying ready made baked goods, and yet it is easy to make our own, without the preservatives and stabilisers in store bought food. Protein pancakes and banana bread for example. Baked goods also freeze very well.
Freeze fruits such as peeled bananas and berries to have on hand for fresh smoothies. Berries are a good source of vitamin C. Be aware of nutrients that are highly vulnerable to depletion due to storage and cooking, such as vitamin C. This nutrient is essential for our immune function.
Learn to pickle – make your own kimchi, sauerkraut, preserved lemons, chutneys.
There has never been a time when it has been more important to focus on our health, particularly our nervous and immune systems. It is a time where adaptability is key to reducing stress. It is also an opportunity to utilise our enforced home time to rest, repair and take on projects we haven’t previously had time for, and support each other.
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