Nutrition In yoU: Cooking with pantry staples

With self-quarantining and social distancing at large, it is important to stock up on healthy pantry essentials that can last several weeks. Let’s be clear that there is a difference between panic shopping and being prepared. Preparation for COVID-19 quarantine involves smartly stocking your pantry, fridge, and freezer to feed everyone in your home for two weeks. Here are a few suggestions for food to keep on hand:

  • Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables

Utilizing canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can be an affordable and non-perishable strategy for adding essential vitamins and minerals into your diet when you don’t have access to fresh options. Look for canned vegetables with no added salt or low sodium. Look for canned fruit with no added sugar and look for packaged fruits in juice or water instead of syrup to avoid added sugars.

Try this recipe: Frozen Vegetable Stir Fry

  • Beans and legumes

Canned or dried, beans and legumes are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and B vitamins. They are perfect for burritos, mashed on a tortilla, or added to a soup. Cooking dried beans can be made in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and as simply at the stove top. Remember to soak overnight or for at least fours in warm water to reduce cooking time. 

Try this recipe:Three Bean Salad

  • Whole grains

Uncooked whole grains, such as pasta, rice, oats, and quinoa can be used in a variety of dishes and can be stored in an airtight container for up to six months. The healthy oils found in some whole grains are affected by heat, light, and moisture. Storing bread, bagels, and tortillas in the refrigerator can also help extend shelf life. 

Try this recipe: 5 Ingredient Spanish Quinoa

  • Popcorn

If you’re going to be watching plenty of movies and TV shows during the next few weeks, popcorn is a healthy and shelf-stable snack idea for adults, teens, and older children. You can purchase bags of microwavable popcorn or a jar of kernels – just remember to use butter and salt sparingly!

Try this recipe: Stovetop Popcorn

  • Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein (6 grams per egg), packed with vitamins and minerals, inexpensive, and versatile! They can be fried, scrambled, hard boiled, or in a quiche, omelet, or frittata. Fresh eggs can safely last three weeks after purchase when refrigerated properly. 

Try this recipe: Healthy Egg Salad

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