In times like this when you need to stay at home most of the day and visit supermarkets less frequently so you don’t get infected with coronavirus, the only solution is to buy more products at once. I am not suggesting clearing off the shelves, no, you need to think about other people as well. There is a smarter way to stock food so you don’t need to go to the supermarket or a local grocery store every single day.
If you want to eat healthy during isolation, especially because you will not have much opportunity to be physically active, you need to plan in advance your grocery shopping. Chances are you will go to the store and just buy dozens of different cans and frozen food. Now is the time when you need to think about your health more than ever before. Eating unhealthy food will do nothing good for you.
You don’t need to give up the pastry, sweets and snacks, but you can at least have decent, cooked meals with healthy ingredients. If you take some of my advice you will see how it can be easy to cook healthy food without needing to visit a food store all the time.
The basic rules of smart grocery shopping
First of all, you should make a grocery list based on a plan- what you will cook the next 10 days or so, what baking and cooking supplies and condiments you are running out of. Next, you should consider what canned food you are going to buy.
When you are making a grocery list, have in mind these things:
- Cook meals that last longer and that don’t spoil easily
- Buy healthy food that has long shelf life
- Don’t buy all types of canned food, just healthy one
- Freeze fresh food that cannot stay long in the fridge
- Make or buy healthy snacks
Meals that don’t spoil easily
When you cook meals that last longer than one day, you won’t need to cook every day. More importantly, you will need less ingredients to buy or less often.
If you for some reason cannot buy groceries in bulk, for one-month or two-weeks period, you should cook meals that last at least 3 days. In that way, you won’t need to go to the supermarket every day.
There are also meals that can last up to five days. The only problem with that is eating the same food every day. If you don’t want to do that you can freeze half of it and use it later.
Here are some ideas of meals that last at least 3 days or up to 5 days:
Meat roast- any type of meat
Cooked meat without spices– if you don’t want to freeze fresh meat, it will last longer if you cook it immediately. Once you need to use it, just add other ingredients and stir fry it, bake it or whatever you planned.
Slow cooking meals– beef bourguignon, chilli, lentil soup or stew, stuffed cabbage rolls, beans stew, chicken paprikash.
Recipes with sauerkraut– roasted sauerkraut and kielbasa or sauerkraut with chicken.
Egg muffins and quiche lorraine
Salads like Russian salad, mimosa salad,
Chickpeas recipes like falafel and hummus
What healthy food can last longer?
If you buy a lot of fruits and vegetables at once you should know that some of these won’t last too long. So, you should buy more fruits and vegetables that last longer and less of those that don’t last more than three days. Another option is to freeze such veggies and fruits. Here’s a list of healthy food that can last longer:
Vegetables: Potatoes, onions, cabbage, beans, carrots, garlic, beetroot, radishes, butternut squash
Fruits: Oranges, apples, pumpkin, pineapple, pomegranate
Grains: Pasta, rice, noodles, quinoa, couscous, chickpeas, oats, chia seeds
Nuts and nut products: Peanut butter, almond butter, raisins and other dry fruits, walnuts and other nuts
Milk products: Parmesan cheese, block of any hard cheese, eggs, yoghurt, milk
Canned food to buy without guilt
The first thing that someone does in the times like this when you need to store larger amounts of food, is to buy canned food. All these cans, jars and MRE may seem the smart choice because they last long, but many of them contain unhealthy ingredients. That’s why you need to be careful when buying cans and jars. And instead of buying MRE you can prepare bigger meals and freeze the half.
Here are some canned products that can be used to cook healthy meals:
- Tuna cans
- Salmon cans
- Pickled and preserved food such as sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers, olives, chilli peppers
- Sugar free jams, marmalade or cocoa cream
- Coconut milk
Best foods to freeze
Breakfast food advice– If you like to eat eggs for breakfast, you can prepare the mix for scrambled eggs and freeze it. As mushrooms cannot stay long in the fridge, you can chop them and freeze them together with some bacon and pepper.
Prepare different combinations of ingredients for scrambled eggs like bacon and red pepper, mushrooms and green pepper or leeks, or all in one. Freeze them in separate containers or plastic bags.
You can also freeze any type of fruit, and together with some nuts and oats or quinoa, you can make a healthy and light breakfast.
Lunch and dinner advice– As not all vegetables can last long, you can freeze some to use later. Make different combinations of veggies depending on what you will use them for.
The same way you can buy fresh meat and freeze it immediately, keep only the amount you need for two to three days.