5 Essential Foods To Keep Stocked in Your Kitchen
Whether it’s a pandemic or a natural disaster, it is important to stock your kitchen with essential foods when hunkering down.
By being prepared, we are not encouraging panic shopping. However, we do encourage you to stock food intelligently in your kitchen by choosing longer shelf-life foods with good nutritional value.
Healthy eating habits are highly beneficial for your immune system. Ultimately, the best thing you can do in an emergency — especially pandemics — is to remain as healthy as possible.
To help you maintain a healthy eating plan, here are 5 essential foods to keep stocked in your kitchen:
If stored in optimal conditions, dried legumes — such as chickpeas, different types of beans, peas, and lentils — can have a shelf life of up to 2 to 3 years, in which they will retain most of their nutritional value.
The nutritional value varies accordingly in each legume. Legumes are low in fat and are a good source of fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins.
A diet with legumes can be helpful to:
- Maintain low sugar levels.
- Help to lose/maintain your weight.
- Regulate blood pressure.
- Reduce cholesterol and prevent a high risk of heart disease.
Quinoa, rice, oats, and wheat are common examples of cereal crops. The shelf life depends on each cereal, but most of them last for over a year — except for brown rice, which lasts about 6 to 8 months.
Cereal crops are known to be rich sources of fiber and carbs. They also contain a decent amount of protein.
Health benefits of cereal crops:
- Improve gut health.
- Lower risk of heart disease.
- Reduce systemic inflammation.
- Help to regulate blood sugar levels.
Dehydrated Vegetables and Fruits
Dried veggies and fruits lose some of their nutrients — most likely vitamin C — during the dehydration process. However, they retain most of the fiber, vitamin A, and micronutrients (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin).
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the shelf life of dried fruits is around 1 year, while dried for veggies is around 6 months. They must be stored in a cool and dark place to preserve their shelf life.
Aseptic beverages are those which keep their nutrients and have a long shelf-life without having to refrigerate them. Some of the most common aseptic beverages are almond, oat, coconut, soy, and traditional milk (dairy).
Aseptic milk (dairy) can be stored for 6 months. Meanwhile, aseptic non-dairy beverages can have a shelf life of about 6 to 12 months — depending on the beverage.
Nowadays, you can find a great variety of nut butters at the store. As long as they are organic, nut butters are highly nutritious. For example, almond butter is rich in healthy fats and vitamin E. Some other examples are peanut butter and pistachio butter which contain high amounts of protein.
Other popular and healthy nut butters are:
- Walnut butter
- Hazelnut butter
- Sunflower butter
- Pecan butter
Nut butter is very practical to make a quick snack. You can eat it on toast, sliced apples, or even added to a fruit smoothie.
Foods to avoid
Some of the foods mentioned in the previous list can be found in canned packaging. However, canned foods are usually high in sodium and sugar, which is why they are not considered a healthy food option.
At Z.E.N. Foods, your health is our priority. You can get personalized meal plans to adjust to your needs and budget. Plus, our delivery services have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us help you.