Neal Barnard, MD, reviews some healthy foods that are great to stock up on during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also covers some his own personal cooking tips and secrets. Eating plant-based meals—rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes—is a powerful way to boost your immune system and overall health. If you’ve recently stocked up on plant-based pantry staples and freezer favorites and are looking for recipes that incorporate these foods, we have you covered!
Store bread on your countertop or in a bread drawer. Keeping it in the fridge actually causes it to mold more quickly because of moisture. Keep produce fresh with ventilated containers that help regulate the flow of oxygen.
Keep fruits like mango, stone fruit, and avocado at room temperature until they are fully ripened. Then move them to the fridge.
You can freeze milk but keep in mind that milk expands when it is frozen, so pour out enough of the liquid to leave about 2 inches in the container to avoid a mess. Once you thaw it, use the milk within a week.
Store fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, and parsley in a glass with a few inches of water as if they were a bouquet of flowers.
Or, to preserve herbs for even longer, blanch in boiling water and freeze them in ice cube trays.
This is a no-brainer, but air-tight containers for cereal, pasta and any other dry goods. Oxygen kills everything.
Store leftover tomato paste, sauce, puree etc. in ice cube trays or mason jars to prevent mold and extend their lifespan.
You can seriously extend the life of green onions by keeping them out on your countertop in a jar of water. Just trim the tops as needed.
You can freeze eggs for up to a year. Use ice cube trays to keep them separated, then transfer to a resealable bag. Thaw in the fridge and boom, you got eggs.
If you buy natural nut butters, keep them in the fridge to avoid spoiling and oil separation.
Olive oil is best kept in a dark place that isn’t too hot (next to the stove) or too cool (in the refrigerator). A cupboard is your best bet.
To freeze halved avocados, remove the pit and carefully wrap the halves in plastic wrap. Freeze sliced avocado on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and then transfer to a freezer bag.
Store apples away from other fruits. Apples emit ethylene, which causes other produce to ripen at a faster pace.
Store all condiments in the fridge once they’ve been opened.
You can also prolong the lifespan of just about any produce by freezing it at peak ripeness. Just be careful with water-dense veggies like celery and cucumber which become soggy after they’re thawed.
Nuts are good in your pantry for up to three months. After that, keep them in the fridge for up to six months or in the freezer for a year or longer.
Store dairy products at the back of the fridge, where it’s the coldest.
Cover the crown of a bunch of bananas in plastic wrap to slow the release of ethylene gas. This will prevent them from ripening too quickly if you’re not going to use the whole bunch right away.
In case you want to start stockpiling and prepping food in advance of a pandemic or natural disaster, I’ve to put together the ultimate healthy haul for canned, preserved, and some frozen food options. These days, it’s possible to get some really high quality and organic preserved foods that are nutrient dense and even some have probiotic benefits. I wanted to include some healthy frozen food options too, because you may want to to eat at home and stay away from public areas.
Supermarket Foods That Legitimately Last For Years
About one-third of the food produced in the world never makes it to people’s plates, according to the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation. Not only does that equate to 1.3 billion tons of food waste per year, but that’s also tons of money thrown out the window—up to nearly a trillion dollars per year!
Fortunately, some grocery items can last forever if they’re stored properly. Follow these tricks to stop wasting food—and money!
Frozen herbs: One year
“Herbs can go off very quickly, so prior to that happening, chop them up finely, put them in an ice cube tray, and add either water or olive oil,” advises Nikki Sharp, author of ‘Meal Prep Your Way to Weight Loss‘.
“Then, when you’re ready to use the herb, pop it out and you can heat the olive oil up in a pan while sautéing your cilantro, for example. Alternatively, add mint and water then throw into smoothies.” This method allows herbs to last for up to a year, Sharp says.
Frozen fruit: One year
Fresh fruit is great, but frozen fruit will give you more bang for your buck if you’re looking for longevity. “Fruits can add flavor to any dish, or you can use them to whip up smoothies that can act as a meal or snack,” says Beth Warren, author of ‘Secrets of a Kosher Girl‘.
Frozen vegetables: 18 months
“Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones, and sometimes even more so because they are stored straight from harvest,” Warren explains. “Nutrients like vitamin C are lost over time, so frozen vegetables like string beans are more likely to have more than fresh.
They are an easy solution to getting veggies on your plate when on a budget or in a time crunch, and they last for about 18 months in the freezer.”
Nut butters: Two years
Whether you prefer peanut, almond, cashew, or another type of nut butter, the good news is that you can definitely stock up on it and save it for later. If unopened, a jar of nut butter lasts for two years. But heads up: Once opened, commercial nut butters last up to six months, and natural ones stay good for just three months.
Pickled vegetables: Two years
Pickling is a process that was created specifically to preserve vegetables for long periods of time. Pickles can last up to two years unopened in the pantry. And even after they’re opened, they still last a pretty long time: up to a year in the fridge.
Nuts: Two years
As long as they’re sealed properly, nuts can last up to two years in the freezer, says registered dietitian nutritionist Sharon Palmer. Almonds are particularly durable. “The hard structure of the nut can help maintain freshness, and almonds are a bit lower in fat and higher in vitamin E, which means lower risk of rancidity,” Palmer says.
Canned beans: Two or more years
“I love to store canned legumes because they are so versatile,” Warren says. “You can eat them alone or add them to another dish for added bulk and flavor. Canned legumes begin to lose their moisture after one to two years.” After that, you might have to cook them longer, but they’re still good, she says.
Canned fish: Three years
That canned tuna is always a safe buy, because it lasts for three years when stored in a cool, dry place. Once opened, the contents can be refrigerated for three to four days and frozen for up to two months.
Balsamic vinegar: Four years
“Vinegar can last in the pantry for up to three to four years for the best quality,” says Abbey Sharp, a registered dietitian. “Store it in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dark place away from heat or sunlight.” Once opened, you should try to use vinegar within two years for the best taste—but it safe to use indefinitely.
Maple syrup: Indefinitely
Stored at room temperature, maple syrup will go bad in two years, but if you store it in the freezer, it can last forever. Interestingly, pure maple syrup doesn’t actually freeze, which makes the freezer a great place to store it (in an airtight container, of course).
Dry lentils and beans: Indefinitely
“These can last indefinitely, but after one year they may need slightly longer cooking times,” says Jennifer Kaplan, an author and an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America. “Store them in an airtight glass container in a cool, dark, dry place. Do not wash until just before use.”
Brown sugar: Indefinitely
“Brown sugar can last indefinitely, but will likely need to be softened,” Kaplan says. But don’t leave the open bag in your pantry and expect the quality to remain the same. Kaplan recommends moving it to an airtight glass jar, then stowing that somewhere cool, dark, and dry. White sugar can last indefinitely when stored that way too.
“Salt is one of the world’s oldest flavorings, has a plethora of other uses, and it lasts indefinitely,” says Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “Place salt in a sealed container or ziplock bag, and keep it in a cool dry area. Unless dirt or bugs manage to get it, you are good to go.”
“A staple of mankind, rice is eaten by more than half of the earth’s population, and many of whom depend on it for daily sustenance,” Backe says. “Get the uncooked rice into a container, or place the original bag in a freezer bag, and store in a cool, dry location. When stored properly, it can last indefinitely.”
This week I try my hand at wild foraging in the forest. Will I be able to find a safe meal, or will I pick something poisonous? The aim was to find enough calories in the forest to suffice for a full day.
GOING HUNGRY IS SOMETIMES A CHOICE. WE HAVE GOT TO GET BACK TO UNDERSTANDING AND LEARNING ABOUT THE VARIOUS TYPES OF FOOD THAT LIVES RIGHT AMONGST US.
Bankruptcies slamming american Dairy and Grain farmers which has a feedback loop of banks less willing to lend because of risk, so less land is planted because of lack of financing. Kenyan and Ugandan fishermen square off over Lake Victoria fish, a look food usage globally and the Galactic Cross.