It's unbelievable how fast life as we know it, can change completely hey? There certainly has been a lot for us all to process, on so many levels. Its no wonder many of us feel that we're on an emotional rollercoaster, as the pandemic story unfolds around us.
Despite the uncertainty that we all face personally, socially, and politically at this time, the adaptability and strength of the human spirit continues to shine through in so many ways. Many of us have felt more connected to our local communities than ever before, we are discovering new ways to support each other in one way or another. Many of us are also beginning to realise that our health really is our ultimate wealth, as we gain a deeper appreciation for our wonderful NHS and other key workers who are doing an amazing job right now.
As a family, our pared-down travels last year, seem to have been good training for us now. During our year away, we discovered that living with less, allowed us more freedom, and we realised that we didn't need half the things we thought were important. Cheesy as it sounds.. It really is the relationships, and the experiences we share, that matter to us most.
In the past few weeks, we've called on these skills once again, as we find ourselves spending our days together again. We have become more conscious of our food choices, making the most of what we have, using alternatives where we can, and minimizing waste wherever possible.
I've found that a well-planned stock cupboard is really useful when not able to get to the shops, or find what we need on the shelves. Our store provides us with the tools to prepare an array of nutritious dishes, that taste great and cost very little. The longer shelf life of foods means we cut down on food waste too.
Here are my six steps, along with some great recipes, to stock your larder full of nutrient-rich whole foods, helping you and your family to continue to eat well, and stay well. I hope you find this useful :)
Tip 1: Keep a stock of items in tins or jars, that have a long shelf life and have the most uses.
Tinned or jars of tomatoes can become a pasta sauce/curry base/ soups/pizza topping. Chickpeas or beans can be added to curries/salads. Chickpea water (Aquafaba) can be used to make vegan chocolate mousse or meringues. Coconut milk is also useful for curries, desserts, and baking, and can be used to make coconut yogurt. Check out this simple 2 ingredient recipe
This simple nutritious soup is made from tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, and quinoa.
Tip 2: Stock up on healthy protein sources for sustained energy and a balanced mood.
Protein is found in all food and forms the building blocks of the body, involved in growth, maintenance, and repair of muscles and other body tissues. Other than meat, fish and eggs, rich sources of protein are found in beans, tofu, grains, pulses, nuts, and seeds, also tinned fish such as sardines, anchovies, and tuna.
This simple nutritious dressing high in protein-rich tahini. This dressing is great on grain salads and roasted vegetables.
Tip 3: Keep a stock of complex carbohydrates, that can form the base for breakfasts, bakes or meals.
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel for energy production in the body. Complex carbohydrates contain the whole grain and take longer to break down than refined or white alternatives, therefore more beneficial for our overall health, helping to keep blood sugar levels balanced.
Oats, rice, pasta, and noodles can form the base for breakfasts, bakes or meals. Flour forms the base for bread, cakes, batters, and pastry. Go for wholegrain where possible, and chickpea and buckwheat are great alternatives (or additions) to wheat, for those who are sensitive to gluten.
This delicious, nutritious porridge bowl with spiced cherries and seeds is made entirely from basics from the stock cupboard and freezer.
Tip 4: Maximize the flavor of your dishes with sauces, oils and condiments.
These form the base of many dishes dressings rubs, marinades, and dips, and many add nutritional benefits. My go-to's are Thai and Indian curry pastes, harissa, chipotle, tabasco, soy, miso, stock, mustard, marmite, olive oil, coconut oil, cider vinegar, honey, and maple syrup.
This simple curry is made from simple stock cupboard ingredients and a cauliflower. If you don't have cauliflower, you can use potatoes or butternut squash instead. (Cooking a little longer, until vegetables are soft).
Tip 5: Maximize the nutrient value of your meals with herbs and spices.
Cooking with herbs and spices is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to improve overall health. They are loaded with powerful nutrients and antioxidants, that can help the body to detoxify free radicals.
The most widely used tend to be turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, chili, oregano, pepper, ginger, and garlic.
Fresh herbs make a wonderful addition to a kitchen or garden too, they will increase the nutrient value and will lift any dish to a new level of flavour.
This simple chipotle chili is like sunshine in a bowl. Its an easy and satisfying soup has under 10 ingredients and under 20 mins to make.
Tip 6. Store a rainbow in your freezer
Colorful fruits and veg add significant nutritional value to meals. Peas, spinach, sweetcorn have the most uses in our house. Frozen fruits, such as mango, banana, berries and cherries form the base for nutritious smoothies, bakes and porridge toppings. Ginger, chili, and herbs freeze well too.
We also keep a stock of filo, and puff pastry, these are useful for creating pies, pasties, and samosas from leftover meals, helping to reduce waste and spice things up with new flavors.
This nutrient-packed smoothie is made from frozen berries, nut butter, and oats.
If you would like to explore further how foods can support your health and wellbeing or would like help with menu planning or cooking, I offer one to one online support and can devise a bespoke nutrition plan for you. Why not book a FREE 10 minute exploratory call with me, or check out the Nutritional Therapy Packages I offer. You can also subscribe to my bi-monthly newsletter with nutrition tips, recipes and special offers on the products and services I offer (check the link in footer).
Wishing you and your families well.
BA, Dip NT, mBANT