You may go shopping every week and have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, but what if you can’t get out to shop or have friends stop over unexpected the day before you shop? Having a stock of staples that keep longer in the refrigerator or cupboard can help be a life saver if you want to make healthy meals and don’t have time for a grocery run. Here are a few healthy options that store well.
Dried beans can make a nice display in Mason jars, while also making a handy emergency staple.
Anyone with a smaller kitchen or who doesn’t have much cupboard space will appreciate being able to keep food that takes up little room. They also store longer in Mason jars. Packages of dried beans, chick peas and lentils fit that description. If you prefer not to go through the soaking process and storage space doesn’t matter, opt for canned beans and lentils. Both dried and canned legumes have a long shelf life, with canned ones lasting up to five years in the right conditions and dried ones kept properly can last over ten years.
Choose whole grains, such as brown rice, oats or quinoa to keep on hand.
Just like dried beans, whole grains last a long time when kept dry at room temperature, depending on the type you choose. They also store better in a Mason. Store them as you would dried beans, away from heat and moisture and in a tightly sealed bag or container. Grains can be kept in the freezer, however you must have a tight seal on the packaging. Ancient grains like amaranth, barley, spelt, farro, kamut, oats and bulger, can be great sources of fiber and nutrients. Shelf life can be as long as one year.
Some fruits or vegetables store for quite a long time and some last longer when frozen.
You don’t have to have fruits and vegetables that are unprocessed, as long as that processing is just canning or freezing, without adding sugar, other ingredients or chemicals. In fact, frozen fruits and vegetables may be fresher and nutrient dense than those you find in the store. They’re picked at peak ripeness and immediately frozen, not picked early and allowed to ripen on the way to the store. Fresh fruits and vegetables that last a long time stored in a cool place include apples, onions, garlic, beets, citrus fruits and winter squash.
- Full fat yogurt keeps for up to 3 weeks or longer. It makes a great instant dessert when combined with chopped fruit, some ripe banana and nuts.
- Keep condiments like pickles, spices and herbs on hand. Don’t forget apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is healthy and when herbs and spices are added, makes a great instant salad dressing. Distilled white vinegar is also disinfectant household cleaner.
- Eggs have a three-week shelf life in the refrigerator. They make a great addition to almost any meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Like beans, they’re an inexpensive source of protein.
- Meat and chicken, when packed for the freezer properly can be stored up to a year. Fish can be stored up to five months. Have some on hand in the freezer with the date wrapped and stored, then always rotate new meat, poultry and fish toward the back.
For more information, contact us today at Liv Fitness