It’s Tuesday night, and you’re in a rush to get dinner on the table. You didn’t have time to make it to the grocery this past weekend, and your fridge is completely out of fresh perishable foods. Don’t panic! If you have your kitchen stocked with healthy, nonperishable foods, you will always have a way to prepare a quick and nutritious home-cooked meal. Here are seven must-have foods that will save the day!
1. Nuts, seeds, and their butter
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of healthy fat, low in carbs, and rich in micronutrients. They are loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber, and offer numerous health benefits. Not to mention, delicious! Nuts and seeds can be stored at room temperature for 1-4 months. You can add them to many dishes to increase nutrition and add flavors such as salads, trail mix, oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies.
2. Frozen fruits and veggies
Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is a convenient alternative to fresh produce. Nutrition-wise, frozen fruits and vegetables are comparable to fresh. Try adding frozen fruit to oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, smoothies, or eat as a sweet dessert! Frozen veggies can be a side item or added to soups or sautés.
3. Dried and canned beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are highly nutritious and have a long shelf life of 2-5 years (canned) and 10+ years (dry) when stored at room temperature. Beans and lentils are great additives to salad, soups, and chilies.
Grains are not only an important source of B vitamins, fiber, and minerals; they are also highly versatile- making them a great staple to add variety to your meals! Grains can be used in many grain-based dishes like pilafs, grain bowls, salads, and soups. Depending on the grain, they can be stored for months to years at room temperature.
5. Healthy Oils
Cooking with healthy oils (extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil) adds flavor and can enhance absorption of vitamins and minerals, fat-soluble vitamins, and antioxidants from foods. Healthy oils can be stored at room temperature for a year or more.
6. Spices and herbs
For flavorful recipes, having a well-stocked spice rack is an absolute must! Not to mention the excellent health benefits from spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and others!
7. Frozen fish, poultry, and meat
Having frozen fish, poultry, and meat on hand allows you always to make a protein-rich meal when fresh protein sources are limited.
Go ahead and make your next grocery list so you will always be prepared to make a nutritious meal no matter what.
Of course, having MegaFit Meals on hand is the easiest way to have a quick, high-quality meal ready to eat in a matter of minutes.
MS, RD, LD