Given the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a smart move to quarantine yourself. People are being asked to self-isolate and remain inside. Even if there are no such restrictions in place, you should avoid going anywhere that might have crowds. And yes, that includes stores.
Stocking up on essentials is the key to avoid stepping outdoors. Keeping up with supplies like toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc. that can last 14 days to a month is no problem. It’s stocking up on food that needs some creativity.
Perishables are unlikely to last the time required for a quarantine. But your kitchen can’t sit empty and food has to be put on the table. The answer lies in getting foods with a longer shelf life, which is both tasty and nutritious. And yes, it must be able to last at least 14 days. Here are some ideas that will get you through.
1. Food Inspiration From Backpackers And Hikers
If you’ve been on a backpacking or hiking trip that takes several days, you already know several nutritious foods that can be carried along. The requirement is to take along foods that don’t need refrigeration and have a good shelf-life.
What makes it easier for the quarantine is the fact that you don’t have to worry about the weight of the food, unlike backpackers. One of the favorites in this category are snacks like trail mix and jerky. They’ll easily last weeks, if not months, and are packed with nutrients.
This makes snacking healthier than chomping on junk food. You could choose dehydrated meals that are easy to prepare and have a very long shelf life. Just add hot water and you get an excellent meal, depending on your choice of the food packet. Dehydrated meals aren’t exactly anyone’s culinary favorites, so my advice is to avoid them unless you’re going into full prepper mode.
2. Rice – The Easiest Staple To Stock
Rice is the staple food for most of the world. It’s incredibly easy to store and will last for a very long time. Let alone 14 days, you could easily buy rice for months. Brown rice is the only variety that has a low shelf life and even that will easily last three months in the pantry. Of course, remember to keep your rice protected from moisture and heat.
Plenty of recipes use rice as an ingredient. It’s easy to cook and goes along with almost everything. The quantity you get is more dependent on your eating habits and family, however, given its shelf life, you can be fairly generous with your estimate of the rice required.
3. Frozen And Canned Food
Using frozen food and canned food opens up the doors to a greater variety of food on your table. There’s a good range of options and you can get food that would be otherwise considered perishable. We may be isolating, but we’re not monks! A variety in food and some changes for the palate are an absolute necessity.
Canned soups have always been fairly popular and should find easy acceptance in your kitchen. There’s plenty of variety in flavors and brands so you get to take your pick. It’s better to pick soups that have low sodium content. Tomato soup is an obvious choice, but don’t forget bean-based options like those with lentils and split pea.
Other canned foods like black beans and corn are worth considering. Black beans can be eaten right out of the can or combined with some other recipe. If you have the culinary skills and experience, buying raw beans can be very fruitful. They have a long shelf life and can be cooked as desired or necessary.
Canned meats shouldn’t be ignored! Turning vegetarian probably isn’t on your list. There is a fair variety of canned meats available, including chicken. However, the best option is probably to stick to the tried and tested options like fish. Canned tuna and salmon are excellent options.
Long-lasting frozen veggies should make the list. Foods like peas, carrots, spinach, and others are as tasteful as their fresh counterparts. Feel free to load up on enough food and variety that will last your desired timeframe.
4. Pasta And Noodles
Items like instant noodles and pasta are sensible choices. These relatively inexpensive and versatile food items can sit on your food shelf for a very long time. They have the advantage of being easy to prepare and can be mixed with various veggies and meats. Plus, everyone loves pasta and noodles, or at least one of them!
How you prepare these is entirely up to you. Take the instant-food route or go the more complex route and add more items to the dish. Either way, you get a delicious meal with a reliable and long shelf life.
5. Get Your Comfort Food
Even as we consider nutritious and filling foods, it would be a folly to ignore comfort food items. It gets annoyingly boring stuck inside the home and comfort foods help cope with the monotony. So yeah, don’t forget your chocolate (protip: get dark chocolate), ice cream, coffee, tea, or whatever else you like.
All of these items have a fairly good shelf life. And being stuck indoors becomes more bearable with these little comfort foods to enjoy!
6. Other Useful Food Items And Options
Those who know their food items well won’t have much trouble picking the necessities. Potatoes, for example, will easily last the conventional quarantine period. Also, consider picking up flour.
Things get a lot easier if you plan your meals and shop specifically for your needs. Make a list to avoid spending any more time at the store than what you absolutely have to. Oh, and if you are at the store buying some perishables isn’t a bad idea either. They won’t last the quarantine, so pick a quantity suitable for about three days at best.
About The Author: Harsh is an avid hiker, backpacker, and camper. When not exploring the great outdoors, he takes up time for some home improvement projects. Currently, he’s self-isolating for a better safety and health approach.
Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash
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