In this very strange and surreal time many of us are feeling unbalanced, juggling working from home while keeping kids entertained and avoiding a repetitive but nutritious meal plan. If you’re feeling a little under-creative or you’re tying to plan a ‘sensible’ shopping list, here are some key ingredients you might want to add to that bag.
These foods are nutritious and most importantly, long lasting.
Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
Citrus fruit – In our recent blog we looked at the role Vitamin C plays in warding-off illness. It’s one of the most vital vitamins supporting a healthy immune system and comes widely available in oranges, clementines, grapefruits and others in this zesty family.
Apples are also long lasting and packed with vitamins. They may even have prebiotic effects and promote good gut bacteria.
The tubers, which include all types of potatoes and more exotic options such as manioc and Jerusalem artichokes, are a true source of healthy carbohydrates.
Most root vegetables, carrots, beets and parsnips, are all great options
The cruciferous and gourde family, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, squash, pumpkin etc, all make wonderful additions to any curry.
How Do You Like Your Eggs?
From quiches to omelettes or simply poached, eggs top our list by far as healthy, versatile ingredients to have in the house. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein and good fats.
Most of their protein is found in the egg white, while the yolk comes packed with powerful minerals and important vitamins such as B6, B12, A, D, E, K.
Eggs also have a shelf life of roughly 5 weeks when stored at constant temperature such as in the fridge, so they really are a perfect addition to any lockdown menu.
Bread may be hard to come by these days and nothing lifts the soul quite like the smell of a freshly baked loaf. It can seem intimidating at first, but baking is hugely rewarding and a really fun activity for the kids to get involved with.
We’ve recently enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s latest bread recipe. It’s delicious and easy to follow!
For any standard bread recipe you’ll need dried yeast and strong flour in your cupboards.
Tinned Foods Are Your Best Ally
Tinned food might not get your taste buds going quite like their fresh counterpart but they’re super convenient and offer a huge variety, ranging from fish through to every bean you could possibly think of.
Curries are an ideal meal during these lockdown days. They come packed with poignant flavours and there’s no limit to their nutritional value as you can add whatever veg or protein you might have in store.
The best part about curries or stews is that they’re also perfect for bulk freezing, which means you’ll always have a tasty meal on hand.
Alongside the endless spices, tinned tomatoes and coconut milk are key ingredients to most curries, so you may want to add these to your list too.
When choosing tinned food, try to stay away from ‘ready-made’ meals as these come highly processed.
A popular recipe among vegans is this yummy sweet potato, tinned chickpea and spinach curry.
Other than peas, frozen vegetables don’t seem to rate highly on shopping lists but they really should be more popular! As frozen vegetable are usually picked and frozen almost immediately, they can dish-up even more antioxidants and vitamins!
A really comforting recipe including lots of frozen veg is this super simple stir-fry. Add in a few almonds or cashews to take it up a notch.
This is a time when we need to treat ourselves but it’s all about striking that healthy balance. Try to find some form of food that comforts you without leaving you wanting more. Dark chocolate is our go to – it’s delicious, rich and surprisingly good for you in small doses. It also contains antioxidant properties important in preserving healthy cells in your body.
Our final piece of advice isn’t for the shopping list, but it is to stay mindful about being hydrated and getting enough Vitamin D.
Although you’re likely to be less active than usual, it’s still important to drink anywhere between 1.2-2L of water a day to keep the body functioning properly.
If you’re not able to get enough sun, consider supplementing your diet with vitamin D. It’s relatively hard to reach the recommended dietary allowance in normal circumstances, let alone in a global lockdown.