Can I tell you something? There hasn’t been much recipe testing going on at my house lately. I can’t fathom wasting precious ingredients on something my kids may or may not eat. I have a few ideas, and maybe when I feel up to it, or when I get a break from homeschooling, I’ll get back to this again.
I wanted to write about how I have been grocery shopping lately, and talk about what I am choosing to buy. My local stores have had a lot of items out of stock. Plus, we are trying to grocery shop as infrequently as possible as to do our part in #socialdistancing. At the same time, I don’t feel like it’s appropriate to buy ” the whole store” when we do go shopping. But the reality is, now that all five of us are home for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I am buying more food than usual.
When is the bread out of stock how about taco shells? When flour is out of stock, maybe try cornmeal? When you can’t find cheddar cheese, perhaps it’s time to introduce your family to another kind? When all the frozen veggies are sold out, freeze your own?
Here is a list of healthy items that I have found at stores easily and have a long shelf life, and I will explain how I stored them at home.
Items you can Freeze
Bananas- When I have been ordering food from Walmart online or Instacart, bananas have been readily available! I purchased a bunch of bananas and froze them in plastic bags. When we are out of fresh fruit, a smoothie it is! You can also use frozen bananas for banana bread, muffins, or other delicious baked goods!
Celery- I have been making a lot of soups and chilis since being in quarantine. I got a bunch of celery, which I cut up and froze. It has been so lovely having celery for many of the ” comfort food” recipes I have been making!
Cheese- If there is one thing I realized about my family’s diet, it is that my family eats a lot of cheese! Shredded cheese freezes well! I have been storing the cheese in my freezer after I go shopping because I want to make sure it stays fresh!
Bread- You can also easily store loaves of bread in your freezer! It thaws relatively fast!
Eggs- Eggs last quite a while in the fridge if you buy them while they are still fresh. Did you know you can freeze eggs? I have been doing a lot of baking with my kids, so I froze a few eggs just in case we need an egg for a recipe. I froze these eggs in ice cube trays. All you need to do is scoop the egg out of the ice cube tray and let it thaw in a bowl.
Long-lasting fruits and vegetables
Carrots- while canned vegetables are sold out everywhere, I have been able to find fresh carrots almost everywhere! Did you know that carrots will last in the fridge for 4-6 weeks? I have been stocking up, and it has been nice to know that I still have some vegetables around.
Squash- Another vegetable that I have seen readily available is butternut squash. Although it’s not squash season, butternut squash will last a long time if you store them properly. A butternut squash stored in a cold, dark room- like a basement- will last 2-3 months.
Potatoes- Potatoes will also last long in a cold basement for 1-2 months. Remove them from plastic bags, and don’t wash them until you are ready to eat them.
Apples- You can store apples in a box in a box in your basement for 3-4 months. You will want to rotate them every week or so to make sure they stay dry.
Onions- When stored in a box in a cool dark space, onions will last for up to 8 months! Onions also freeze well!
Popcorn- We have been making a lot of stovetop popcorn! It is healthy, inexpensive, and doesn’t take up a lot of space!
Almond Milk- I purchased some shelf-stable almond milk just in case we ran out of milk at home. My kids drink a lot of milk, so this will be handy only in case we need something to put on a bowl of cereal.
Half and Half- Did you know that ultra-pasteurized half and half will last 1-2 months? Having half and half is the comfort item that I like to have for my daily cups of coffee. Lots of coffee drinking these days 🙂
Chia Seeds – Did you know you can make a chia seed egg if you’re baking and have run out of eggs? My husband accidentally bought a ton of chia seeds off of amazon a few years ago. If you think you’re going to be doing a lot of baking over the next few weeks, then make sure you have some chia seeds on hand!