Concerns about the coronavirus are still dominating the headlines, and as of last Saturday, Lebanon is under a “state of emergency”. As the number of cases around the world, and here in Lebanon, continues to rise, all of us had to prepare for the large-scale home quarantine. People rushed to supermarkets, hoarding on goods as if the world was ending. But is that what you should be doing ? Absolutely not. As experts have explained numerous times, hoarding will lead to two major things: you may have to eventually throw away perishables, and on top of it, you are depriving others from things they might really need. Here is a list of the best foods to have at home in times of quarantine. No hoarding, please !
Canned items are staple good always great to have in times of emergencies. Actually, if kept at a moderate temperature constantly, they can last over a decade ! And given that right now, you may find it difficult to stack up of fresh goods, having canned veggies and fruits on hand is a good alternative.
Fruit: Look for the kind with no added sugar. Depending on the type of fruit, the Vitamin C will vary from about 45% (peaches) to 90% (grapefruit).
Vegetables: Even canned, they remain a great source of fiber and nutrients. Go for veggies like corn, carrots, beets, peas and green beans. You can add them to a lot of casseroles or omelets. Look for low-sodium types of cans.
Beans: All varieties are good, and they are a good source of plant protein, and can be used is almost everything. Look for the kind with no added salt. Also grab a few cans of hommos and puréed eggplant, they’ll come in handy for your cravings…
Ravioli: They are an easy and great options for a yummy dinner for the kids when you really don’t feel like cooking !
Fish: Tuna, salmon and sardines are great staples, and a source of both protein and omega-3. You can add them to salads or invent great “Bruschettas”.
Soups: Pick up different varieties for everyone at home. They will help a lot on days you really have no idea what to cook. Look for low sodium types.
Let’s not even mention pasta, rice, lentils or even jams and chocolate spreads (though their price have gone insanely high…), here are other essentials:
Water: The one item you should always have around.
Applesauce: Your kids will love you for that, and you can use them in baked goods. It is a great source of fiber.
Quinoa: Let your creative mind imagine all sorts of new salads. You can also add it to soups and stew, just like boulghour.
Sauces: More specifically, pasta sauces and canned tomatoes. You will find use for them almost daily…
Chicken, beef or vegetable stock: They are low in calories, but a great source of protein. choose the low sodium type.
Dried fruit: They contain plenty of nutrients and can be used as snacks, in cereals, in yogurt or baked goods.
Dried nuts: Nutrient-dense and full of plant protein, they will make great snacks as well.
Powdered or pasteurized milk.
Don’t crowd your freezer, unlike canned goods, frozen foods don’t last forever. However, frozen fruit and veggies are often almost as nutritious as their fresh counterparts.
Veggies: You can add them to soups, pasta, stir-fries or soups.
Fruit: Great for smoothies and easy desserts.
Pizza or pizza crust: A great option for desperate days.
Meat and poultry.
Cereal: Choose the high-fiber kinds.
Granola bars and protein bars: Since you are not able to leave the house to exercise, try to do home yoga or stretching. Those snack will help you through.
Popcorn: Chances are you will spend A LOT of times in front of TV or Netflix, so get your kernels ready. And check our recipes for all sorts of yummy salted or sweet popcorn. You will enjoy them so much !
Eggs: You may not know than, but eggs should be stored in their original carton to protect them. They will last about 3 weeks after purchase, IF refrigerated properly.
Butter: It can last a couple months in the fridge, so no worry there.
Cheese: Whether block-style, shredded or sliced, cheese should last about 2 weeks if stored properly sealed.
Apples: Filling and versatile, apples are rich in fiber, Vit C and potassium. Plus, they keep fresh for about 2 or 3 weeks when refrigerated.
Bananas: They don’t last very long, but it is one fruit that freezes really well. Cut them up and freeze the slices. Great for smoothies or dipped in chocolate for a treat.
Oranges and lemons: To keep your immune system humming ! They will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Garlic and onions: Both can be used in so many recipes, and they last a very long time. And you can store them at room temperature.
Potatoes: Rich in potassium and so versatile, they will last at room temperature for about 2 or 3 weeks.
Bread: Easy to freeze, bread in all its forms is an essential of this quarantine.
PHARMACY ITEMS & BATHROOM ESSENTIALS
- Children’s fever reducer
- Cough medicine
- Saline solution
- Allergy medicine
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Hand washing soap
- Dish soap and other cleaning essentials
- Sanitizing wipes
- Sanitizing gel
- Band Aids
We may have missed some essentials, but with the above, you should be ok for a while. Now, it is all about being creative…