Our Favorite Non-Perishable Pantry Essentials and What to Do with Them

So you stocked up on canned, frozen and non-perishable everything, now what? Pandemic or not,  we love having our pantry stocked with essentials to whip up quick, nutrient-dense and cost-effective meals. Even better if that list of pantry essentials are non-perishables or frozen food that will last for months and pack in tons of nutrition at a much lower price point than fresh alternatives. We've all had those moments when you're crazy busy, absolutely starving and haven't been to the grocery store in days (maybe weeks?) and dinner becomes a pantry medley of pretzels, crackers and cheerios. While that may sound appealing, this article will give you the ideas and resources to give the 'pantry special' a little nutrition upgrade and how to maximize every dollar spent on food and every trip to the grocery store.

 

We've put together a list of resources to save you time and money and minimize trips to the grocery store - what fresh produce has the longest shelf-life, storage tips to prolong shelf-life, what to do with fresh food when it's about to go bad, our favorite non-perishable pantry essentials and simple recipes using non-perishables, canned or frozen whole foods. We'll also share some of our favorite frozen food brands and food delivery options.

 

Produce with a Long Shelf-Life

 

  • Carrots

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Onions

  • Apples

  • Oranges

  • Garlic

  • Cabbage

  • Squash

  • Beets

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

 

 

 

 

Storage Tips to Prolong Shelf-life

 

  1. Storing fresh produce in the fridge will prolong shelf-life. For example, once avocados start to get ripe, I put them in the fridge and they stay perfectly ripe for several days vs. the tiny window of perfect ripeness when they're out on your counter. The same goes for bananas and almost all fresh produce.

  2. Whenever something is starting to go bad, I put it in the freezer (bananas, spinach, protein, any fruit and veg for smoothies or stir-fry, tortillas, breads) - literally everything!

  3. Cook it! Roast up any veggies or protein that are about go to bad and keep them to use as leftovers. They'll stay another few days after they've been cooked.

  4. To keep leafy greens from getting soggy, cover them with paper towels to help absorb moisture. This works particularly well when they're in the plastic containers. Just place 1 paper towel on top of the greens to catch the moisture from the lid.

 

Our Favorite Non-Perishable Pantry Essentials

 

  • Canned or Dried Beans

  • Dried Lentils

  • Canned Salmon & Tuna (Favorite brands: Wild planet, Vital Choice, Safe Catch, Tonnino)

  • Plain Oats

  • Nuts & Nut butters

  • Seeds & Seed butters

  • Tahini

  • Frozen Bone Broth

  • Canned or Dried Chickpeas

  • Canned Tomatoes

  • Chickpea/Lentil Pasta (Favorite brands: Banza, Tolerant Foods, Ancient Harvest)

  • Qunioa

  • Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

  • Frozen Animal Protein (You can buy pre-frozen or purchase fresh and freeze on your own)

  • Dates

  • Oils & Vinegar for homemade salad dressing: for more on this, check out this article I wrote on homemade and store-bought dressings!

  • Full-fat Canned Coconut Milk

  • Spices & Condiments for flavor: truffle salt, hot sauce, coconut aminos, marinara sauce, miso paste, no sugar added bbq & ketchup

 

 

 

Our Favorite Frozen Food Brands and Food Delivery/Online Grocers:

 

 

Simple Recipe Ideas to Get You Started Using Non-Perishables, Canned or Frozen Whole Foods!

*Some of these are not my original recipes and I link directly to the source. Enjoy!

 

Breakfast

  1. Glorified Morning Nut Bar Recipe

  2. Overnight Oats (Collagen optional. I like to top with frozen berries and/or nut butter)

  3. Chia Seed Pudding (I like to top with frozen berries and/or nut butter)

  4. Green Smoothie 

  5. Homemade Cashew Milk (my favorite milk for coffee - I just use cashews + water for mine)

  6. Homemade Grain-Free Granola

  7. Dark Chocolate Oat Granola

  8. Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

 

 

Lunch/Dinner

 

  1. Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls

  2. Arugula Lentil Pasta Salad (can swap in frozen veggies/spinach for any of the veggies/arugula)

  3. Chunky Veggie Marinara

  4. Black Bean & Cauliflower Rice (would be delicious mixed into a big salad or with an egg on top!)

  5. Lentil Soup

  6. Wild Canned Salmon Tacos

  7. Cashew Crusted Baked Chicken

 

Snacks

 

  1. Homemade Hummus

  2. Homemade Mixed Nut Butter

  3. Homemade Almond Butter

  4. Homemade Taco Seasoning

  5. Minty Pea Dip

  6. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2018 Abigail Taft Nutrition