Healthy & Inexpensive Foods to Stock That Last a Long Time

June 23, 2020 / Living & Working During Difficult Times

Fill Your Pantry With Healthy Food That Will Stay Fresh

Why Is Eating Healthy Important?

Eating healthy is sometimes a challenge because of the cost. So-called “Health Food,” stores can charge an exorbitant price for similar foods found in more commercial grocery stores. Additionally, it can seem more cost-effective to buy cheaper foods that have a longer shelf life at the risk of eating less healthy. Most people admit that they could eat healthier to their own benefit, were it not for one reason or another; prohibitive cost of healthier foods, limited access to organic & farm-grown meats and vegetables, or difficulty in preparing healthier foods at home. Healthier foods often do have a shorter shelf life than many common store-bought items like microwave dinners, boxed macaroni & cheese dinners, and all varieties of frozen foods. Fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables do have a shorter shelf life but also are not loaded with preservatives like sodium and sugar which can lead to and complicate conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

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Stock Healthy Long Lasting Food

Why Is It Important To Stock Foods That Will Last A Long Time?

As we have seen with the recent Stay at Home orders to remedy the potentially catastrophic effects of the Corona Virus strain CoVid19 it can sometimes be important to have healthy options in the home in the event of the inability to access food. As the 1st regulations were put into place we saw the stores being emptied of essential needs like water and toilet paper. At the same time, the stores were bought out of seemingly all canned and dry goods like soups, meats, vegetables, beans, and rice. Canned foods can survive an extended period on a shelf and still offer life-giving nutrition through any emergencies. Here in California as an example we have experienced catastrophic fires, earthquakes, and floods in recent years. Preparing for a doomsday may seem excessive but stocking up on some essentials that can carry a household through a rough patch doesn’t seem so excessive in light of recent events.

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A List Of Inexpensive Healthy And Long Lasting Foods To Stock Up On

In this article, I am going to outline some healthy foods that have a long shelf life that would benefit any household in the event of any emergency. Most of these foods are relatively easy to prepare and can be bought at reasonable prices. Considering the nutrition and sustainability of these foods one could argue that their price is actually invaluable.

1. Dried Beans & Lentils: rich in protein and fiber dried beans can easily be prepared in a pot with some water and salt. Adding herbs, seasonings, or fats can make good beans great. Generally, dry beans will cost $1-$2 per pound and can make several servings. Buying dry beans and lentils is roughly ½ of the cost of buying canned beans.
2. Brown Rice and Whole Grains: Buckwheat, Quinoa, Barley, Brown Rice, and other Whole Grains can provide a host of nutrients as well as fiber in addition to giving one a feeling of fullness. Similar to dried beans, Whole Grains can be simply cooked in a pot with water and salt. Adding fats like olive oil or butter will make them even better. Herbs, vegetables, and seasoning can impart a whole new level of flavor to Whole Grains. Grains, like rice, usually cost about $2 per pound and can be bought even more inexpensively in bulk.
3. Frozen Vegetables: Frozen vegetables offer an endless variety of flavors that can be added to any meal while simultaneously providing an incredible amount of nutrition and fiber. Frozen vegetables are easy to make in the microwave, stove-top, or the oven. Frozen vegetables can be purchased for approximately $1.25-$2.50 per pound. Serving Frozen Vegetables with rice, beans, meat or all three can make a simple healthy and remarkable meal at an extremely low price.
4. Canned Tuna: An excellent source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, Canned Tuna is a delicious way to complement many homemade meals. Mixing it with mayonnaise, olive oil, avocado, or other fat is a great way to give it some richness and to increase the number of servings from one can. Adding it to soups or serving it with rice are also delicious combinations. Canned Tuna generally can be purchased for $1-$2.50 per can.
5. Eggs: Eggs are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein that can last in the refrigerator for approximately 1 month. Eggs can be fried, scrambled, poached, and even made into delicious sauces like Hollandaise. On top of being inexpensive and healthy, Eggs are very versatile. Eggs generally can be purchased for $2-$5 per dozen depending on the quality of Eggs you prefer to buy.
6. Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter is rich in protein and healthy fats and is inexpensive and healthy though it should be consumed moderately. Peanut Butter is great on toast or sandwiches and is an incredible addition to smoothies of all sorts. Frozen bananas, Peanut Butter, and coconut milk in a blender is a personal favorite of mine. Add a little Cacao or Cocoa powder and it is an out of this world delight. Peanut Butter can be bought for approximately $2-$5 per jar depending on the quality of Peanut Butter you prefer.
7. Apples: Apples are very hardy fruits that store well and can be found almost year-round. Apples are great in pies and cookies as well as make great snacks. Add some peanut butter to Apples and you will be in for quite a treat if you’ve never tried it before. Apples come in a seemingly endless number of varieties and can be bitter, tart, sweet, soft, firm, crunchy, etc… Apples can be purchased year-round for roughly $1-$2.50 per pound depending on the variety and quality of the Apple. One of the healthiest foods on this list there really is something to impart about Apples from the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
8. Root Vegetables: Root Vegetables come in so many varieties and can be stored for months without going bad. Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips, Turnips, Beets, Rutabaga are some great examples of delicious Root Vegetables from which an endless array of recipes can be derived. Root Vegetables can be boiled, baked, fried, braised, or oven-roasted. Root Vegetables can generally be purchased for $1-$2 per pound depending on the variety and quality. A staple of any kitchen Root Vegetables may be the perfect Inexpensive and Long Lasting Food
9. Onions & Garlic: Both Onions and Garlic can be stored for months in the refrigerator or a month on the shelf. Both are great additions to sauces, soups, meats, and other vegetables. Onions and Garlic provide so much flavor per pound that they can be seen as essentials to any kitchen. Onions and Garlic can both generally be purchased for less than $1 per pound. Add either of them to almost any dish for a great boost of flavor.


Healthy & Inexpensive Foods to Stock FAQs

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are a natural nutrient found in fish that helps reduce heart disease and lower blood pressure.

Is white rice healthier than brown rice?

Both white and brown rice have about the same amount of nutrients, however, brown rice has about 3 times as much fiber and is higher in protein.

What's the shelf life of a can of tuna?

With proper storage, a typical can of tuna can last 3 to 5 years.

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