Mary J. Lynch

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How To Make Well-Marinated Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

There is nothing more exciting than making your own sun-dried vegetables. It’s no secret that they’ll last longer in shelf life and taste so much better compared to regular tomatoes. If you want to make sun-dried tomatoes that are well-marinated and taste good, you’re in the right place.

You will learn step by step how to make marinated sun-dried tomatoes so you can add them to your favorite salads and foods. You will also need some other ingredients that will make those tomatoes burst with flavor every time you take a bite. Once you’ve made your first batch, you’ll probably want to end up making more.

With that said, let’s dive in:

What You Need?

Here’s what you need for ingredients: tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil. Optional ingredients include garlic cloves, onions, etc.

There are three different ways to make sun-dried tomatoes. We’ll be taking a look at how to make them using any of these three methods:

  • Food dehydrator (Option #1)
  • Oven (Option #2)
  • Single layer racks (Option #3)

How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are perfect for salads, pasta, casseroles, and so many other dishes. But when they are marinated with other herbs and vegetables, they really are tasty. Let’s dig in and create some magic by “sun drying” some tomatoes:

Instructions

  1. Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
  1. Cut the tomatoes into ¼ slices. Alternatively, you can cut the tomatoes in half. As a rule of thumb, just know that thicker pieces of tomato will take longer to dry compared to ¼ slices.
  1. Take the slices and place them in the dehydrator tray. If you have any dried oregano or basil handy, this would be a good time to liberally sprinkle some on your slices.
  1. Power on your oven or dehydrator and set it to 150 degrees (see further down below for instructions to dry tomatoes in the sun). At this temperature, it can take ten hours to dry the tomatoes. However, it may also depend on the liquid content of the tomatoes. The less it has, the shorter it will take to dry. Check on the tomatoes every four hours. You’ll know they are completely dry if they appear to look leathery.
  1. Once complete, remove your sun-dried tomatoes and place them in an airtight container. You can store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Either way, the shelf life will be extended. You can expect these sun-dried tomatoes to have a shelf life of six months to a year if they are properly stored.

Option #1 - the food dehydrator

If you are looking for a way to make healthier foods like sun-dried tomatoes or beef jerky, food dehydrators are a must-have in your home. Choosing the best food dehydrator depends on  many factors, like how often you plan to use, what you plan to use it for, and what your budget is. For something like sun-dried tomatoes, however, an entry level dehydrator would be fine

Not to mention, it’s a real money saver when compared to purchasing foods that are already packaged for sale. In other words, the cost-effective way to get your hands on sun-dried tomatoes is to make your own.

Not only that, if you are growing your own vegetables, you can be able to grow more and make an abundant amount of freeze-dried foods. That way, you’ll never run out and you’ll always have them on hand long after you’ve made them. Because the shelf-life is lengthy, you won’t need to throw away foods as often due to spoilage.

Simply put, when it comes to using a food dehydrator, you are making sun-dried veggies that put their canned counterparts to shame.

Option #2 - the Oven Method

If you do not have a food dehydrator, you can still be able to dry the tomatoes. You can use an oven and set it to a temperature of 150 degrees. They will typically take a few hours to dry, so check on them regularly. If they take on a leathery texture, then they are done.

The instructions on how to prep them are roughly the same. You can be able to sprinkle some basil or oregano so you can give it that enhanced flavor. One bite and they will be the best tomatoes you’ve ever tasted.

Option #3 - The “Sun-Dry” Method using Single Layer Racks

Of course, you can literally dry tomatoes in the sun. However, there are certain conditions that need to be met in order for you to make this method more effective. For one, you have to live in an environment where high heat and low humidity is normal.

Clearly, a high-humidity environment would defeat the entire purpose since there will be moisture in the air. Tomatoes left in the open air with plenty of moisture will mold and create a hotbed for bacteria. If you live in an area where the weather gets hot and humid, one of the previous methods above will be your best bet.

With this method, you’re going to need to blanch the tomatoes and remove the skins. Next, you’ll need to cut them in half and remove the pulp and seeds entirely. Using a single layer rack, place the tomatoes on top and let them sit in the sun.

You also need to make sure there is a two-inch space that will allow for appropriate air flow. The tomatoes must be in the full sun in order for this process to work. Every day for the next 12 days (which is the estimated time for this method), turn the tomatoes and bring in the racks every night.

The natural sun dry method is the longest in time elapsed since it doesn’t rely on the use of either an oven or a food dehydrator. The air temperature will be less than 150 degrees, so you don’t want to use this method if you quickly want to make sun-dried tomatoes.

What makes the “sun dry” method great?

If you are using the sun dry method, you’ll be able to make the flavor a bit more nuanced compared to the other two methods above. However, it may not be a good idea to use this as a way to preserve them for a longer shelf life.

Final Thoughts

Making marinated sun-dried tomatoes can be a great culinary skill to have up your sleeve. Especially when you want to make something that will make a great add on for plenty of dishes. You can also be able to give them more extra flavor with additional ingredients like garlic cloves, salt, and onions.

Whether it’s with a food dehydrator, an oven, or nature itself there is no wrong way to make sun-dried tomatoes that are “oh so tasty”.

Instant Pot and Chicken: A Match Made in Heaven

There are hundreds of different recipes for cooking chicken. It’s such a versatile meat and one that can be cooked in so many different ways and with so many different dishes from soup and pasta to a delicious Sunday roast. You could be barbecuing chicken legs during the summer, and then making tasty chicken fillets in the winter. It’s a meat that can be consumed anytime of the year, hot or cold.

Chicken can be boiled, roasted, grilled, fried, barbequed or baked. With so many different ways to cook it, there are so many wonderful recipes that you can try out.

If you are lucky enough to have an Instant Pot at home, then you are going to be able to whip up a whole range of unique and tasty recipes in no time at all. One major benefit that the Instant Pot has over other types of cooking pot, or method of cooking, is the amount of time that it takes. Instant Pots cook quickly and thoroughly.

They are a combination of different cooking pots all merged into one, and are a great piece of equipment to have at home in your kitchen. They will also save you energy, and cut down on the amount of washing up you’ll have to do.

With your Instant Pot, there are loads of delicious recipes that you can try out, and in this article, you’ll find some of the more popular ones, which will give you the chance to prepare a wonderful meal for your family or dinner guests.

Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms

There’s something about chicken and mushrooms that get the taste buds tingling. They are such a great combination, and when topped with a creamy sauce, become almost a work of art. The time to prepare and cook this meal is around 30 minutes, which is very quick.

This recipe works best with skinless and boneless chicken breasts, though you can also use chicken thigh if you prefer. The meat is lightly cooked and brown and crispy on top, while staying soft and moist inside. You can top off the chicken with the mushroom cream, and then serve with some potatoes or green vegetables, which go perfectly with the chicken.

For the sauce you can also add in any additional vegetables and seasoning that you enjoy. Garlic goes great with this dish, so if you can add a clove of garlic, you’ll be giving it a real kick. This is a perfect meal for the family or a weekend lunch, and it is an easy and quick one to prepare.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a chicken dish that is loved the world over, and one that is very easy to prepare and ideal for cooking during the week after work. You can also put any leftovers in the fridge and have them again the following day.

The dish is packed full of goodness and flavor, and is a great choice for dinner during the cold winter months, where it can really warm you up. The best chicken for this is boneless and skinless thighs or breast. You can use any type of yogurt for this dish, but if you want something really tasty, try and find a tub of Greek yogurt. Nothing can beat that for a tikka masala.

You’ll add the spices and seasoning that you prefer, but the main one you need for this dish is garam masala, which is a very common spice for Indian food and can be found in most supermarkets or food stores. The amount of spice you add will depend on how hot you like your curries. It’s quick, simple and extremely tasty, and something that the whole family will enjoy at the dinner table.

Chicken Wings

These are an all time favourite with families all over the world. The only problem was that they were a little messy and time consuming to cook, especially if you were grilling them in the oven or on your BBQ. However, if you have an Instant Pot then these are a doddle to prepare and cook and you won’t need more than 30 minutes to have them ready and served.

The great thing with chicken wings is the variety of dips that you can serve them with. You can also add a range of different seasoning onto the chicken, giving it a spicy or tangy taste. The Instant Pot cooks the chicken wings and locks in all the flavors and aromas from the herbs and spice, with the meat staying very soft and juicy, and not all dried out as can be the case with other methods of cooking.

If you are planning a gathering during the spring or summer, and want to avoid having to fire up the barbeque, then chicken wings in your Instant Pot is the best recipe you can try.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Chicken is a meat that can be accompanied with a range of different vegetables. One of the most popular, healthy and easy to prepare is broccoli. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, broccoli is a great vegetable to eat with your meals, and it goes perfectly with chicken.

Creating a stir fry dish of chicken and broccoli with your Instant Pot is extremely easy, and you can also add in any other vegetables that you enjoy. It’s a dish made famous at Chinese takeaways, and now is something you can prepare at home in under 30 minutes.

Your chicken should be diced into chunky pieces that can fit easily on a fork. Any larger, and they can be a little too much for people to chew, while too small, and you lose the flavors that are locked into the chicken while it's cooking. This dish can be served with rice, noodles or even quinoa if you enjoy it.

With an Instant Pot, there is a whole world of chicken recipes that you can try and experiment with. The great thing with chicken is that it's an easy meat to cook and season, and with the Instant Pot, it’s so much quicker to cook when compared to an alternative method. Why not try one of the suggestions mentioned in this article and see how they come out. Your family are bound to love them.

Best Ways to Get Food Delivered at Your Doorstep

Long gone are the days when you had to call into a restaurant to talk with a rude host. Whether you’re talking about having to scream your lungs out just to place a Fajita order through deafening background noise to always being put on hold, ordering food has always never been easy in the past.

Well luckily, that is no longer the case nowadays thanks to some awesome on-demand food delivery service apps. But while this is good news to shoppers and consumers everywhere, the plethora of on-demand food delivery apps can be overwhelming. So, how do you narrow down to the right app for what you need quickly? Here are simple suggestions.

Available Types of Food Delivery Apps

When it comes to food delivery apps, they are grouped into two categories or basic models: platform-to-consumer delivery, and restaurant-to-delivery.

Platform-to-consumer delivery Apps

Platform-to-consumer apps combine order-focused food to deliver services with logistics-focused delivery services. They serve as food aggregator apps where people can check out different menus and compare prices, check out restaurant ratings and reviews, and place orders. By providing the logistics, these delivery marketplaces open new horizons to other food vendors including grocery and specialty food stores.

Mercato is a Perfect Example!

Mercato.com operates a platform that takes advantage of the resurgence in the popularity of food artisans and independent groceries. As more people look to local shops for the baker, the small grocery store, and the fruit salad, Mercato has modernized how people make purchases locally. The app equips high-end grocers with a user-friendly platform of marketing, e-commerce, and service tools that facilitate smooth online ordering and delivery right to your doorstep. The online grocery e-commerce platform hosts over 900 different independent groceries and specialty food stores across the United States.

Restaurant-to-consumer Delivery Apps

Restaurant-to-consumer delivery services are basically what pizza chains have been doing for years. Unlike platform-to-consumer services, restaurant-to-consumer delivery services do not deal with third-parties. Instead, they have their own chefs who prepare all the meals in-house. They also hire their own courier services to do deliveries and offer full-service on-demand food delivery to customers. Some classic examples include Pizza Hut and Dominos.

Comparing the Two

The main difference between the two online food delivery platforms is that platform-to-consumer platforms significantly widen the options available to consumers. This makes it possible for customers to order healthy and elegant options from big, popular vendors as well as from local diners, cafes, independent groceries, and specialty food stores. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why platform-to-consumer delivery services like Mercato are increasingly witnessing impressive growth at the moment.

Final Thoughts

In summary, if you want to order food online fast you have to consider two things. First, you should consider whether the platform offers variety in such a way that you can do all your shopping for different foods and groceries from different vendors through one platform. Second, you must consider whether you simply want a specific quick meal from a favorite restaurant near you.

Home Cooking Essentials Amid COVID-19 Lockdown Crisis

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, 210 countries and territories are now in a lockdown situation to contain the pandemic. Billions of people are now following strict Govt. regulations to stay home and maintain social distancing.

COVID-19 infections and death tolls are ever-increasing with the timeline. Almost 4 million people are infected and nearly 300 hundred thousand people have died in the last four months. As the COVID-19 vaccination is still under process,   countries have to stretch lockdown to save  lives.

Because of the lockdown situation, most restaurants are now closed and only a few of them are offering home deliveries. But, appetite never stops. Most folks have increased culinary activities in the kitchen to meet their  hunger or to prepare  delicious meals of their choice.

As the cooking expedition stretches, you are finding needs for new kitchen appliances and accessories. Also, a lack of knowledge about cooking essentials is pulling you back from  preparing the most mouthwatering items in dining. Before you grow your chef's spirits, it's time to know some of the common cooking essentials that can help you in these lockdown days.

1. Smokeless Indoor Grills 

No matter how long lockdown continues, cravings for grill items are difficult to control. In these days of the pandemic, outdoor cooking mostly BBQ items are the one that knocks us hard inside. But, the invisible enemy is playing tough and you are forced to maintain social distancing whenever you are out of your home.

Lockdown days are great opportunities to gain some cooking skills and learn to toy with the preparation of delicious dishes. No chef gained cooking excellence overnight. If you try these, surely you can find curves of improvement even in a disdain lockdown situation. Who knows these cooking essentials may glorify your talents in cooking.

You can still meet up your barbecue craving if you have smokeless indoor grills at  home. Just like outdoor cooking, these grills can put up a show on meat, fish, veggie, burger patties, sausage, and more. Because of non-stick surface and temperature control it is easy to use and clean.

Furthermore, this cooking appliance preserves the flavor and smoky taste of your foods. . Also, it produces the least amount of spills and splatters during cooking. Some models also have timers to help control the temperature of your dishes. For grill lovers, this is an item to watch out in the lockdown crisis.

2. Pressure Cooker

Your kitchen is always incomplete without the inclusion of a pressure cooker. The airtight container uses steam pressure to cook items quickly. Because of high pressure, pressure cookers can force moistures in tough food items like beef or pulses for faster cooking.

Though in early days pressure cookers operated through spring-loaded valves, modern pressure cookers are mostly electric. They have timers with smart programming systems where you can select temperature, pressure, duration, heating intensity according to your dishes.

3. Slow Cooker

In case you are dying for the best-braised beef or good pot roast, a slow cooker is your solution to help such appetite. Because of low-temperature and slow cooking processes, it can extract more flavors out of your food. Slow cookers make the heat at the base and slowly transfer it to all over the vessels.

Because of one-step preparation, it is easy to clean up after cooking. Depending on your recipes, slow cookers can take up to eight hours to prepare your dishes. It generally has two to three settings with capacity ranging from one to seven quarts. You can cook hundreds of recipes with slow cookers like burritos, curries, soups, and many more.

4. Air Fryers 

When it comes to pizzas, Fried chicken, or any junk food, the list is incomplete without french fries. A good bowl of hot french fries can surely lift your mood in this lockdown era of virus containment. Air fryers use conventional  mechanisms and circulate hot air to cook food items.

Air fryers use little or no added oil to fry food items. Instead of submerging your foods in oil, you can try air fryers for the best healthy eating. This machine can circulate hot air up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and it is perfect to fry fish, chicken, potato chips, pastries, and more. Furthermore, most air fryers are dishwasher safe for all removable parts.

5. Food Steamers

This is the ancient Chinese concept of steaming food and keeps it  juicy before eating. The food steamer is a small kitchen appliance that cooks food by holding it in a small closed vessel.

In conventional cooking, foods can lose nutrients like niacin, biotin, thiamine, riboflavin, Vitamin C, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, etc. But, food steamers keep them intact and you get the maximum nutrients from your food.

Most food steamers have two or more chambers. In the lower chamber you have pots to heat water and produce steam. In the upper chamber, place vegetables, fish, meat with salt and spices. Then steam it for  generally 30 to 40 minutes.

Food steamers are available in different varieties, like aluminum food steamer, electric food steamer, microwave food steamer, as well as the ancient bamboo steamer. All of them function quite similarly but there is a slight difference in terms of effectiveness. Hard solid food items like beef, beans, etc. are not suitable to cook through steamers.

6. Blenders

In these hot summer days of lockdown, you may have a desire  for smoothies or milkshakes. When it comes to chopping, mixing, or pureeing food items, a blender is the best option .. Also, you can use a blender to grind spices for other recipes in the kitchen. It's quick and fast to prepare dishes for your dining. 

Blender can be of three different types- countertop blenders, hand blender, and personal size blenders. Without using a blender, it is almost impossible to bring homogenous texture to your food items. Besides, blenders are affordable, easy to use, and clean.

7. Deep Fryer 

If you are trying something crispy and deeply indulged with its characteristic taste, then try a deep fryer to cook such items. In a deep-fryer, foods are submerged in oils at high heat nearly 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Deep fryers can be found for both  household or commercial purposes.

It is simple to use a deep fryer. Put your food items in a basket and lower it in an oil tank. Make sure you preheat your oil tank and submerge your food in oil. Keep frying until the brown color appears. The deep fryer recipe list is too long to describe. From fried chicken to bakery items, corn fritters to spring roll all are possible if you have a deep fryer.

Final Verdict

Lockdown days are great opportunities to gain some cooking skills and learn   to toy with  the preparation of delicious dishes. No chef gained cooking excellence overnight. If you try these, surely you can find curves of improvement even in a disdain lockdown situation. Who knows these cooking essentials may glorify your talents in cooking. 

What Does Butternut Squash Taste Like?

If you were to associate a scent to winter, it will probably be the smell of a lovely Christmas tree. If you're going to attribute a sound, likely, you would immediately think of Christmas carols. However, when it comes to taste, it is the pleasing one of the butternut squash. Despite its popularity, there are so many different opinions its taste. This article will answer the question, “what does butternut squash taste like? “

For over half a century, the butternut squash has become the staple of winter meals. The butternut squash is not only known for its lovely taste but also for its numerous nutritional benefits. It can be prepared in various different ways

The Butternut Squash is not the Only Type of Winter Squashes There Is

The butternut squash is not the type of popular winter squash. There are several types of winter squashes. This is one of the reasons why a lot of folks can’t really describe what a butternut squash tastes like accurately. 

Before we go on to describe how the butternut squash tastes, we must differentiate it from the other fruits in the family. In this section, you will be reading a brief exposition on some of the commonest winter squashes.

  • Pumpkin: Round fruit with a very firm exterior. It has a vibrant orange skin with a sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Banana Squash: This is a large fruit that is shaped like a banana. It has smooth skin with hues ranging from orange to pink to blue. It has a rich, sweet, and earthy flavor.
  • Buttercup Squash: The buttercup squash is a thick and round fruit with a green skin. It has a firm orange-colored flesh. It has a sweet and creamy taste.
  • Delicata Squash: Alternatively called the sweet potato squash. It is small in size with cream-colored skin and orange-yellow flesh. It tastes a lot like sweet potato.
  • Kabocha: About the same size as the buttercup squash. Both fruits also have similar skin colors. However, when it comes to taste, they differ. Instead of a sweet, creamy flavor., the kabocha has a sweet, nutty taste.
  • Turban Squash: This fruit is shaped like an irregular turban. It has a bumpy exterior with a hue that ranges from green to orange to yellow.
  • Spaghetti Squash: This fruit has a firm cream or yellow exterior. When cooked, the insides of the fruit look like spaghetti.
  • Sweet Dumpling Squash: Yellow skin. Small Fruit. The taste will remind you of corn.
  • Hubbard Squash: A very large fruit with a firm skin. The color of the exterior ranges from gray to blue. It has a rich pumpkin flavor.
  • Acorn Squash: The Acorn Squash is small in size. The color of the skin ranges between dark green and orange. The flesh of the fruit is orange-yellow. It has a subtle sweet and nutty taste.

The Butternut Squash

This fruit is a shaped like a pear with a cream-colored rind. It has a smooth orange colored flesh and little seeds.

The butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A. One serving has all the vitamin A you need in a day. The fruit is also known to help people lose weight and the prevent cancer. One serving contains 0.00318 kilograms of fat.

It is known for its ability to be an excellent antioxidant, boost the body's immunity, and reduce inflammation. The butternut squash is also known to be a great source of vitamin C.

The Taste of The Butternut Squash

The fruit is so sweet that it has been relatively compared with butterscotch candy. It also said to taste like carrots and turnips.

When it is cooked into a puree, a sweet potato-like taste becomes more prominent in its flavor. When made into soup, it has a slightly spicy, silky and sweet taste. The seeds of the fruit are edible and they have a strong nutty dose. It is also said to taste a lot like the pumpkin, only that it is a lot sweeter.

All in all, the taste of the butternut squash can be summarized into these three things: Sweet, Nutty, and Moist. The butternut squash can be eaten raw. However, its amazing taste comes out more when it is cooked. To get the ultimate Butternut Squash taste, roasting and sautéing are the best options thanks to what is known as the Maillard reaction. 

Here are some tips you can use to enhance the taste of your butternut squash meal. You can either:

  •  Roast with rosemary, olive oil and garlic,
  • Before baking or grilling, season it with dark pepper,
  • Mix sage-flavored oil in butternut squash ravioli or
  • Add some cheese to improve the flavor

Choosing the Best of the Bunch

In the previous section, we made an effort to describe the taste of the butternut. We reached the conclusion that it has a sweet nutty and moist flavor that goes very well with aromatic spices. However, it is important to note that only the best out of the bunch provides the authentic Butternut Squash taste. In this section, I will be sharing tips on how to choose the right butternut squash.

  •  When you grab it, it feels a lot heavier than you expect
  • The skin must be clean and clear.
  • It must have no bruises whatsoever
  • If it has frostbite scars, do not pick it
  • Check for punctures.

These guidelines may look naïve and unnecessary, but following them could be the difference between getting a tasty, satisfying, and healthy meal or otherwise.

Peeling and Seeding The Butternut Squash

A sharp knife is needed for the tough and thick butternut squash skin. You will also need a very sturdy vegetable peeler. Skinning a butternut squash can be hard work, but if you get your steps right, it can be a lot easier for you.  Here are some steps to take:

  • Cut away both ends
  • Horizontally divide the fruit into two
  • Start peeling from one extreme till you get to the round base
  • Divide what you have in half
  • Using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds.
  • Voila! You have skinned butternut squash. You can divide them into pieces based on your discretion.

Four Ways to Prepare a Butternut Squash

The way you prepare the butternut squash also goes a long way in determining how it will taste. There are so many ways to prepare butternut squash. In this section, we will discuss four of them. Once you understand them, you can experiment( and even make your own unique butternut squash dish!)

  • Steam-Baking: When you steam-bake any ingredient, its nutrients are more preserved than when you use another method of food processing. You do not even need to bother cutting it up or peeling it. Just divide it into two, put it into an oven, and remove the seeds with a spoon when you are done.
  • Roasting: Olive oil, thyme, cinnamon, and honey should be used to season the fruit before roasting.
  • Boiling: Wash and peel the fruit first, though.
  • Baking: Clean the fruit, cut in half season with dark pepper and bake at 204 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. More importantly, I hope that you have learned something very useful about the butternut squash. Now you know that the butternut squash has a sweet, nutty and moist taste. The great taste only comes out when it is carefully picked and adequately processed. You can use the hints in the article to figure out how to do so.

Thanks for reading! 

Foods to Store in The Kitchen During the Coronavirus Lockdown

The recent pandemic of COVID-19 has certainly changed our eating habits. Restaurants and cafes have been closed. Many places have restricted home deliveries and even going outside can be a risk.

At times like, this running out of food can be a scary thought; but don’t panic. All you have to do is sit down, make a list and plan how you can stock up your kitchen during the coronavirus lockdown.

First, you need to consider a few things. You have to figure out what you need and how much of it do you need. Thoughtful shopping is certainly the way to go. Yes, you should stock up but stocking up does not necessarily mean mindlessly overstocking your pantry and fridge.

Think of it as the perfect opportunity to brush up your domestic skills. The first thing you would want to do is:

Make a fourteen-day list of foods and supplies

You would not want to run to the nearest supermarket every couple of days because it is best to minimize going out during the lockdown. This is why a 14-day list helps you stock up perfectly, avoid waste, and reduce the need to go out too frequently.

In this 14 day list, you would want to have fresh, frozen and non-perishable items. This includes dry grains, proteins, canned foods, pasteurized milk for babies if you have children, fruits, vegetables, cooking oil, frozen meat, and some snacks.

Some of us might be okay with seating chips and frozen pizzas every day. That would be a bad idea since you won’t be getting too much exercise during the lockdown. Instead, you should opt for superfoods that are packed with nutrition.

You can find a comprehensive list of superfoods on Superfoods Online.

All this food is stored in different places. Some go in your pantry, some go in the  refrigerator, and some go in the freezer.

Now we will be going into details about what goes where.

Non-perishable staples for the pantry

This is  not the best time to experiment with your cooking skills and make dishes you might regret in the end. It is better to go for the common foods and recipes you know you will like.

The pantry is the place where you will be storing canned and dry foods.

Canned foods

Canned foods have a long shelf life which makes it ideal to store and they are readily available in supermarkets - even during the pandemic. Canned foods include canned fish, canned soup, sugar-free canned fruits, and canned vegetables.

Canned foods packed in liquids like canned tomato, tuna and beans double up in their use as the liquids can be used to cook rice or even pasta.

Dry Grains and Spices

Dry grains are your usual rice, pasta, lentils, quinoa, and beans. Dry grains are packed with nutrition, inexpensive, and easy to cook. Bagged beans are way cheaper than canned ones. Nowadays, you have enough time to soak them overnight before using them.

Dry grains can be stored for a long time and they don’t need refrigeration. So be sure to stock up on dry grains. Spices include your average cooking ingredients like salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, etc.

Tea and Coffee

As we spend more time at home, our consumption of beverages like tea and coffee will go up. So, stock up on your favourite tea and coffee.

Oil and Sauce

Cooking oil, olive oil, vinegar, cooking wine and soy sauce are very important and are essential for pretty much any recipe or salads.

Snacks

Don’t forget to add snacks to your list. The lockdown will make us reach for our comfort food like chips and cookies. Treat yourself, but do it sensibly.. You probably won’t be getting that much exercise while you are at home. It’s better not to tempt yourself with too many cookies or candies. You can try granola bars, popcorn, and dark chocolate as healthy snacking alternatives.

Store food in the refrigerator but don’t overstuff it

Beth Somishka, sanitarian with the Bethlehem Health Bureau advises not to overstuff the fridge with food as it will block the airflow making your fridge work harder to keep your food safe. There is also a chance of developing bacteria if the foods are blocked from reaching the proper storing temperature.

As for what to keep in the fridge. First up we have:

Fruits and veggies

You can store fruits and veggies in plastic storage bags. Now frozen ones are a good alternative since fresh fruits and vegetables don’t normally last that long. Apples last a while in the fridge and bananas can be frozen, but not all fruits will last.

As for vegetables you can store corn, peas, beans, spinach and of course the obvious ones like cucumbers, carrots, zucchinis, cabbages. Avoid storing tomatoes in the fridge as refrigeration alters its taste. Make sure to pack them t in plastic bags before putting them in the produce boxes in the fridge.

Dairy Items

You probably would not want to stock up on too much milk as it has a short shelf life and you shouldn’t freeze dairy.. However, there are alternatives to milk such as cashew or soy or even oat milk that store well. You can also try lactose-free milk which is ultra-pasteurized and has a refrigerated shelf life of more than 60 days.

You can also keep butter and yogurt for a long time in the fridge if it is sealed properly.

Other items

Whole-grain bread can be kept in the fridge for a few days but it is best to freeze bread.

Eggs last more than two weeks in the fridge. . Eggs are very versatile and can be had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eggs are also essential for baking. So you probably would want to stock up some eggs.

Properly wrapped cheese also lasts long in the fridge and lastly, a few chocolates can be stored in the fridge.

Put your freezer to good use

Freezers are great for long term storage of food. Not only can you freeze ingredients in your freezer, but you can also freeze leftovers and make-ahead foods. So, let’s explore how to put your freezer to good use during this pandemic.

Here are some items you can freeze:

Frozen food

While you shouldn’t rely too much on frozen foods, sometimes, it is just easy to take them out of the freezer and cook them at a moment’s notice. There are a variety of frozen foods from pizzas, tortillas, nuggets to even frozen fruits, vegetables and much more.

Animal Proteins

USDA recommends that a healthy adult consume about 46-56 grams of protein a day. So, you are going to need to stock up on some protein. Animal protein is an excellent source of protein. Meat is also a perfect item for freezing. You can stock up on ground beef, other cuts of beef, chicken breasts and whole chickens, and pork for protein options for dinners.

You can also store frozen filets of fish and shrimp in proper freezer bags. Be sure to package frozen foods in freezer proof bags to avoid freezer burns.

Other items

You can also freeze sliced bread. Eggs can also be stored in the freezer for later use. You can also store whole and ground spices in the freezer if needed.

What not to store

Dairy Items

Yes, dairy products are good in the fridge but not in the freezer. Milk will curdle and cheese will crumble if you freeze them.

Fruits

You should only store dry fruits in your freezer and not fresh fruits. While bananas and mangoes are exceptions, not all fruits should be frozen.

Other Items

Some frozen foods require frying before eating. Never refreeze these foods once you have fried them. Noodles and pasta just get mushy after defrosting and coffee catches a weird freezer smell that kind of ruins the overall taste.

Final thoughts

We have provided a list of all the food items you would need to get through the lockdown time. Be sure to make a proper list of things you would personally need according to the number of your family members. Remember to socially distance yourself, wear protective gear where appropriate, and wash your hands as soon as you come home.

Because the virus can last for hours to days on surfaces, it is always best to disinfect the packages and cans of food as soon as you get home. Most importantly be a thoughtful buyer. Plan ahead and stock up. However, don’t ever hoard - be mindful of the next shopper who may need that food item as well.

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