Do you have the right food essentials in your pantry? If you need to self-isolate, if your online grocery delivery doesn’t show, or just for those last minute Sunday mealtimes, these are the canned foods to have on hand for any situation
News of the coronavirus has had people panic-buying everywhere. Hastily bought food may not make the best choice for a nutritionally dense family meal. So now is a good time to take stock of what’s in your kitchen and cupboards and plan to buy a variety of shelf-safe canned foods (protein, vegetables and carbs) that you can store long term and use when you need them. We are not talking hoarding here and there’s no need to rush out and buy everything on on your pantry list in one go. Instead just pick up some extra canned food items every time you shop. We are talking about having a calmly stocked pantry with well thought-out ingredients to fall back on when you need. If your online fresh vegetable delivery gets delayed or if you open the fridge on a Sunday evening and realise you are low on ingredients, you can just turn to your pantry for a meal.
Having a well thought out pantry with some recipe ideas ready will give you a sense of safety and control that “you’ve got this” in challenging times. Just remember to keep a tab of what’s in your pantry and rebuy what you use so that you have a running store of the essentials on our list.
So what canned food & essentials should you stock in your pantry?
A pantry typically is for dry, shelf-stable ingredients. Heritage brand Del Monte stocks quality shelf stable products and canned food that are easy on the pocket and perfect for stocking your pantry with for last minute meals. Of course not many of us actually have an actual pantry room but you can just keep some cupboards in your kitchen reserved for “pantry basics” like canned food.
It’s a good idea to keep a range of canned food and shelf-stable vegetables and fruit, dry carbohydrates and snacks and of course water in your pantry. This is in addition to your everyday fresh produce including fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood, eggs and dairy basics as well as cooking basics like baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, honey, flour, yeast, vinegar and cooking oils like coconut oil (one of the longest shelf life oils).
Family Food Essentials: Stocking Your Pantry with Canned Food
- Protein: Stock up on canned food like tinned fish; salmon, tuna and mackerel. Cans of beans (chickpeas, butter beans/cannellini beans, black beans) are always great to have on hand for protein-rich easy meals.
- Vegetables: Keep frozen peas and frozen corn, or mixed frozen vegetables in your freezer as well as some shelf-stable options. Del Monte have Whole Kernel Corn, Creamed Corn, and Mixed Vegetables in easy-to-peel shelf-stable boxes. These are great because you don’t need to rely on a can opener to open them and they are safe for children to handle if your kids are helping you in the kitchen. Tomato sauces are great to have on hand to add to pasta or beans for an easy fix meal.
Tip: Look for the Del Monte products with lower sodium that are certified healthier choice by the Health Promotion Board. You can also reduce the sodium content of canned vegetables by draining and rinsing with water prior to cooking.
- Fruit: Stock up on cans of fruit like pineapple, peaches, fiesta fruit mix and fruit cocktail. These make a great dessert in a pinch, especially with a dollop of coconut cream!
- Carbohydrates: Stock your pantry with brown or white rice, superfood quinoa (this high carb pseudo-cereal, is a good source of protein and fiber), kids’ favourite pasta, as well as noodles and oats.
- Snacks: Dried fruit makes a great snack for kids – look out for Del Monte’s dried cranberries, raisins, and prunes. Having shelf stable snacks like biscuits and crackers on hand makes sense for emergencies. Peanut butter (look for pure peanut butter with no added extras) is a great source of protein and can be eaten with apple slices or celery as a snack. Keep popcorn kernels in store as popcorn makes a healthy fun snack too.
Tip: Kids can also eat the Del Monte aloe vera fruit straight out of the safe, no-sharp-edges pack so this makes a great snack idea too!
- Drinks: It’s important to plan on having a supply of water for emergency situations. Other drink staples you might want to keep on hand include coffee/tea as well as juices for the kiddos.
Easy recipe ideas using pantry staples and canned food
Here are some ideas for what to cook from your canned food and pantry staples:
– Make corn fritters with canned corn, flour, baking powder, and eggs. Just mix the batter together and fry.
– Pasta and tomato sauce (fry garlic and cook with canned tomatoes or tomato sauce adding seasoning and sugar/honey if needed). Add in some canned fish for extra protein.
– Vegetable fried rice. Use leftover rice (or a mix of cooked quinoa and rice for extra nutrition and protein), fry with garlic and mix through some canned mixed vegetables. Season with soya sauce.
– If your family is partial to soup you could blend up some canned mixed vegetables of your choice into a creamy soup adding coconut milk or keep your soup minestrone style using unblended canned vegetables, canned tomatoes, some stock and pasta.
– Try pasta or noodles with canned mixed vegetables (and canned fish for protein). For pasta add in cooking cream or coconut milk/cream and for noodles make a sauce of peanut butter, sesame oil, vinegar, soya sauce and a little honey.
– For a fun snack or dessert you could blend up some canned fruit and freeze in popsicles for kids.
– If all else fails, open that protein rich peanut butter and make peanut butter and jam/jelly sandwiches – the kids won’t complain!
Find lots of delicious recipes on the Del Monte Singapore’s Facebook Page.
So get planning calmly mamas! Download our Pantry Essentials Guide here.
Del Monte products are available in major retailers (FairPrice, Cold Storage, Giant, Sheng Siong) and online stores (Redmart, Amazon Prime, Pandamart).