It’s official: Coronavirus has arrived in Great Britain and it is here to stay for a bit. In the unfortunate event that you need to self-isolate, I have drawn up a list of healthy essentials that you can easily stock up and that take little space in your cupboard.
EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL is amazingly anti-inflammatory for both its Omega 3 content and its polyphenols. Rich in Vitamin E as well it complete the anti-oxidants list.
AGRUMES. Lemons, limes, grapefruits, clementine, they keep very well in the fridge for a week, but in many cases up to 2 weeks. Especially lemons, keep little space in the fridge and keep well for long. They are essential for their Vitamin C content and other phytonutrients. I know you can take Vitamin C supplements, but it’s not quite the same thing.
OILY FISH. Essential for their Omega 3 content, they also provide proteins and they are great for quick last minute salads. Sardines, mackerel, anchovies, they are cheap and take little space in your cupboard. Sardines are also naturally rich in Vitamin D so that is a plus.
SEASONINGS & HERBS. You will need these to give some flavour to what might be an otherwise bland meal, and on top, herbs will also deliver healthy benefits. Buy at least one potted herbs, like thyme for example, which is has anti-bacterial properties. Few ideas: turmeric, oregano, black pepper, cinnamon, sumac, fennel seeds, nutmeg and whatever takes your fancy. Don’t forget a good quality sea salt: the body needs salt, and you might need it if you get sick and are de-hydrated.
Other healthy essentials: garlic & ginger. Shallots are also great in my opinion, not much as for their health benefits but their culinary use: great for sauces, broth, salads, risotto, and vinaigrettes. A good quality balsamic glaze ( I buy mine from Wholefoods ) & and a couple mustard together with olive oil and lemon, complement my essential seasoning choices.
Buy at least one potted herb to keep in your kitchen. I find thyme the most versatile and it is rich in anti-bacteric properties.
FROZEN FOODS. Peas and organic mixed berries are an essential in my opinion. Peas provide you with proteins, fibers and important nutrients like folate. Berries, as everybody knows nowadays are extremely good for your health with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are important, if you get sick or to strengthen your immune system. You can use them, in long smoothies, with a splash of lime juice and some ginger. Frozen bananas can also come handy for some smoothies or chocolate smoothies bowls.
SWEETS. If you are stuck at home for two weeks, you will have to cater for those sudden sweet cravings, that can come up especially in times of frustration. My essentials: organic cocoa powder, either raw or toasted, organic maple syrup, cinnamon, organic coconut oil, buckwheat & gluten-free flours, some long life or nuts milk for baking and pancakes.
PROTEINS. Stock in a mix or tinned legumes that you can digest easily like chickpeas or lentils that are also nice to make tasty and easy stews, or any other types of beans. White beans and borlotti beans are also great in salads with tuna some shallots, oregano and an olive oil & balsamic vinaigrette. Pulses ( that are dried legumes) needs to be soaked for long hours before being cooked, but they are a great additio9n to your pantry in case you need to self-isolate.
BONE & VEGETABLE BROTH are rich in nutrients and help re-hydrate. They are great if you get sick. Bone broth is rich in glutamine, a protein that is beneficial to repair gut lining, while I personally find vegetable broth great for re-hydration if you have had some stomach sickness. You can make some in advance and freeze it, or simply keep a piece of organic meat with bone in the freezer that you can then use for bone broth. If you use a stock cube, avoid anything with glutamate, but choose an organic quality like Kalo instead.
Questions? Ask in the comments, or engage with me on my social media.