Samantha’s Top 5 Nutrient-Rich Shelf-Stable Favorites!

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Shopping less frequently means you are hoping to get more nutritional bang for your buck. Nutrient rich foods with a longer shelf life are a great way to ensure that you will be able to enjoy delicious healthy food through stay-home and beyond! Samantha shares her top 5 nutrient dense foods with the added benefit of lasting longer on your shelf or in your fridge!

Apples. Crunchy and dip-able into creamy peanut butter ( look for peanuts and salt only!) or maybe even some chocolate hummus. Also great diced and used to top a salad or mix into oatmeal.

Why I love them:

  • Crunchy and thirst quenching
  • Portable snacking with a peanut butter pouch or a handful of nuts
  • Good source of soluble fiber (the kind that can help lower bad LDL cholesterol)
  • Good source of vitamin C

What to look for: Any variety of apples you like will do, sweet pink lady, mellow fuji, tart green, etc. Just make sure to get organic or local when you can as apples are also a member of the dirty dozen list.

Walnuts. I know that Almonds are the cool kids on the block right now but let’s not forget about walnuts. A nutrient dense (and often more affordable) nut, I like to use them to top oatmeal, salads, mix into protein smoothies, and more.

Why I love them:

  • Portable snacking or an add on to meals (think topping roasted veggies for crunch)
  • Amazing plant based source of Omega 3’s (at 2,500 per ¼ cup serving this tops many fish oil supplements)
  • Good way to add protein to a meal or a snack at 4.5g per ¼ cup
  • Great sources of the minerals copper, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus

What to look for: For easy use, check the baking aisle to find bags of walnuts already shelled (some chopped). If you like to work for your food, you can also find walnuts with the shells on. Walnuts found in the other nut aisle will likely come in smaller bags and cost more.

Eggs. If you’re some of the lucky people without an egg sensitivity, eggs are one of the quickest to prepare protein sources you can have. They also last a few weeks in the fridge, which means you likely always have a couple on hand.  When eggs are hard boiled they can last 1 week before they need to get used (think salad topper, on the go snack or breakfast, etc.).

Why I love them:

  • QUICK… eggs can be cooked in a matter or minutes (or 60 seconds for a microwave scramble)
  • Again, versatile. Used in any meal you can think of as the main dish or the finishing touch. Think scrambling an egg to a cauliflower fried rice or coating a slice of sprouted grain toast for a more wholesome rendition of a french toast
  • Easy vegetarian protein source at 6-7g per egg (4-5 per egg white only)
  • Local raised or pasture raised eggs can also have added benefit of omega 3’s in the yolk
  • Good source of b3 and selenium (think thyroid support)

What to look for: Local when possible, do you have a neighbor or coworker who owns their own chickens? They likely have some extra eggs they are looking to sell off. In the store look for the “Certified Humane” label on the carton. This shows that the farmer has met high standards or care for their hens resulting in healthier (and better tasting) eggs for the consumer.

Beans. In this case Chickpeas, a.k.a Garbanzo Beans…. Very adaptable, can use in main dishes, side dishes (think hummus) and even desserts (chickpea blondies, anyone?)

Here’s why I love them:

  • EASY plant based protein, 7g per ½ cup cooked
  • Great source of fiber at 6g per ½ cup cooked
  • High in folate (vitamin b9), iron, copper, magnesium and manganese
  • Filling!
  • Shelf stable, whether dried or canned

What to look for: If canned, look for low/no added salt and a BPA free can (anything organic will also be BPA free)

Kale. … you all knew this was coming right? I’ll be the first to admit, I only really started eating kale a few years ago, but now I find my self using it for all matter of things such as adding to an egg scramble, wilting into soups, or making a textured salad.

Why I love it:

  • Versatile! Can be eaten raw, cooked, can be frozen and thawed for cooked meals, mixed raw into smoothies, or baked into crispy “chips”
  • High volume food that helps fill you up without adding many calories
  • Excellent source of vitamins A (as beta carotene), C, and K
  • Can round out protein in plant based meals (2 cups raw kale contains 4.4g of protein!)
  • Longer shelf life (in the fridge of course) than other greens more prone to going bad

What to look for: There are many varieties or kale sold in bunches.. just make sure you get organic since it’s on the dirty dozen list. You can also purchase organic, pre-washed and chopped kale for ease.

More information on the above referenced “Dirty Dozen”

 

Looking for more meal planning or healthy eating ideas? Schedule some time with Samantha to talk about reaching your wellness goals! REMEMBER, VISITS WITH A REGISTERED DIETITIAN ARE COVERED BY MOST INSURANCE CARRIERS FOR IN-PERSON AND TELE-HEALTH VISITS. ASK US A QUESTION OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT TO LEARN MORE! 

  • Samantha DeMello, RD, LD

    Specialties: Weight management, eating disorders, vegan/vegetarian diets, chronic disease prevention and management

    Locations: Wakefield, RI; Bedford, NH; Worksite Wellness; Tele-Health

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