Foods to connect and nourish you while at home

submitted by Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD,

With so much out of our control right now, it’s good to know that something we can control while staying in our homes, is what we choose to eat. While we may not have access to everything we’d like to have in our pantries and fridge during this time, it’s good to know that there is a wide variety of goods that can offer comfort and connection, in addition to nutrients that support good health.

Frozen Vegetables – Packing your freezer with bagged veggies like corn, riced cauliflower and sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, kale, and mushrooms allows for numerous options to mix into dishes like noodles, sauces, soups, and casseroles. 

Frozen Fruit – A colorful array of frozen fruits can be incorporated into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or homemade ice cream for a nutrient-rich, healthier snack or dessert. 

Canned Beans – Canned beans are high in nutrients like iron, fiber, plant-based protein, magnesium, and phosphorus. Beans work well in enchiladas, burritos, soups, pastas, and on top of pizza. They can even be seasoned and eaten on their own. 

Dried Legumes – Dried peas and lentils can easily be soaked and cooked for use in a number of nutritious meals, like lentil tacos, veggie burgers, or split pea soup. 

Canned Tomatoes – Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant, as well as vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Stewed, diced, or roasted tomatoes have a long shelf life and can be used for things like casseroles, lasagna, pizza, pasta, soup, and homemade sauces. 

Berries – Purple, blue, and red berries are full of immune-boosting antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give them their pigments. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are a juicy and nutrient-dense snack or addition to any meal. 

Greens – Having a variety of greens on hand is a great way to add vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to your diet. Sauteed greens with garlic, a mixed green salad, or chopped greens make a simple and nutritious side dish. 

Nuts and Seeds – Raw nuts and seeds are a source of healthy fats, fiber, zinc, selenium, and the antioxidant vitamin E that can easily be added to pasta, salad, and stir fries. Homemade nut and seed butters can be made simply by pureeing them using a high speed blender.