By now, you’ve probably started to adapt to cooking from your pantry, but limiting your shopping trips may mean you’ve been eating less fresh produce than you’d like. This, however, doesn’t mean the nutrition of your meals goes by the wayside. If you want to get the most nutrition out of your meals during these times, here are 7 dietitian-approved strategies.
Add greens powder to anything: The great thing about greens powder is that it’s easy to add to anything, at any time of day, and provides an abundance of nutrients such as magnesium, iron, and vitamin C.
Think about dried options other than beans and grains: You’ve probably got canned and frozen veggies on the brain, but what about dried ones? The world of dried fruits and veggies isn’t just for snacking or oatmeal-raisin cookies—it’s a great place to seek out more flavor for your favorite meals. Get roasting: Now is a good time to undertake some more time-consuming cooking methods, like roasting vegetables.
Cook to eat, not to meal prep: One routine you may want to break is your Sunday meal prep date. According to Abby Cannon, J.D., R.D., CDN, “For all veggies and food, for maximum nutrient retention, it’s best to eat soon after cooking.”
Soak your grains: Grains are a great base for many pantry-sourced dishes, but now’s the time to make sure you’re making the most of their nutritional value. Plus, you’ve probably got the time to add this practice to your cooking routine now. When you soak grains, you enhance the “bioavailability/absorption of certain nutrients, including vitamins C and A, B vitamins and iron, calcium, and zinc.”
If you can get fresh produce, do—and then freeze some: It seems like while some stores are cleared out of canned and frozen goods, others are lacking in fresh produce. If you are able to get fresh produce, it’s always a good option to freeze it yourself rather than buying it frozen. Plus, it’ll free up space in your probably crowded fridge.
If you buy canned foods, this is what to look for: Always look for unseasoned and unsalted options and add your flavoring at home. You can also take the previous tip into account and soak your beans—just do it in a BPA-free container.