If your fridge is bare, it can feel pretty uninspiring, and it’s strange how an empty fridge can make you feel so much hungrier! Having no greens around, like broccoli, spinach or lettuce might make you feel that your meals won’t be so healthful. But fear not, these following non-grain staples can be kept for a couple of weeks to a few months, and will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals, offering you that nourishing meal you’re looking for.
1. Sweet Potatoes.
Stored in a cool, dark and dry place for around two weeks– yams, or sweet potatoes can bring a flash of colour and a soft sweet bite to any meal. Chop them up, and they steam easily in ten minutes. You can also bake them whole, open them up and add in creamy avocado and lemon oranother vegetable staple, such as steamed celeriac and parsnip mash. Add a sprinkle of your chosen dried herbs, a dollop of butter or oil, and salt and pepper, for a delicious main, with steamed or raw veggies on the side.
A dark root vegetable when whole, but will bring a vivid pink colour to your food whilst providing you with blood pressure lowering benefits, lots of liver loving manganese and vitamin c. If you buy them with leaves, you can eat them raw in a salad, and the roots can be kept for upto two weeks in a paper bag in the fridge.
They can be steamed, or roasted and they thicken up a soup too. But my favourite way to eat beets is grated, along with a carrot, sprinkled with coriander seeds, a dash of cider apple vinegar and a few sunflower seeds on top. A quick way to eat raw vegetables all year round.
They store very well, and can be kept for weeks on end if in a dry environment. Including onions in your meal adds loads of beneficial cell and tissue repairing compounds such as allicin and chromium. Roast, slowly fried in butter or coconut oil (better at high temperatures than many other oils) or eaten raw in salad, onions give a distinct sweet and sharp flavour to each mouthful.
4. Squashes (Butternut, acorn, delicata etc.)
Kept dry, pumpkins and squashes last for ages. Months in fact! And they bring an amazing hit of nourishing goodness in any meal, such as anti-oxidant vitamin A, plus minerals zinc, copper and the amino acid tryptophan.
Squashes are wonderful roasted, but in a soup with coconut milk and some fennel (fresh, ground, or seeds) is where these creamy sweet vegetables really come into their own.
5. Seed Sprouts.
You never have to worry about running out of greens if you have a jar of seeds hanging about. Aduki, chickpea, mung, green lentil and sunflower seeds are the staples of the sprouts. The fresh young greens that emerge from these seeds are packed with an incredible amount of enzymes and amino acids, mung and sunflower for example are packed with amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Simply soak them in a bowl of water overnight, and pour the water off the next morning. Every day thereafter give them a rinse and drain them. In about three days you’ll have greens that you can add on top of baked veggies, raw salads or in any sandwich for a tasty nutrient dense bite.
The secret champion of the empty fridge! You can buy a few hard headed cabbages such as red cabbage, or white cabbage and it will provide the satisfaction of eating nutritious green leaves along with the great health benefits that eating cabbage provides whenever you’re low on food. Great as a torn up leaf in stir fries, or simply steamed with some crushed garlic, black pepper and butter or olive oil for a simple side to many meals.
Stock up on these health supporting staples, and all through your week you’ll have veggie goodness until your next shop!