Never have shelf stable foods been so much in the spotlight as an essential part of our pantries and diets as during this time of a viral pandemic. However, shelf stable foods have for a long time been recommended as essentials and the basic items of the kitchen pantry as they can be made into simple healthy nutritious and filling meals at home with a long shelf life, relatively cheap price and many nutritious benefits. Here are some of the best shelf staple foods to stock up on, why they are good for you and how you can use them:

Shelf Stable Food Why good for you How to use them
Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, split peas, red kidney beans, baked beans (navy beans), cannellini beans) A source of protein great for vegan/vegetarian dish or as a substitute for meat
Great source of dietary fibre
Carbohydrates for energy
Keep you fuller for longer as they are broken down more slowly
Low in saturated fat
Good source of B-group vitamins, folate, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium
Add them into soups and casseroles to bulk up your meals/substitute for meat
Dried chickpeas as a snack – either make yourself or buy from the supermarket
Use beans in tacos
Include in salads
Baked beans for breakfast
UHT milk (long life milk) Great source of protein, carbohydrate, calcium and many other nutrients
Superheated to reduce bacteria and heat-resistant enzymes to give longer shelf life (before opened)
Can be used the same way you use pasteurised milk – with breakfast, in cooking, in baking, to make fruit smoothies
Tinned vegetables Still highly nutritious
Great alternative if can’t afford or unable to source fresh produce
Can use the same way as fresh vegetables – add into as many meals as you can, use as snacks
Tinned fish Good source of protein
Rich in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids – particularly oily fishes such as salmon
Can be a source of calcium if still includes bones (e.g. sardines)
Choose salt reduced options
Use to make tuna bake or tuna mornay along with adding a variety vegetables
Serve them as a sandwich with some salad for a quick meal
Pasta/Rice High in dietary fibre
Great source of carbohydrates for energy
Many options to choose from to suit taste, budget and recipe  
Mix pasta into soups or casseroles to add bulk
Some of the most favourite dishes use these ingredients – spaghetti, curries, sushi
Herbs/spices Tasty way to add flavour to meals without any added fats Mix them into meals while cooking or as a seasoning on a salad

For more meal inspiration and recipes using these items check out the LifeShape website or talk to your dietitian at your next consultation.

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