COVID 19 - How to eat healthily from your cupboard and fridge.

Like many other countries around the world, the UK is in lockdown with most people at home to protect themselves. Here we are in the third week. But this can be an opportunity to get some basic stores into your food cupboard and fridge so that you can prepare some healthy meals when you may not be able to get them from the shops which often have bare shelves.

Going to the shops you may not get what you want, so why not try something new - shoping online from the supermarket. It may be difficult to get a home delivery slot but if you try hard you can. This is a safer way to shop and it is good to stock up on some basic items with long use by dates. It may even be a good time to clear out your cupboards and see just what you have buried at the back of them. To maintain a balanced diet consider some of these things:

1. Stock up on tins of beans, pulses, and soups. You can also find packets of lentils, beans, pasta and rice.

2. Always keep some stock cubes handy like Oxo or Knorr stock cubes. If you run out of these you can always use Bovril, Marmite, tomato ketchup and chilli sauce to add some heat and flavour to your cooking.

3. If you have some fresh vegetables to hand that you want to use up then make up some soup and freeze what you do not eat.

4. Use canned tomatoes, grated cheese, and olive oil to flavour pasta such as spagetti to give added flavour.

5. Keep half a sliced loaf in your freezer and some milk. If you have room milk freezes ok in plastic containers and defrosts ok. If you make your own bread then keep a loaf in your freezer, just in case you run out of flour - which is in short supply at least in the UK.

6. Keep some tins of meat such as corned beef or spam in your cupboard for emergencies.

7. Raw fish can be frozen and stored in the freezer but best to keep no longer than 6 months. Raw meet usually keeps up to one year. Your freezer should be kept to at least -18 deg.C. But shell fish normally should be used within a couple of months.

8. I find it OK to keep butter in the freezer and products such as Flora spreads. Also get some frozen vegetables such as mixed veg. peas and sweetcorn, brocolli and sprouts.

While you are home check out some of the Crazy Chef's recipes on this blog and on our YouTube channel.

Try and keep your fridge full so that the motor is not working all of the time. Keep vegetables in the bottom box and fresh meet to use soon in the top chiller. But remember if storing raw meat in the centre of the fridge it should be put on the lower shelf so that any blood does not drip on any of the other contents of the fridge. Fridges should be kept below 4 deg. C but I usually have mine set to 2 degs. because with the opening and shutting of the door the temperature can tend to rise.
Eggs like to be kept at an even temperature so keep inside the fridge and not in the egg racks provided in the door. Some people prefer to keep eggs outside the fridge in a cool place. If kept in the fridge take them out 10 minutes or so before using them as the yolks tend to stick to the shells.