Stockpiling in a Pandemic

NOTE: I am not an expert. Your mileage may vary. Stay home whenever possible and if you do go out, stay at least 6 feet away from people, use cart wipes, avoiding touching unnecessary surfaces, use hand sanitizer in the car (and wipe down your phone if you had it out), and when you get home wash your hands. My husband and I were talking about food yesterday on the heels of a discussion about toilet paper availability. He said, "do we have enough food?" My answer to him was, essentially, this post. These are the things that are useful to us and may be also useful to you. I will put things in bold that I think are essential due to their shelf life and versatility. If you are on a budget, or have limited access to ingredients, these may be the best place to start. PRODUCE:

By all means, buy what you usually buy. Don't by a bunch of kale if your family hates kale. Right now the name of the game is shelf life. You know how that clamshell of mixed greens is slimy within a few days? Skip that. Waste of fridge space. Go for things that will last at least a week. EAT THESE FIRST: (they won't last long once they're ripe)

  • asparagus (stand them up in a glass of water like cut flowers in the fridge)

  • avocados

  • baby carrots

  • bananas

  • berries

  • herbs (basil, chives, cilantro, mint)

  • leafy greens (bagged salad, lettuce, spinach)

  • pears

  • prepared fruit (anything that has been peeled or cut already)

  • stone fruit (peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines)

  • tomatoes


  • artichokes

  • bok choy

  • broccoli

  • brussels sprouts

  • cauliflower

  • celery (look for the darkest green with fresh leaves at the top)

  • cucumber

  • eggplant

  • grapes

  • green beans

  • green onions

  • kiwi

  • peppers (skip the ones with wrinkled skin, go for crisp/fresh ones)

  • sugar snap peas & snow peas

  • summer squash

  • winter greens (kale, chard, collards)

  • zucchini


  • apples (especially green)

  • avocados (stick them in the fridge and they'll stay unripe until you're ready)

  • beets

  • cabbage

  • carrots (whole with no hairy root growth, avoid split ones)

  • citrus fruits (cuties, mandarins, sumos, lemons, limes, grapefruit, pomelos)

  • garlic (whole head, in skin)

  • ginger (unpeeled)

  • melons, uncut (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon)

  • onions (keep away from potatoes, in a cool dark place)

  • parsnips

  • potatoes (no sprouts! store in cool, dry place away from onions)

  • turmeric

  • turnips

  • winter squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti)


Obviously you want to gravitate toward those that your family will eat. Again, don't waste valuable freezer space if you know nobody is going to eat a bag of lima beans. The old theory that frozen fruits & vegetables aren't as nutritionally dense is a myth. Often the ones in the freezer have been flash frozen at peak ripeness and may even contain more nutrients than fresh ones that have been shipped. Any frozen fruits are good, but especially blueberries. I find the most versatile frozen veggies, for my family, are:

  • broccoli florets (steamed, primavera, roasted, stir fried, broccoli cheese soup, broccoli cheese rice)

  • corn (corn chowder, veg soup, taco salads, mexican gumbo, pozole)

  • edamame (great for steaming in the pod or adding to soups, stir fries, and fried rice)

  • french green beans (great to stir fry)

  • greens (toss frozen spinach or kale into pasta sauce or lasagna, smoothies, veggie soups)

  • peas - also a good source of protein (curry, mac and cheese, fried rice, pot pie, risotto)

  • potatoes (this is kind of a stretch, but we like the cubed frozen potatoes for potato tacos)

  • riced cauliflower (my favorite way to stretch crumbles or beyond beef)


You know the dill. Buy what you'll eat!

  • black beans (cuban black beans, Panera style black bean soup, burritos/bowls, black bean & corn salsa)

  • chickpeas (hummus, curry, soups, falafel, chickpea burgers, chickpea cutlets, chickpea pot pie, chickpeas & dumplings, cookie pie) I'm starting to sound like Bubba Gump.

  • lentils - split peas, green, french, red (dal, misir wot, lentil tacos, vegetable lentil soup)

  • pintos (chili, refried beans, baked beans, mexican gumbo, bean burritos, burrito bowls)

  • baking mix (pancake/waffle, bisquick, cornbread)

  • cornmeal, grits, polenta

  • cornstarch

  • flours (all purpose or GF APF, whole wheat, chickpea, vital wheat gluten, semolina, masa harina)

  • nuts (raw almonds, raw cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios)

  • oats (remember you can make milk out of these!)

  • pasta (couscous, elbows, shells, spaghetti, rotini, farfalle, rigatoni, "egg" noodles)

  • quinoa

  • rice (long grain, jasmine, sushi, basmati, arborio, brown, wild, etc)

  • seeds (hemp, sunflower, chia, flax, sesame)


  • asian noodles (rice vermicelli, udon, buckwheat, shirataki)

  • canned beans (any kind you'll eat, but organic garbanzos are a staple here for aquafaba)

  • bouillon (soup base, veg, no MSG)

  • condiments (toasted sesame oil, tamari, chili garlic, bbq, liquid smoke - think about what you would want if you're eating beans and rice for a few days!)

  • curry (green and red curry bases by AROY-D)

  • fruit (in juice, avoid heavy syrup)

  • garlic (diced, paste)

  • hot sauce (frank's, Cholula, tapatio, valentina, sriracha)

  • jackfruit (green, in brine NOT SYRUP)

  • jams, jellies, and marmalades

  • maple syrup

  • nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew, tahini)

  • nutritional yeast

  • pasta sauce (jarred or canned)

  • salad dressings

  • salsa, salsa, and more salsa

  • soups

  • spices (chili powder, cumin, curry powder, onion, garlic, lemon pepper, pepper)

  • tomatoes (stewed, crushed, diced, and paste)

  • veggies (canned)


If you have room in your budget, add in some things for fun. Beans and rice could get super boring after a few days. (Plus, if you have kids, it's a good time-consuming project to occupy bored hands.)

  • apple sauce (unsweetened)

  • baking powder

  • baking soda

  • baking spray (or cake release)

  • chocolate chips

  • cinnamon

  • egg replacer

  • muffin liners

  • oil (for frying or baking)

  • parchment

  • salt

  • shortening (biscuits, cookies, pie crust)

  • sprinkles

  • sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar

  • vanilla, almond extracts

  • vinegar (white, balsamic, rice wine, red wine)

  • yeast

Next up: I'll try to post some ideas for how we use these pantry staples.

© 2017 by Sandi Bruegger Design 

The recipes and tips in this website are solely for food intolerance and are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment