Storm Alert: Stock a Healthy, Delicious Emergency Pantry

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The storm is on its way! Be sure you stock up on batteries, ice, water and a three day (non-perishable) food supply.

Whether you’re within striking distance of Hurricane Sandy or not, you’ve likely prepared for a natural disaster and have heard this advice for getting by with no power.

On my preparatory weekend grocery store run I observed Americans’ contrasting interpretations of the 3 day food supply idea: one woman’s cart with a case of black beans, pita and baked chips versus another woman stocking up on toaster pastries.

Now I don’t know what they had at home, but it does point to different ideas of how to survive – stock up on highly processed, high calorie comfort foods or stick to healthier options that mirror more typical meals?

Balance is key here – if you’re out of power for several days, sooner or later you’ll want a healthy meal, even if it’s easier to find less nutritious foods that keep without refrigeration and don’t need cooking.

But it can be easy to put together an emergency pantry stocked with nutritious, no-cook and cancer-fighting foods. Here are some of AICR’s pantry suggestions and recipes:

For Breakfast

  • Make up trail mix with whole grain ready to eat cereal, nuts, raisins and other dried fruit
  • Hard boil eggs ahead of time when possible
  • Stuff tortillas with ricotta cheese, fruit, jam and sprinkle with cinnamon
  • Need your morning caffeine? Try bottled teas or coffees. Look for unsweetened tea and coffee with the least amount of added sugar.
  • Ultra-pasteurized boxed milk, soy or rice milk.

For Lunch and Dinner

  • Canned tuna, salmon, sardines or chicken
  • Hummus, peanut or other nut butters
  • Bean salads
  • Canned and jarred vegetables – beets, corn, beans, roasted peppers
  • Fresh vegetables: peppers, tomatoes, avocadoes
  • Fresh fruit: apples, pears, citrus, bananas, mangoes, plums
  • Canned fruit in light syrup or in its own juice
  • Whole wheat breads, whole grain crackers, brown rice cakes

With no power, you’ve got plenty of time to prepare meals, so use these ideas to put together tasty meals from AICR’s test kitchen. Here are some of my favorite no-electricity needed recipes:

Pineapple, Corn and Mango Salsa

Spinach and Clementine Salad

Beet and Orange Salad with Citrus Dressing (use canned beets)

Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap

Chickpea, Pepper and Pine Nut Salad (use untoasted nuts and raw washed basil leaves)

Three Bean Salad with Creamy Mustard Dill Dressing (mix dressing with a whisk or fork)

What’s in your emergency pantry?









    Author: Alice RD

    Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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