I went to Woolies the other day to *try* and find…. toilet paper. It was to no avail, of course.
You know what I DID see there? A notice on the freezer that stocks frozen chips. It read, “Due to increased demand for frozen chips, we now have a purchase limit of one packet per purchase”.
Ummm…. frozen chips is what we’re reaching for in a health pandemic?!
I get it – people want long-life foods. But daaaamn… those frozen chips are coated in refined vegetable oils that are known to damage our cells. They have numerous additives and thickeners also known to cause damage to our bodies.
This, at a time when we could be using food to strengthen our immunity, to make it robust against virus, sickness and disease.
Our community have been asking which foods are good to store longer-term, and have high levels of nutrient-density for optimal health. That’s what I’m talking about!
So, let’s get to it.
PS. Want recipe inspiration for these foods? There’s a link to recipes using that food at the end of each section.
PPS. You can access many of these foods from The Wholefood Collective. Just click the hyperlinked title of the food.
Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free superfood. 1 cup of cooked quinoa is jampacked with protein, fibre, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc and potassium. It’s also rich in potent plant antioxidants, quercetin and kaempferol, which may have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant properties. If you were to be stranded on a desert island with one food, THIS is the food you’d want to survive on. It has all nine essential amino acids to growth and development as well.
As with most grains, it’s best to soak for 2-12 hours first. This will make digesting the grain easier on you, and provide you with better nutrient absorption.
For pre-soaked quinoa:
Your quinoa to water ratio is 1:1.
For un-soaked quinoa:
Your quinoa to water ratio is 1:2.
1. Add quinoa and water to a pot and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes with the lid on.
3. You’ll notice the quinoa seeds will sprout ‘tails’ and become somewhat translucent. It’s then you know it’s all done!
4. Remove the lid and leave to sit until all liquid is completely absorbed.
5. Fluff the quinoa lightly with a fork.
Rice is a quick energy source. Brown rice is high in fibre which helps to lower inflammation, improve gut health, and boost metabolism. Some of the nourishing nutrients brown rice contains are key B vitamins, phosphorus, selenium, manganese and magnesium.
After rinsing brown rice, soak with filtered water for a few hours or overnight. Add one part rice to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.
Like rice, pasta is high in carbs, which turns to energy. Thanks to the high fibre-content of whole-grain pasta, it helps maintain steady blood sugar and energy levels. Unrefined pasta also contains a good amount of manganese (for nutrient absorption) and selenium (brain & thyroid health). We love the pasta at TWC because the grain it’s made from is not soaked in glyphosate prior to harvest.
For the Quinoa Rice Penne, bring 3–4 litres of water to a rapid boil. Add a pinch of salt and one pack of the penne. Cook for 13–15 minutes, stirring occasionally (be careful not to overcook it!). Remove from heat and drain. Serve promptly.
Dried / Tinned Beans
|Black Beans||Cannelini Beans||Mixed Beans||Mung Bean Fetuccine|
|Red Kidney Beans, BPA Free||Red Kidney Beans, Organic||Soy Beans||Borlotti Beans|
Beans are inexpensive, very nutritious (high in protein, fibre, folate brain development, iron, magnesium and phosphorus) whilst low in fat and calories. Just perfect! They may also have a positive effect on blood sugar levels and heart health because they’re low GI food and high in fibre.
Clean ’em: Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.
Soak ’em: Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking – I usually do this overnight (hint: cut a bean in half; if the centre is still opaque, keep soaking). I add a bit of ACV in the water to help the process.
Rinse ’em: After soaking, rinse, fill a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, and then skim off the foam.
Rinse ’em: After soaking, rinse, fill a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, and then skim off the foam.
Spice ’em: To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water.
Simmer ’em: Cover and simmer for the suggested time. Check out this handy bean cooking chart for times, conventional and pressure cooker times.
Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.
Shortcut: However, if you’re short on time I do buy tinned organic beans in BPA free tins. Just be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can and you’re good to go.
Thanks to Sharon of Deliciously Allergy Free for those instructions on preparing dried beans.
Bean recipes coming soon, here.
Lentils and Pulses
Lentils are rich in polyphenols (a type of phytochemicals) which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may prevent cancer. Because of the proteins and folate in lentils, they may help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
No prior soaking required. Best to rinse them before cooking, though.
Chickpeas are another affordable option with an impressive nutrition profile. Their fibre content (soluble) may help increase the good bugs in your gut and regulate blood sugar levels. It’s also a good source of plant-based protein as it contains almost all essential amino acids. Protein aids in muscle strength and bone health.
Soak dried chickpeas for 8-12 hours before cooking. Rinse, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 20-25mins for firmer beans, and 40-50mins for softer beans. You can add a little salt, garlic and bay leaves to the water for extra flavour if you like.
Of course, tinned chickpeas only need a rinse and they’re good to go!
Nuts and Seeds
Seeds are packed with good fats for the brain and magnesium responsible for hundreds of biochemical reactions. Nuts may also help fight chronic illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. The reason I love seeds so much is because they contain 4 of 5 essential nutrients we need – zinc (great for immunity), iron, magnesium and omega 3s. Interested to read more about that? It’s pretty mind-blowing. Check out this blog.
Tomatoes are lycopene powerhouse. Lycopene is a red pigment and antioxidant that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes also contain other plant compounds such as beta carotene (for eye health), naringenin (may fight inflammation) and chlorogenic acid (may lower blood pressure).
Our Tomato Passatas have the same health benefits as that of our tinned tomatoes. They are rich in lycopene that helps lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes also contain other plant compounds such as beta carotene (for eye health), naringenin (may fight inflammation) and chlorogenic acid (may lower blood pressure).
Our pasta sauces are also rich in lycopene. I’m partial to the Napoletana pasta sauce – it’s seriously delicious and I always get positive feedback on dinner when I use it!
Coconut Cream and Milk
|100% Coconut Cream, Ayam (BPA Free)||Coconut Cream (BPA Free), Certified Organic||Coconut Milk (BPA Free), Certified Organic|
In a study in women, coconut milk has shown positive effects on triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Its lauric acid may also help fight bacteria and viruses that cause infections. It may also reduce stomach ulcer size and inflammation. At my house, I use it every week for either curries, satay sauce, smoothies, desserts or cultured yoghurt.
Spices have heaps of remarkable health benefits. Cinnamon, for instance, may help lower blood sugar levels. Spices are also well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties that may combat chronic diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
To learn more about the powerful health benefits of spices, check out this blog.
Add a punch of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from fruits and vegetables that have been simply dried, and ground into a powder.
|Our organic beetroot powder is rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, folate and manganese, along with plenty of other nutrients. Other than adding vibrant colour to a recipe, beetroot powder can be used to lower blood pressure and increase brain blood flow due to its high levels of nitrates.|
|Camu Camu Powder|
|Camu Camu provides a valuable source of vitamin C to support immune function and help combat tiredness and fatigue!|
Boasting a range of goodness, Camu Camu comes in a convenient powder form, making it easy to add a burst of vitamin C to every meal! With its mild citrus flavour, Camu Camu can be added to juices, smoothies, yoghurt, desserts and more to boost your nutritional intake.
|Super Greens Powder|
|Super Greens has a complete amino acid profile, and naturally occurring digestive enzymes, for ease of absorption. The Super Green combination delivers antioxidant and alkaline properties to assist with reducing free radical production and acidity in the body. |
|Supreme Green Blend|
|Made from a blend of real food, dried without any chemicals or fillers. We’re not going to lie – it doesn’t taste great. But I personally use it every day and my body lets me know if I miss it! It’s nature’s way of supplying plant-based vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, conveniently. It’s also free of chemicals, pesticides, additives, processing agents, and herbicides.|
|Greens Plus, Organic|
|– Promotes healthy digestion and detoxification|
– Supports hormone and blood sugar balance
– Promotes healthy heart function
– Assists healthy weight management
– Supports the immune system
– Easy way to quickly access valuable nutrients
– Add to a smoothie or simply mix with water
|As an adaptogen and tonic, maca may boost your overall health in a number of ways. It’s packed with iron and vitamin C and contains all the essential amino acids that we require to thrive. Iron helps restore red blood cells, which aids in avoiding anaemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca is also believed to promote prostate health. The nutrients in maca have also long been valued for keeping bones and teeth healthy and helping wounds to heal more quickly. Other benefits include increased fertility in both men and women, hormone balance, strengthening of the immune system, and increased energy, stamina, memory and focus.|
|Slippery Elm Powder|
|Slippery Elm Powder has soothing actions on all mucous membranes, including those of the digestive tract, urinary and respiratory tract and also soothes the skin on contact. It also has astringent effects, tightening the surfaces on which it contacts, providing an effective barrier to bacterial infection and alleviating diarrhoea. Slippery elm is also rich in nutrients and can be used as a gruel for infants, invalids and patients with intestinal inflammation.|
|Organic turmeric powder, the Golden Spice, is known as a “Super Food” with many proven health benefits. |
Turmeric has been credited with helping reduce harmful inflammation, particularly in arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, helping manage metabolic syndrome (by helping improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure and inflammation), helping improve cholesterol levels, possibly lessening anxiety, and tempering post-exercise muscle soreness. It may also ease digestive woes, including peptic ulcers, and regulate digestion.
|Moringa Leaf Powder Capsules|
|Moringa leaves have 7x the vitamin C of oranges, 4x the calcium of milk, 4x vitamin of carrots, 3x the potassium of bananas, and 2x the protein of yoghurt. Moringa contains 92 nutrients, 46 antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories and enzymes, and 9 essential amino acids.|
In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, Moringa contains high concentrations of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that may help lower blood pressure; and chlorogenic acid, which may help to moderate blood sugar levels after meals.
Other Long-life Foods to Store
|Virgin coconut oil has both amazing beauty and cooking properties. It has a similar molecular structure to the oil in our skin, making its nourishing vitamins and minerals easily absorbed. |
Nutrient rich, it’s also a great raw superfood. Coconut is a rich source of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and the essential minerals iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
|Chicken Bone Broth Powder|
|Ultra-healing bone broth in the convenience of a powder. Sprinkle on or in anything! I commonly add it to smoothies, pancake batter, scrambled eggs… |
If you’re looking for an immunity boost, broth powder could be a wise addition to your diet. It is a healthy and fast-absorbing protein with a high concentration of minerals from the bones, which act as great electrolytes. The gelatin in broth powder also helps to restore that lining and protect from leaky gut and other inflammation caused by damage to cell walls. To compound this gut-loving effect, the nutrients in bone broth help to maintain a balanced bacteria environment in the gastrointestinal system and provide defence against autoimmune disease and flu.
|Nutritional Yeast Flakes|
|Nutritional yeast is a unique vegan food with a pleasantly cheesy flavor and it packs a powerful nutritional punch! It is rich in B vitamins, including B12, and provides 8 grams of protein per serving. It’s low in fat, gluten-free and contains no added sugars or preservatives.|
|Ulu Hye Mylks|
|Ulu Hye’s Mylk Bases make making milk easy and convenient, with no nasties. Simply spoon out your desired serve, add water, blend and you’ve got fresh, homemade plant based milk. |
These Mylk Bases have been consciously created using only the best raw, certified organic ingredients where possible, to give you a unique base for creamy plant based milk.
|Recent scientific studies have revealed that eating oats can significantly help lower blood cholesterol levels. Oats are a good source of both dietary fibre and soluble fibre, and are especially well-suited for a diabetic diet.|
|The health benefits of popcorn are mainly derived from its impressive content of fibre, polyphenolic compounds, antioxidants, vitamin B complex, manganese, and magnesium content.|
To prepare, add one tablespoon of coconut oil, butter or ghee to three tablespoons of popping corn to a large, lidded pan. Heat on medium for 1-2 minutes. When the corn starts to pop, shake the pan constantly to ensure all the corn pops and doesn’t burn. Once the popping stops, remove from heat and enjoy. You can also add a little salt or sugar if desired.
|Hulled Hemp Seeds|
|Hemp seeds are among the most nutritious foods in the world. They are rich in healthy fats, have a perfect balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, and they’re also a good source of vitamin E and minerals. Hemp seeds are high in protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. They are about 30% protein making them one of the best plant based protein sources available, and are easily digestible. Just 1 serve (2 tbsp) of hemp seeds provides 8.76g of protein.|
|Honey is a healthier alternative to sugar. It is rich in antioxidants and helps improve cholesterol levels. For children, honey is a natural and safe cough suppressant.|
|Bicarbonate of Soda|
|Sodium bicarbonate or ‘baking soda’ has many benefits to the human body and is useful for numerous household applications. It promotes a healthy digestive system and is a natural antacid, while at the same time it can be used in baking and deodorising.|
|Baking powder commonly has aluminium in it. It’s important to find one without it – which of course, you can do at The Wholefood Collective. |
Baking powder is commonly used as a leavener in baking.is used as a leavener in baking.
Sauerkraut is a great thing to have on hand in the fridge. A little to the side of any dish, or sprinkled in rice paper rolls, is a great boost to the immune system.
At my place, we love making ferments using the Kultured Wellness starters. They’re dead easy (almost as easy as ‘just add water’), they’re therapeutic grade, and I just know they offer a balanced offering of good bacteria strains, to nurture my family and help to maintain and restore their gut health.
I find I can sneak the cultured yoghurt into smoothies and satay sauce really easily. The kids aren’t big fans of the yoghurt straight 😉
Our 3yo Rosie LOVES her “coconut fizzy” (coconut water kefir), and next on my list to try is the orange juice kefir! I think the other kids will be alllll over that.
The starters will last 3 months in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.
At the time of publishing this article, Kultured Wellness are offering 25% off their starters. Now is a great time to get some into you home, and into those bellies.
Click here to get their starters at 25% off (at the time of publishing).
Frozen / Tinned Fruits & Veggies
Frozen fruit and veg is fabulous. It can be frozen right after harvest. Health-wise, it’s preferable to tinned.
Tinned is another good option to get those amazing fruit and veg into you. Just be sure the cans are BPA-free.