Many people rushed to the stores to stock up on their favorite foods in preparation for COVID-19 home quarantines. Not everyone was able to do this though. For some people, there wasn’t enough money in the budget to build a stockpile of food. For others, it was difficult to get away from work or maybe fear of getting out. Budgets and opportunities likely feel even more constrained now with announced business closures. Because of this, it is possible consumers will have to get creative with what is still on their shelves or available from food pantries. It is highly likely that these aren’t going to be your favorite foods.
If this is you, think about the foods and recipes you do like. Then, consider how you can incorporate these less-liked foods into new dishes with other ingredients you prefer. Finding a way to hide food in a recipe is a great way to help ensure you make the most of what already is on the pantry shelf.
For example, many canned vegetables mix well into soups, stews, or casseroles. Those underappreciated flavors and textures easily blend in with the other ingredients. For those who are not a fan of fruit cocktail or other canned fruits, consider blending the ingredients into a smoothie along with a banana, fruit juice, and ice.
Another way to disguise the flavor of a not-so-favorite food is to prepare it with other foods with strong flavors of their own. Foods can be sautéed with flavored oil and garlic, for example. Add some salsa or low-sodium soy sauce, lemon juice or ketchup to create a completely new dish.
If those tips are still unpalatable, consider taking smaller bites. When the food is cut into small pieces, it is easier to swallow and get it out of the mouth quickly. BUT be careful to not swallow too much at a time.
Another trick is to alternate between taking a bite of the less-desired food with a food that is more well-liked. Be sure to have a beverage to help wash down the food.
Probably the best take-away from this experience is the next time you restock your emergency food supply, make sure you’re adding not only healthy versions of foods with a long shelf life, but also stocking up on foods you actually enjoy. Emergency foods should bring people comfort and peace of mind, not more stress.