Seven Store-cupboard Staples

It’s 10pm, you’re mid-way through an essay and you know it’s going to turn into an all-nighter. Your stomach starts to growl so you head down to the kitchen, only to find that you have no food that could constitute a meal. Sound familiar? Why not stock your kitchen with these handy food items for those occasions when you just don’t have the time to head out to Tesco?

Image: Ellie Warden

1. Frozen fruit and vegetables:

You’ve managed to go two weeks without touching anything green, but your body’s starting to cave. Frozen fruit and veg takes a matter of minutes to defrost in the microwave and stores for ages in your freezer. Suitable for just adding to pasta or an omelette, these little nuggets can spice up any simple meal and provide you with the vitamins that your body is craving. My personal favourite thing to do with frozen fruit is to blitz it up in a blender with a banana that’s past its best as a simple (but delicious) way to get all of the nutrients I need for the day.

Image: Ellie Warden

2. Baked beans:

The most versatile of student food items, the baked bean doesn’t have the reputation for being a student favourite for no reason. Eat them on toast or use them to bulk up a basic recipe (they go really well in cottage pies), these brilliant beans are incredibly easy to use. As one of your five a day and a major source of protein, baked beans can act as a cheap and long-lasting alternative to fresh meat and vegetables.

3. Straight to wok noodles:

An alternative to your standard bag of pasta or rice, these noodles are perfect for an impromptu stir fry. Taking just minutes to cook, these noodles form the perfect basis for a substantial meal.

4. Frozen fish fingers:

A staple from many British childhood’s, the humble fishfinger is often neglected after our youths. Rich in omega 3 and protein, these golden soldiers can save any soul from hunger as well as providing a well needed wave of nostalgia. Perfect in a butty or served alongside other childhood classics (such as potato waffles), fishfingers can also be made into a more sophisticated meal (the Birdseye website suggests fish tacos or even fish pie). For more fishfinger based recipes, follow the link below:

https://www.birdseye.co.uk/nutrition/the-nutritional-benefits-of-eating-fish/the-nutritional-value-of-fish-fingers

5. Potatoes:

If you haven’t already had enough of these at college, then the potato is the ultimate store cupboard food item. Roast them, bake them, fry them or boil them, these babies could keep you going for weeks all on their own. Although not as long lasting as some of the other items mentioned in this list, if you love potatoes as much as I do, they won’t be wasted.

6. Lentils:

A cheap and tasty source of protein, lentils are an easy way of bulking out any meal. Add them to curries, salads or casseroles to make your meal more substantial. For those vegetarians and vegans out there, lentils are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, providing you with 50% of your daily intake of iron.

Image: Ellie Warden

7. Frozen herbs:

A really simple way to spice up any dish is by adding a variety of herbs. These can easily be bought fresh from shops such as Tesco or Robinsons for a low price. They can then be put into plastic bags and frozen for a long period of time. When you want to use them, simply defrost them by adding them to whatever dish you’re cooking.

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