Self-Isolation Food Ideas

As the shelves may be scarce, here are some self-isolation food ideas you can use, either as alternative items, or to get creative with what you have at home.

It can be frustrating. Scratch that it IS downright frustrating, right now, as we head to the stores to find shelves bare. Many of us are not intending to hoard, just trying to find basic items for our regular grocery list only coming up short-handed. While it’s not easy to be in self-isolation, we need food ideas to keep going.

What’s sad is those that depend on standing grocery orders, such as the elderly living on their own, or organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, care homes, etc., are finding their orders canceled or unfilled due to limited supplies. This leaves them extremely vulnerable, as they cannot physically go and get items in place of. It’s also sad when a family has a set budget, and depend on obtaining low-cost items in efforts to feed their family, and then those items are cleared before they even get their paycheque.

The hoarding has to stop.

There are no if, and, or buts to that statement, in my opinion. Yes, that mentality that we have to get extra supplies due to lockdowns and self-isolation is very understandable. It is especially understandable for those that have experienced famine, starvation or gone through hardships. However, we have to also understand there is no shortage of supply if we all take what we need and leave enough for the next.

By taking too much we take away from another. And really we have to be in this together.

I’m going to stop there because that actually wasn’t my intent on this blog post…to rant. However, I had to say it, and there it is. Stop hoarding people…just fricking stop.

On that note, as this is the current state. It may be time to consider some options.

What items should you think of getting if what you are looking for is unavailable, foodwise that is. I am staying out of the great toilet paper debate (which I truly just don’t understand, but that is for another blog).

Here is a rundown of what may be on your list, and what you can do in place of if not available.

Add These Items To Your Shopping List…just in case

All-Purpose Flour Substitute: Rolled Oats

I actually was running low on flour and couldn’t find any when I did my last shop. Because the kids and I do love to bake, I do like to have some on hand all the time. So, what I did was grind up rolled oats (I always have a bag for baking as well). Ground oat flour is great for baking, using in sauces, as well as a coating…just as you would use flour. It’s a great substitute. While it is a bit more coarse, if you are ok with that, give it a try.

Instant Coffee

While you may be used to grabbing a coffee on the way to work, or on your daily walks, be prepared to make it at home. Many of us, mom and parents, have gotten used to having caffeine, going without it can give us headaches due to withdrawal. To make life easier, having instant coffee on hand can help. Here is a fun “frappe” idea to make it a bit more fun: blend together 1 tbsp instant coffee, 1 tbsp sugar (or monk fruit sweetener or coconut sugar) and a bit of water to dissolve. Once frothy, in a glass with ice, pour your milk of choice (half-way) and top with the frothed coffee. Enjoy your coffee fix!

Another idea is Dalgona coffee, or whipped coffee. You have to whip up exactly 1 tbsp coffee, 1 tbsp sugar (of choice) and 1 tbsp of warm water. It will whip into a think mousse. Top that over a milk of choice…delicious!

Make these to get over missing your trips to the local coffee shop in the meantime.

Canned Tomatoes vs. Pasta Sauce

One of the most emptied items is pasta sauce (well besides the toilet paper). What people forget is that a good pasta sauce can very easily be made. Click here for a great pasta sauce idea. Try to grab canned tomatoes (crushed, whole, whatever). It’s not hard to make a sauce, all it takes is time to simmer with spices. Since we all have a bit more time at home, this will be a great alternative if you can’t get your hands on the pre-made stuff (and healthier too)!

Cereals

This is not a big-brain idea, but ensuring you have cereal on hand is a good idea to fill the hunger gap or snack fix. You can also use cereal as an ingredient in trail mix (see below). You can also use cereal to make cereal bars, cookies, and treats to add a little “happy” when you need it.

Granola

Granola is a great snack for fueling up, however, it is also versatile. It’s great to add with milk or yogurt and fill you up. Also, in the event, you cannot get your hands on it, it’s incredibly easy to make and store. All you do is take some rolled oats, nuts (of choice), dried berries (optional), toss in honey or maple syrup and oven roast (approximately 15min at about 325). Enjoy!

Which brings me to my next point…

Make Some Items In-House

It may be a good idea to make some items in-house. Some are much easier than you think and using things you may likely be able to get your hands on.

Make Bone Broth

I have a problem in general always buying store-bought broth, I do it, but try to get my hands on actual good broth, bone broth specifically. Having said that, with the Covid-19 self-isolation closures, and not wanting to hop from store to store, I made a big batch and froze it. It’s incredibly easy: in a large bot boil together: water (filled), bones (leftover from cooking chicken or any meat), whole garlic cloves, one onion, celery stalks, carrots, ginger and salt, and pepper. Once boiled allow to simmer on low heat for 2 hours. Let cool and strain, and store. Amazing taste and so good for joint health, gut health, immunity, and makes any dishes you make taste better.

self-isolation food ideas
Homemade bone broth by christinachandra.com

Make Oat Milk If You Can’t Find Non-Dairy Milk

I personally found the non-dairy milk options hard to find, primarily oat milk. So, being that I often make smoothies, I decided to try and make some (I have a lot of rolled oats on hand). However, like many, I haven’t made it before and then I came across how easy it was. Use a 1:4 ratio of oats to water, grind it up in a good blender, and strain well (best results with a cheesecloth). SimpleVegan.ca has an incredibly easy and delicious recipe. Check out their Instagram post here on the perfect homemade oat milk.

Make Your Own Trail Mix

I always make some trail mix, and I don’t always go to the store when I am about to make it. In fact, I often rummage my pantry and put a few items together (using cereals we have, dried fruits, nuts, some seeds). Overall, trail mix can be what you make it and keeping it simple works great.

Watch my trail mix video below for some ideas, this is what I often have on hand and use…

Smoothies and Snack Ideas

Two things we are always making are smoothies and snacks, even during our time on self-isolation and social distancing. We haven’t been going to our smoothie joints and favourite cafes for snacks, we are for sure making them daily.

Browse smoothie recipes here.

Browse easy snack ideas here.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

During this time, it’s definitely indefinite what will happen next, however, the most important thing is that we stay the course and stay home. As we need to go get groceries, we need to truly think of the supplies we NEED vs. want to stockpile. I hope the self-isolation food ideas in this post will help the next time you have to go out.

I wish you all the best of health, so in addition to these items, please ensure to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, as well as things such as chia seeds, flax, and immune-boosting foods.

Please feel free to connect directly for more ideas or questions.

Stay healthy friends!

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