Your Fail-Proof Grocery List, COVID-19 Version

Grocery shopping ranks high as one of my cherished rituals. Navigating through the aisles, scanning the shelves, and my favorite part, stocking up the fridge with the groceries is a process I relish and enjoy.

Obviously, with the current pandemic, grocery shopping has become stressful. Is it even safe to shop for groceries? How exactly do I order groceries online? What groceries do I need to buy? When will be the next time I can shop for groceries?

While the answer to most of those questions depends on location and the severity of the outbreak, what I can help distill for you is what groceries you should buy.

Here is a (non-comprehensive!!) COVID-19 grocery list, explained.

1. EGGS

Eggs can be used for so many recipes. Omelets, scrambled eggs, fried egg toast for breakfast. With your fried rice and ramen or an egg salad sandwich for lunch. The possibilities are endless.

*But make sure to limit to one-two dozens because other people need eggs too!

2. BANANAS & APPLES & ORANGES

These fruits are “hardier,” meaning they have a longer shelf life. Bananas are just like eggs: you can eat them on their own, make banana ice cream (dairy free!!), cook (healthier) pancakes, use them as toppings for your yogurts and waffles, or even blend them into smoothies. And pro tip: if your bananas are getting too brown, peel them and stick them in the freezer to slow the ripening process.

Oranges, tangerines, grapefruits. Load up on these citrus fruits for a boost of vitamin C, which is especially important to keep that immune system strong! And for apples? Well you’ve heard the saying, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away!”

3. GINGER

This grocery item is not as common, but very important! Ginger has strong antioxidants and helps boost the immune system — it’s already known to help battle the flu and the common cold. I’ve been putting sliced ginger into a kettle full of water. Drink up on hot water with ginger to boost that immune system! 

Side personal note: I was exhibiting some mild symptoms of COVID-19 two weeks ago and I drank practically gallons of hot water with ginger mixed in. After a week of multiple trips to the bathroom and nearly getting my tongue burnt, I felt much much better and most of my symptoms went away!

4. NO to ICE CREAM, GRAPES INSTEAD? OR SOME BROWNIE BATCH & FLOUR!!

While eating cold foods will definitely not lead to illness, it definitely won’t help you avoid it either. And it makes sense too right? Consuming colder foods makes your body expend more energy (and more vulnerable) as it’s trying to reach body temperature again. 

So try veering away from ice cream. But to satisfy that sweet tooth, try grapes! They are called nature’s candy for a reason. Or even the good ole’ classic applesauce. Try healthier options to appease that sugar craving. 

Or if you need something more substantive for your sweet tooth, buy some brownie mix or flour and chocolate chips to bake with your family. A day spent baking is one more quarantining activity you can do besides watching Netflix and online school.  

5. BEANS

Beans have a long shelf life (especially canned beans), a good source of protein, and can be used in place of meat! Take a look at these meat-replacement bean recipes from Bon Appetit!

6. BREAD & PASTA

Need I explain more? Bread and pasta are quite hearty staples. 

Bread also has endless recipe options. Making open toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and even french toast for brunch. If you buy multiple loaves, make sure to freeze some of the bread to extend its shelf life. 

Pasta is an easy guaranteed way of creating enough portions for the family and to not have it taste bad. From the classic spaghetti and meatballs, shrimp alfredo, to the comforting and rich carbonara, you have so many recipes to experiment from!

7. ALTERNATIVE PROTEIN (TOFU, LENTILS, NUTS, HUMMUS)

As red meat becomes more and more limited, venture into alternative protein options. You can still get your protein from tofu, lentils, nuts, nut butters, hummus, and other white meat (chicken and fish). Nuts, nut butters and hummus are easy to incorporate into your diet by way of snacks. Tofu and lentils might be a bit trickier — look up some recipes online before you order online/go out to shop and see if you can handle the recipes (and of course make sure to get the other ingredients too!).

8. CONDIMENTS & SPICES!

A basic but sometimes we take the essentials for granted. Double check your pantry for your stock on condiments and spices. Salt, black pepper, mustard, vinegar. Make sure you have your go-to’s. Just in case.

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