Being vegan brings with it some challenges that omnivore diets don’t necessarily face. For example, what’s the best way to store fresh food – food which is likely to be lower in preservatives than those made with animal products – and how can I safely buy food in bulk? Feeding a vegan family with young kids can also be a huge challenge. You have to think about getting them the right vitamins, nutrition and amount of calories. It takes some thought and planning to reach out to different styles of food preservation, but it’s well worth it in the time and effort saved in the long run. Here are a few ways to store your vegan food effectively.
Go For Canned Food
Just like omnivores, vegans should aim for canned food when looking for meals that will keep for a long time. Make sure to keep an eye on the ingredients list of your canned food – refried beans, for example, can sometimes contain animal fat when they’re not marked as fat-free or vegetarian.
Waste Free Lunch
If you or your kids need to take food to school or work, take a little extra time to prepare a waste free lunch box. You can find plenty of reusable and washable lunch containers and bento boxes almost anywhere. Use these boxes as an alternative to throwing away tons of plastic bags. This way you can also buy bulk items like applesauce and oatmeal and won’t have to deal with the trash that come with pre-packaged servings.
Knowing which foods you can freeze and thaw effectively is enormously helpful, especially when it comes to buying in bulk. You can freeze food like strawberries, corn, peas, and bread, all of which will thaw very well. You probably know this already, but frozen bananas slightly thawed and then blended make for a vegan ice-cream-like treat so good you’ll have to keep restocking your frozen banana supply!
Dried Grains, Beans, and Fruit Are Key
Lentils, rice, and wheat are all excellent choices for vegan food that is nutritious and keeps very well. Place the food in plastic bags and place those bags in larger containers, like the Tupperware or long-term storage containers mentioned above, for maximum protection. Don’t forget about the energy punch that dried fruits like apricots can offer as well.
Multiply Your Barriers
Many insects and rodents love bulk grains, oats, and rice, so make sure to store them somewhere besides the bulk bag from the grocery store that they came in! Several large tubs have hit the market with keeping cereals in mind, but they’re excellent for storing these grains, beans, rice, and dried fruit – even food for your pet, to decrease the chance of them ripping the bag open.
Pick the Best Containers
Storing food around the house is one thing – usually it means Tupperware or saran wrap, both of which are effective ways to keep food fresh. Longer-term storage usually requires some more specialized equipment, like the stackable water and food storage containers from Brownells. These specialized containers will help keep animals out of your food and keep the food preserved as long as possible.
Eating vegan takes time and effort – make sure that effort doesn’t go to waste with subpar food storage. Several options are available for the modern vegan; take a look and find the ones that best suit you and your family. You’ll stretch out your dollar and broaden the horizons of your pantry in no time!