We all have OUR foods. The ones that if your pantry supply is running low, you go into panic mode and plan an immediate trip the grocery store. For me, there are five foods that will send me to the store no matter what time of day. I live in fear that I would have to live even a few hours the next day without them. They give me a sense of comfort by just being around – I need to know I always have access to them.
1) Bananas: A banana is the easiest snack around. One medium-sized fruit contains about 105 calories, 3 g of fiber and about 12 percent of your daily potassium needs. Some people think bananas are too high in carbs or sugar – but they are far better than a processed energy bar which has more sugar and fewer naturally-occurring nutrients. Have one with a string cheese or nonfat Greek yogurt if you want the protein. Bananas very rarely last to the overripe stage in my house, but you can always freeze them and pull them out for smoothies or baking.
3) Peanut Butter: I say it’s for my kids, but I feel just a bit off if we are out of peanut butter. Peanut butter is a source of protein – 7 g in 2 tbsp.—and heart-healthy fats. I will lick the jar CLEAN, and then immediately go to the store to buy more (unless I have a back-up stash in the pantry — actually, I always have a back-up stash in the pantry). I prefer natural, but have been known to dip into Skippy, Jif or whatever else is available.
4) Avocados: I can go days without eating an avocado, but if they are not in the fridge or ripening on the counter – I feel incomplete. Avocados are a source of monounsaturated fats, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin E, the antioxidant lutein, folate, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B-6. I love them on toast, with scrambled egg whites, on sandwiches, in salads, mashed as a dip with lemon juice and fresh basil or sliced alongside roasted salmon. While they are high in calories, especially when compared to other fruits and vegetables, their fat helps you feel full and satisfied.
5) Oatmeal: I would eat oatmeal for three meals a day, actually I have. If I need a quick meal and don’t have time to think – oatmeal works. I like Coach’s oats, a quick-cooking version of steel cut, but I’ll also do old-fashioned rolled, or instant plain if I am desperate. I’ll eat it with cottage cheese, plain yogurt, almond milk, peanut butter, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, bananas – I’ve even tried it with shredded cheese, I don’t recommend it.