When I think back to what I had in my college dorm room food wise, it was pretty much Swedish fish, popcorn, almonds, and the occasional granola bar. I was really lazy when it came to cooking and let myself live off the dining hall’s selection instead of trying to make anything on my own. Louisa from Living Lou is sharing her suggestions for a well-stocked college pantry. (If only I could rewind time!)
5 Must Have Items in Your College Pantry
Guest Post by Louisa from Living Lou
My college experience is a little different from most because: A) I lived at home all four years and B) I am a food blogger. So why does that make me different? Well, being at home is a no-brainer, but being a food blogger (I started my blog in 11th grade), means that the food I ate and cooked throughout my college experience wouldn’t be what is considered “normal.” So, for this post, I did some crowd-sourcing and ran a poll throughout my graduating class (we were a small class, about 40 students, I graduated from a really small film and media production program) and asked my friends what were their “must have” pantry items throughout college, that were both affordable and simple, here’s what they said.
1. Frozen fruits and vegetables
Frozen fruits and vegetables are often more affordable than fresh produce and are available year-round. Because the produce are frozen when they are at their peak, they have a high nutritional value. I love adding frozen fruits to smoothies, or even eating it as a snack. One of my friends suggested throwing some frozen vegetables (just cook them according to package directions) with rice and either beans or tuna for an affordable, simple and healthy dinner.
Try it: Add some ginger to your morning smoothie with a tropical ginger smoothie.
2. Peanut butter
Peanut butter is versatile and packed with protein, you can often find bulk-sized tubs that are more affordable. Peanut butter and banana wraps are a popular snack or lunch amongst my friends, but you can also make sandwiches or enjoy it as a snack with apple slices.
Try it: My go-to breakfast for one has peanut butter, yogurt and fruit for a satisfying start to the day.
I was surprised to find potatoes to be a popular choice, but when you think about it, it makes sense. They are affordable and you can really do anything with them, plus they last for a long time if stored properly (store them in a cool, dark place). Try making french fries, hash browns, baked potatoes, potato soup, or roasted potatoes.
Try it: Find your inner Canadian with my great Canadian potato salad.
4. Canned beans and canned tuna
You can find canned beans and canned tuna for under $1 which is an incredibly affordable source of protein. When I’m really busy, I’ll often eat a can of tuna for lunch with an apple and some yogurt, but beans and tuna are the sort of thing that you can add to a salad or rice for a simple, affordable meal.
Try it: Tuna and white bean salad uses both of these for a simple and healthy salad – I’ll often bring this for lunch.
Eggs work for everything; breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m known to make scrambled eggs no matter what the time, but you can hard-boil them for an on-the-go snack, fry them up in the morning or bake them with some tomato sauce for shakshuka.
What were your “must have” pantry items for your college pantry? I’d love to hear in the comments!