I think a lot of people struggle with what food to take when they are moving to Uni. I was advised by friends and family to bring enough for the day and tomorrows breakfast so I could fit my actual belongings in my car! Whilst I would advise the same to most people, if you are able to take a lot of stuff/have specific dietary requirements/eat organic/low GL/want to rinse the pockets of your parents whilst you still can, it might be an idea to bring a load of cupboard fillers with you! I’ve compiled a list of what I will be taking to uni this year. Whilst the rest of my recipes and shopping lists will be as cheap as possible, this list is less focused on that and more on preparing yourself for the year with some quality basics.
So let us start with the cans, carbs and condiments.
· Tinned lentils
· Tinned chickpeas
· Tinned sweetcorn
· Tinned tuna
· Tinned sardines- whilst I am not a fan of them, they are a great source of protein and are absolutely full of vitamins, such as B12, selenium, omega 3s, vitamin D and calcium. So if you like em, eat em.
· Tofu-tofu that comes in cardboard packaging can keep for a long time in pantry type storage.
· Passata or tinned tomatoes
When it comes to condiments, this is of course up to everyone’s personal taste. Just try and stick to the least processed things you can.
· Coconut oil-as I am sure many of you will know, this is one of the best things to cook with. Other oils change their makeup when heated, meaning they are no longer good for you. Cocounut oil allows you to cook anything as it is flavourless! Here is a really useful post by another blogger on what oils are best for clean eating. http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-oils
· Olive oil-this can be used uncooked for endless types of salad dressings.
· Soy sauce-slightly processed, but there are healthy, less manufactured varieties-look for organic and unpasteurised
· Packaged homemade sweet chill sauce-if you can be bothered to make your own it’s much better to know exactly what it is in it. Recipe for this coming soon.
· Coconut sugar
· Agave syrup-a really great low, slower releasing sugar alternative.
Nuts and Seeds
When it comes to nuts and seeds it is all down to what you like. Just avoid any additions such as salt or flavourings, and try to buy them as close to their original form as possible, not flaked or roasted. This simply increases the time and space between their harvesting and you using them, and allows for more preservatives and other unnecessary additives. These are the nuts, seeds and other bits I find myself using frequently.
· Cashew nuts
· Sesame seeds
· Chia seeds-you can get lots of different combinations of seeds like this which are great to add to smoothies, breakfasts, anything! It is best to get them unground, but don’t worry too much! http://www.maximumsports-nutrition.com/the-chia-co-chia-seeds.html?gclid=CjwKEAjw9eyeBRCqxc_b-LD8kTESJADsBMxSpWPWA67AyNytG7svPWrT2vos1sCuOmQoNylJEbal2RoCunrw_wcB-the process of grinding these ensures they retain as much of their nutrients as possible. The pack is expensive but will last you a loooong time.
· Quinoa (surprise surprise)
· Quinoa flour-great for healthier baking
· Brown rice
· Brown pasta
· Pear barley-I LOVE this, and will be featuring recipes using it. You can have much more of this than something like rice to stick to a low GL lifestyle, so if you love your carbs, try this as a replacement.
· Noodles- you can try wholemeal noodles (Soba are a great brand -
http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Clearspring-Wheat-Free-Organic-100-Buckwheat-Noodles/71235011?prevPageIndex=1&from=shop&tags=%7C20000%7C20424%7C20493%7C20512&parentContainer=%7C20424%7C20493%7C20512_SHELFVIEW, low carb Chinese noodles (I find these in my local thai shop), or vermicelli noodles are also low GL.
· Rye bread-I used to hate it but recently discovered it is not that awful. Try it! It keeps for ages.
Baked and Baking
This is where it gets easier to fall of the low gl/organic/unprocessed food wagon. Sometimes you need a good crisp, cereal bar for on the go or chocolate! These are the closest to good things I have found so far.
· I go for popped crisps like popchips (http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Popchips-Original-Popped-Potato-Chips/67309011?from=shop&tags=%7C20424%7C20782%7C39749&parentContainer=%7C20424%7C20782%7C39749_SHELFVIEW) . They don’t have much sugar in and all the ingredients are natural.
· Golden valley bars –are they healthy?
· Vanilla pods-great for giving anything flavour
· Dark chocolate-for those of you that love chocolate, any high percentage chocolate like green and blacks is best.
· Cacao nibs-can be added to anything to satisfy sugar cravings
· Liz’s granola-I have this for breakfast pretty much every day. It is the cleanest granola you can find and it is well tasty.
· Green tea
· Almond milk-cow’s milk is not digested well by the human body, and other replacements such as rice milk have super high sugar contents. You can easily make your own almond milk (post to come), or buy it in most supermarkets.
So. That is my back to university start up, cupboard shopping list. Once I am there I will also stock up on frozen products and pick up a few fresh ingredients. That post is on its way!