Callie’s Cabin: Stock your ER pantry with superfood stuff

Cal Orey
Special to the Tribune

‘Tis the season around the lake to store food for peace of mind. This is the time of year when Mother Nature makes her moves — earthquakes, power outages, thunderstorms and wildfires may lurk around us.

Forget the mystery meat or fish in a can or processed pasta mixes in a box, it’s time to go natural. Good-for-you staples — stuff you’ll eat and like it — is what I’m dishing up this week.

How do you put together a eat well emergency food stash?

Research shows the Mediterranean diet is No. 1 – and it can enhance both hearth and immune health plus help you to slim down. I’m talking real food. Uhh, the edibles that you’ll want to eat if nature’s wrath pays you a visit. Let’s go foraging at the supermarket.

Stash local foods for you and yours

•Fruits. Opt for seasonal fresh fruit with a long shelf life. That means lemons, oranges, apples, and bananas. You can include the canned fruit packed in water or unsweetened natural juices and dried fruit with no sugar added.

•Vegetables. Russet and sweet potatoes keep well. But keep in mind, if there is a power outage you’re out of luck. Plus, in a heat wave who really wants to bake a tater, right?

•Cheese, eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt and milk are all good if you have power because these foods need refrigeration.

•Grains. Whole grain cereal. crackers, and popcorn.

•Herbs and spices, dried are best for the pantry. Check the expiration date of each one.

•Nuts, seeds. Good protein sources are beans, nuts, and sesame seeds.

•Proteins and sweets. Try all-natural peanut butter, honey, and protein bars.

•Water and Wine. Bottled water is essential (and wine in moderation is calming). And for the thrill of it (caffeine to serotonin boosters) remember chocolate, coffee, and tea, all kinds.

In a nutshell: Before disaster strikes – hit the store. Forage the supermarket for a flavorful, well-balanced ER stockpile for safety’s sake.

Bonus Tips: Stock at least a 3-day supply of food. Stash foods that require little or no cooking or refrigeration, in case utilities are disrupted. Check the expiration dates on all food. Store at least a 2-week supply of water per day for each person and pet. That means, store at least 1 gallon of water per person per day.

If there isn’t a power outage, this quick no bake recipe is chillaxing for frazzled nerves. It’s perfect during thunderstorms or a heat wave.

Salty crunchy fresh homemade popcorn flavored with lemon peel and rosemary scent in a wooden bowl. (Getty Images)

Garlic and Parsley Popcorn

5 cups whole grain popped microwave popcorn

1/3 cup European-style butter (unsalted)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon each parsley, dried, lemon pepper, dried

Pinch of sea salt

Parmesan cheese, shredded (for garnish)

In a large bowl, combine popcorn with a mixture of melted butter, garlic powder, parsley, lemon pepper, and salt. Sprinkle with cheese. Keep in sealed plastic container. Serves 4.

So, I can personally attest this popcorn comes to the rescue. This crunchy snack food is low-cal, low-fat, low-cholesterol, and it also contains calming vitamin B. Add herbs and spices and you’ve got a muncher’s food that’ll calm you and fill you up not out. Remember, when the Earth moves it’s only temporary. Popcorn?

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

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