For those of us coastal folks, the threat of a hurricane during these late summer and early fall months is in full effect. And our hearts go out to those affected by the most recent storm, Florence, as well as to all the others past in Florida, Puerto Rico, Houston, and of course, New Orleans. The rebuild process isn't easy we realize. As a native and lifelong Floridian, I've had my share of hurricane experience including evacuation, preparation, devastation, and hurricane parties too!
Though many of us get lucky and end up avoiding the worst case scenario, it's always better to be prepared and this is why I wrote a "hurricane surthrival" article. As a nutritionist, my goal is to get through a storm without feeling overweight and undernourished when it's all said and done. In case the power goes out, I want to feel relaxed in knowing that I have healthy, delicious food I can easily make and serve up to those I'll be riding the storm out with. In this article, I've detailed some of my favorite hurricane food ideas.
1- Vegetarian Tacos
What you'll need? Refried pinto or black beans, jarred salsa, canned olives, pickled jalepenos (homemade or store bought), onion, fresh grape tomatoes, taco shells, an avocado, lime, garlic.
What to do? Simply pop the cans of beans, olives, and salsa; chop tomatoes and onions, smash avocado with lime juice, add salt and chopped garlic. Put it all together in any order you like, and enjoy this relatively quite healthy hurricane crowd pleaser.
What I love about this meal? This rendition of tacos is also vegan and filled with nutritive veggies, healthy and blood sugar stabilizing fat from avocado and olives, and other enzymatic and functional plant foods (such as garlic, jalepeno, lime, tomatoes, etc.)
2- German-style Potato salad
What you'll need? Red or your favorite potatoes, hard boiled eggs, fresh herbs such as parsley, dill and scallions, pickles (homemade or store bought), chopped celery, vinegar, sea salt and cracked pepper. Bacon, if desired.
What to do?
Boil potatoes and eggs. Slowly cook the bacon until fairly well crispy, then crumble. Once potatoes are cooked, place in a large bowl, add white, rice, or apple cider vinegar, and roughly mash, though leave some of the potatoes chunky. Drain any excess vinegar, peel the eggs, chop the white part of the eggs, and smoosh the yolks into the potato mixutre. Now, add chopped herbs, pickles, celery, bacon, and salt and pepper to taste, mix it up, divide into containers and freeze as desired.
Why I love this?
It freezes quite well, so a great food to freeze in batches before a hurricane, and defrost as needed. It's also incredibly well balanced with protein, complex carbs, nutrients and omega-3s from the egg yolks, and fiber, enzymes and plant nutrients from dill, parsley, and celery. Even though it's "just a potato salad" this dish functions as a complete meal when times are tough and you're either busy or out of power. It's also a crowd pleaser and if you do have a grill/hurricane party, it's a perfect side dish.
3- Kim Chi
I recently made this for the first time and posted about it on Instagram. Kim chi is one of my favorite food obsessions. If you need an exact recipe, let me know and I will post it and tag you. It was incredibly simple to make, inexpensive, and I could eat it by the pint.
What I love about this in particular reference to hurricanes is that it can sit out of refrigeration if needed, for many days. The worst case if it's out of a refrigerator for too many days is that it becomes extra fermented, so may smell a little stinky. But, it's excellent for digestion with loads of fiber and rich in probiotics, and is truly a useful health food, especially during a hurricane when you may not have access to power or medical care for days or weeks at a time. Kim chi (or other fermented dishes) are a perfect hurricane preparedeness food.
Now, I realize this is an unlikely food to consider for a hurricane. However, consider this. One of the reasons ceviche was invented was as a way to preserve and store fish without refrigeration. And this is one of the main reasons it's included in my top five hurricane foods. In addition, there's a liquid called "leche de tigre" which translates to to "milk of the tiger" which results from the marinading of fish in lime juice. This liquid is used in Peru as a cold remedy and immune booster, so again, you'll have a functional healing food in case someone gets sick during a hurricane.
What you'll need? Any white fish or shrimp, chopped in small similarly sized pieces; squeezed limes, chopped cilantro, scallions, and jalepeno, thinly sliced onion, and sea salt.
What to do? Simply cover the fish and shrimp in lime juice, add the sliced onion, and chopped cilantro, scallions, jalepeno and sea salt. Toss gently, and place in the refrigerater. It will be readuy to eat in 3-4 hours, and will last for 3-4 days in the fridge or cooler. Add some chopped avocado, tomato, and serve with chips for an unexpectedly gourmet, delicious, and super healthy hurricane food. You can thank me later ;-)
5- Fresh shelf stable fruits
Now, I am aware that this requires no cooking or prepping, but do not underestimate the value and perfection of fresh fruit. Here are some ideas of fruits that can sit on your counter for quite some time, and be handy for hurricanes. Watermelon, papaya, cantaloupe, pinapple, apples, oranges, limes, lemons, jackfruit, lychees, mangoes, kiwi, bananas, and many more. There are so many things I love about fruits, but overall they provide fresh enzymes, fiber, vitamin C, minerals and lots of high quality water, depending on the fruit. Plus, everyone loves fruit. And in all truth, you could live off of it for many days if needed. Not to mention much of it can be squeezed or chopped into a yummy margarita or sangria. So stock up and eat fruit anytime, before after or during a hurricane.
Other foods & hurricane considerations:
- Nut milks- cashew, coconut, rice, almond, etc. with a whole grain cereal or homemade granola, nuts and fruit.
- Snack Idea- a fruit such as an apple, thinly sliced and dipped in nut butter (almond, other) *don't double dip to avoid bacterial contamination!
- Coconut water - a great way to stay hydrated, and delicious!
- Real cranberry juice - In case of urinary tract infection, you'll be happy you prepared.
- Other handy hurricane foods include beef or turkey jerky, canned tuna, salmon or sardines, nuts, gluten free pretzels, veggie chips, dehydrated fruits, canned beans, pickled vegetables, applesauce, dark chocolate, hard boiled eggs, boxed or canned soups, and so many more.
Excellent supplements to have for a hurricane:
- HLC probiotics - these probiotics are the best on the market and extremely important to have in your freezer for a hurricane. If you accidentally consume a food that has some bad bacteria, you can immediately take these to fight off the potential infection. It could be a lifesaver in a serious situation.
- Paleomeal protein powder - This is one of my favorite protein powders, which has whey protein from grass fed free range cows, and also contains added vitamins and minerals, equivelent to a multivitamin. This low-heat filtrated (not ultrafiltrated nor heated about 100 degrees, so legally "raw") protein powder comes in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and is delicious when shaken up with nut milk, or blended with fruit and your favorite milk or water.
- Vitamin C+ Biofizz powder - For immune system and arterial health, this powdered product tastes like tang when stirred into water. Great for kids and adults alike.
- Oil of oregano - This is an extraordinary powerful natural antibiotic; it's helped me heal almost instanteously from the worst of colds. It's helped clients of mine with respiratory infections, asthma and more. And, Oil of Oregano also doubles as a powerful cleaning agent. For example, it's amazing to as a disinfectant in case an animal has an accident in your home. These types of situations (bad infections or sanitary issues) could be life-threatening in the case where there's no power or access to medical care. So think about how you can prepare your home and know how to treat things before they become life-threatening. Or if you don't to think about it, consider purchasing our disaster prep kit (coming soon- sign up for our email list if you want to receive a notification).
In summary, it's granted, we all love great hurricane parties and the community building that occurs during a potential disaster. Though it's so much easier to relax when you know you've got your home stocked with the neccessary food and natural medicine supplies. And, if the potential disaster becomes a true catastrophy, the prepared people and their loved ones will be the ones who survive. We hope this is helpful and have many more ideas. Let us know if you'd like further support. We are available for consultations, including a new disaster prep consultation, in which the money spent on the consultation gets applied to the preparation products recommended.