In these uncertain times of coronavirus and hurricane season, it’s the perfect time to take inventory of your cupboard and other spaces around your home to find unexpected calorie sources. As we have become more and more accustomed to comfort in our lives, calories are viewed differently now than they were in the past. Are we eating too many calories? Too few? 

The bottom line is that to survive, we need to consume calories. Calories equal energy, but they aren’t created equal. The common school of thought is that we need to consume about 2,000 calories a day. For a family of four, that equates to 8,000 per day. Feeding a family nutritiously can be difficult during “normal” times. Add to that a global pandemic and a natural disaster emergency on top of that, and it can be daunting. However, there are some low-key calorie sources you might not be thinking about. The foods listed below will give you a lot of bang for your buck, and there’s a good chance they are already in your cupboard, in your yard, or can be found in the wild. 

Low-Key Calorie Sources in Your Cupboard

  • Peanut Butter

Not only is peanut butter one of the most ubiquitous foods in America, but it can also be a healthy calorie source that is high in protein. Despite its high-fat content, many athletes and fitness buffs swear by it as a staple of their diet. Not to mention, it’s delicious! Just be sure that when you buy new peanut butter that you check the labels. Some cheap brands add sugar and artificial additives that you will want to avoid, so be sure to get the good stuff.

  • Popcorn

You might be surprised to see popcorn on this list, but it is a calorie-dense food. However, you will want to make sure that you prepare it yourself, and not buy the microwave kind. Frying your popcorn in oil is not only healthier and cheaper, but you can build a fire and use a cast iron pot to make it in the event of a power outage.

  • Cooking Oil

Adding a sprinkle of healthy fat-dense cooking oil to your foods like vegetables can make them both tastier and also help keep you full for longer.

  • Raisins

Raisins have a lot of calories, so if you’re dieting you might avoid them. However, they are a great source of fiber and other nutrients and they can be sprinkled on many different dishes to add some more caloric content.

Low-Key Calorie Sources that Grow Naturally 

  • Wild berries

You can find wild fruits like blueberries and raspberries in the wild in many locales. Raspberry bushes tend to have thorns, so make sure kids are safe. They don’t ripen after being picked, and the ripe ones fall off rather easily while unripe ones will need to be pulled harder.

  • Cattails 

Cattails don’t exactly taste the best on this list, but they are rich in calories. They can also be used to make fires and add to a survival shelter. Roots, stalks, and tips are each prepared differently, but you can pick each part of the plants apart and boil them for a calorie-rich food that is abundant in nature.

Surviving a global pandemic and a natural disaster with enough food to feed your family can be challenging. However, these low-key calorie sources will provide you and yours with enough energy to sustain yourself until better times come.