We would like to share some helpful tips and insights for stocking a healthy pantry. The following tips will help build a healthy pantry and also help get them into a quick start on a healthy eating journey.
Life can get busy and stressful at times. The essential step to healthy eating starts with a fully stocked pantry with delicious and nutritious pantry staples. It is much easier to stick to a healthier lifestyle and achieve your wellness goals.
A well-stocked pantry is the best way to make sure you have everything you need to make a flavorful and healthy dinner even on the busiest days.
It also reduces stress around dinner time when you have to cook and realize that you don’t have all the ingredients that you need. You’ll also be able to save money on your grocery bill each month.
Furthermore, As per a few studies, food pantry-based interventions were proven to be successful in improving participants’ diet-related outcomes. The nutrition education and client-choice interventions, in particular, improved participants’ nutrition knowledge, culinary skills, food security status, and fresh produce intake.
What’s the best way to stock a healthy pantry? Start with the foods you already love and then build from there.
If you are starting a healthy pantry from scratch, begin with the basics and continue to add more items to your pantry each week as you try new recipes and cooking techniques. Keep a variety of grains, condiments, oils, vinegars, nuts and seeds for quick recipes and easy weeknight meals.
Pantry Clean Up
Before you decide to stock your pantry, I’d recommend going through your pantry and getting rid of any items that are old and expired.
It’s a great time to organize and clean up your pantry and start fresh. Donate any ultra-processed and sugary foods. You’ll be more likely to eat unhealthy foods when you have them in your pantry. Read all the ingredient labels and get rid of the items that have a long list of ingredients with the names you don’t recognize or are hard to pronounce.
When you get rid of these ultra-processed foods, you’ll be able to start fresh with clean and healthy foods to help you stick to your new healthy lifestyle.
Make a List
Make a list of all the healthy pantry staples you’ll need. When you go to the grocery store next time, bring your list with you, so you won’t forget what you need to buy.
Here’s a great list of healthy pantry staples to get you started. You don’t need to buy all the items on this list, but use it as a guide and pick the items that you like and that you’ll be able to use in your everyday cooking.
Slowly build your healthy pantry and keep adding more items as you run out or get low and also when you’d like to incorporate a new ingredient in your recipes.
QuinoaRolled, steel cut, or quick cooking oats (if you can find sprouted, they are easier to absorb and digest especially for anyone with any digestive and absorption issues)Rice (black, brown, white)Beans (white, chickpeas, black, kidney, and cannellini)Tomatoes (diced, roasted, paste, sundried)Pasta sauceLentils Pasta (whole wheat, lentil, brown rice, quinoa, and black bean pasta)Stock or broth (vegetable, chicken, beef)SalsaCoffee Tea (black, white, green, or herbal)Protein-powder and/or collagen powder
Cooking Oils and Vinegar
A collection of oils and vinegars are important for healthy cooking. Ideally, you should keep a variety of oils for different types of cooking. Some oils are better for a low-heat cooking and some are better for higher heat cooking.
Healthy oils and vinegars are the basics that are needed to prepare quick and healthy homemade salad dressings, sauces and marinades.
Avocado Oil (high smoke point 520F)Butter (smoke point 350F)Coconut oil (smoke point 350F)Flaxseed oil (best used in salads and shouldn’t be heated)Hazelnut oil (smoke point 430F)Ghee (clarified butter) (smoke point 375-484F)Hemp oil (smoke point 330F)Macadamia nut oil (smoke point 390-410F)Lard (smoke point 370F)Olive oil (smoke point 350F)Sesame oil (smoke point 410)
Healthy Vinegars and Salad Dressings:
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegarBalsamic vinegarWhite balsamic vinegar Rice vinegarRed wine vinegarWhite wine vinegarChampagne vinegarCoconut amino acidsPrimal Kitchen’s Salad Dressings and mayo (made with some avocado oil)
Nuts and Seeds
Basic Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are a wonderful addition to all your cooking as they enhance foods with lots of flavor.
Here are some basic herbs and spices to get you started:
Salt (Kosher, sea salt, Himalayan salt, Celtic sea salt, Black pepperDried herbs: bay leaves, dried thyme, dried oregano, Italian seasoning blendChili powderGround cinnamon Ground cuminCurry powderPaprika/smoked paprika Dry mustardCayenne pepper Crushed red pepperTurmericGarlic powderOnion powder
Beyond the Basics
GingerDried dillDried sageDried tarragonAllspiceCaraway seedsCinnamon sticksCoriander seedsCumin seedsNutmegZa’atar
In addition, don’t forget to include healthy snacks to help you stick with your healthy lifestyle:
Crackers (multigrain, seed crackers, rice, almond)Dried fruitPopcorn Raw or roasted variety of nuts (walnuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds, Brazil, Macadamia, cashews, pine nuts)Sunflower seedsRoasted chickpeasTrail mix
Here are some baking staples:
Vanilla extractDatesRaw and local honey when feasibleMaple syrupVanilla extractWhole wheat flourOat flourAlmond flourCassava flour Coconut flourSpelt flourBaking powderBaking sodaCacao powderFlax seedsChia seedsChocolate chips
Hope this blog post will help you get inspired and start your own healthy and well-stocked pantry. A well-stocked pantry will help you save money, time and reduce the stress of cooking and planning your meals.
Please share your favorite healthy pantry staples below!