Healthy Pantry Staples to Always Have On Hand.
Cooking quick, healthy, well-balanced meals and choosing smart snacks is easy when you keep your pantry stocked with these healthy staples. So let me share here what I stock in my pantry. One can then customize the pantry as per family needs. For Vegan pantry, replace dairy with plant based ingredients.
Legumes that includes beans, peas and lentils are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol. They all contain protein as well as soluble and insoluble fiber, complex carbohydrates, healthy beneficial fats, folate, potassium, iron and magnesium.
I also stock Soy Protein Powder and Vegetable Protein Powder – These powders are good for adding extra protein to recipes. These proteins typically contain at least 20 grams of protein per scoop, 1 to 2 grams of fat, and no carbs.
The wonderful world of grains extends far beyond brown rice from Italian farro and protein-rich quinoa to old-fashioned barley. They can be cooked for breakfast, tossed into salads and soup for lunch or served as a side dish with dinner.
Nourishing and delicious, grains are exceptionally versatile.
Nuts, seeds, dried fruits are not just great for snacks but also healthy toppings for breakfast, salad, soup and more. While I prefer to refrigerate them for long shelf life, if bought fresh, they stay great in a pantry in a cool dry place. And if used up almost every day, they are better kept in pantry for an easy access.
I also stock my pantry with cocoa powder, dark chocolates, almond and flax meal, coconut flour and more.
Whole spices stay fresh for longer than ground spices. The natural oils and moisture present in whole spices are better preserved than in ground. This allows cooks to grind or crush a spice just before use, which many believe imparts a deeper and more complex flavor than ground spices deliver.
Condiments bring instant flavor to any boring dish but be sure to buy the right ones. When your pantry is well-stocked with the basic cooking and baking ingredients, it’s easier to be creative and try new recipes. With the right condiments, you can whip up gourmet, restaurant-quality dressings, marinades, and sauces in a snap.
Condiments, Spices & Seasoning like
Salts & Peppers – Experiment with a variety of salts and peppers.
Blended Seasonings – Select salt-free and salt-added versions of your favorites. Options include Mexican, Italian, Creole, French, Asian, Indian, Lemon-pepper and more.
Assorted Herbs and Spices, including: Ginger, Cumin, Oregano, Garlic, Onion, Cilantro, Basil, and Sesame Seeds
Sriracha Sauce – This is a spicy Asian hot sauce that can also be used as a dipping sauce.
Mustards – Dijon and Stone-ground versions
MY FAVORITE FRIDGE STAPLES
I usually try to keep space in my refrigerator and freezer for the food I prepare in big batches. But my weekly fridge staples include dairy, fruits and vegetables.
NOTE: Besides Dairy, Fruits and vegetables, be sure to refrigerate some condiments that require refrigeration after opening. Also some of the nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and spices can be refrigerated for freshness.
I also like to store following:
Tofu – Although firm tofu has more protein, you should also keep softer versions on hand for recipes that require blending. These include recipes for sauces, soups, ice creams, puddings, and spreads. Tofu textures range from silken, soft, firm, and extra firm.
Tempeh – This soy-based product is firm and has more protein, fiber, and calories than tofu. Use it as you would any meat substitute.
MY MUST HAVE FREEZER ITEMS
I usually boil beans, lentils, grains in bulk and freeze. I prepare burgers in big batch for later use. Some of the vegetables like sweet peas, and corn has to be in my freezer. I also freeze some of the vegetables on my own when they are in season. I stock many frozen vegetables from Indian market as I don’t have any Indian grocer nearby.
Oils and Vinegars
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Use this antioxidant-rich oil for cooking and in salad dressings.
Canola Oil – Use this heart-healthy oil for baking, sauteing, and marinating.
Grapeseed Oil – This oil contains vitamin E and is good for roasting, stir-frying and sauteing
Peanut Oil – This oil contains healthy plant fats and is good for deep frying, roasting and sauteing.
Coconut Oil – This oil helps control blood sugar and is good as a for cooking and as a butter substitute in baking.
Palm Shortening – This shortening is made when the saturated fats are separated from palm oil. It’s a good non-dairy butter-substitute.
Assorted Vinegars, including: Apple Cider Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, and Rice Vinegar
You can also make your own flavored oils and vinegars by adding your desired spices and allowing the flavors to marinate for at least 24 hours before using.
Healthy Pantry Staples to Always Have On Hand.