by Coach Lindsay Leigh
We offer 12 of our favorite pantry staples to provide healthy, nutrient-dense, easy, meals. Ensuring you have these items in your pantry can help you limit the frequency of our trips to the grocery store during this time.
1. Beans and legumes.
Select a variety of beans, including kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, in both bags and cans. Beans are a great source of protein to add to salads, bowls, chilis and soups. Dried lentils are also nice to have on hand to add to salads and soups, or for my favorite: lentil sloppy joes.
Whole wheat spaghetti, penne, red lentil pasta, etc. Pasta is a quick and easy dinner option to throw together at the last minute, and it makes delicious leftovers. I like to saute a few veggies to toss in and sometimes add beans or tempeh.
3. Marinara and canned diced tomatoes.
We need a sauce for the pasta! And the diced tomatoes are great additions to chilis, soups, and bean and rice dishes.
4. Olive Oil.
From roasting veggies to making homemade salad dressings, olive oil is a key staple for cooking and flavor.
Some of my favorites include quinoa, brown rice, and oats. You can make a big batch of grains at the beginning of the week for easy mixing into salads, bowls, and dinners. It’s also nice to have a few bags of microwavable whole grains that are ready in 90 seconds for days you don’t have time to cook from scratch.
Chia, flax and hemp seeds are healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Sesame, pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds are also healthy options. Seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, oatmeal, etc.
7. Dried fruit.
Raisins, dried apricots, dried apples, etc. are all great options to keep in the pantry for when you run out of fresh fruit. They can be good to add to oatmeal or salads or trail mix, etc. Look for unsweetened or fruit sweetened varieties.
8. Nutritional Yeast and other Herbs and Spices.
Nutritional Yeast is yellow flakes that add nutty, cheese-like flavor, plus a dose of B vitamins. Other herbs and spices add antioxidants and flavor to dishes. My favorites include smoked paprika, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon, oregano, cilantro, etc. Experiment and have fun with these spices!
9. Salt-free nuts and nut butters.
Peanut butter, almond butter, and other nut and seed butters are great for topping bananas or apples or breads, or making homemade energy bars or Asian sauces. Nuts, including almonds, walnuts, etc. are great for adding healthy fat and some texture to any meals, or having as a snack.
10. Vegetable Broth.
I keep a few boxes of veggie broth in the pantry, which can add flavor to dishes like soups and stir fries. You can make your own vegetable broth by steeping discarded vegetable scraps, which you can store in the freezer until you have enough to make the broth.
Popcorn is a healthy, whole grain, crunchy snack that provides a little protein and fiber. And you can season it with olive oil and nutritional yeast to boost the nutrients, or even cayenne pepper, oregano, or your favorite herb or spice.
12. Whole Grain Crackers.
These are nice to have as a snack and can be dipped in hummus, bean dip, guacamole, or salsa.
There you go – these are my favorite pantry items to have in stock for easy, healthy snacks and meals.
What are some of your favorite pantry staples or recipes? Please share with us!
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