Cooking healthy meals is at home is always easiest when you’ve got the proper ingredients on hand. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to follow a recipe, only to realize you don’t have any staples sitting around in your home.
Although it’s good to buy certain food fresh, such as produce, other kitchen items can last awhile in your pantry, so it’s important to keep these around, as you never know when they’ll be needed.
Coming up with a list of staples you always want to keep is a great way to keep your kitchen prepared for any basic meal. If you’re looking to stock up your kitchen, consider these seven items you should always have in your pantry.
Whether you need to sweeten baked goods or make a soothing tea with honey’s antibacterial properties, this sweetener is a healthy option that also happens to never expire. Look for raw, wild honey that is locally grown, which will provide you with the most health benefits.
2. Salt And Pepper
You never know when you need to add some flavor using some salt or pepper. Even if you’re not salting every meal you make, many baking recipes require the mineral, and you never know when it could come in handy for something like cleaning or First Aid treatment.
Flour is inexpensive and versatile, and it can come in handy for not only baking, but certain types of savory cooking as well. Stored in an airtight container, white flour can keep for up to a year, while whole wheat can last up to three months.
4. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a high-fiber, cheap staple that is useful to keep on hand for all sorts of healthy dishes. Make a batch at the beginning of the week to use for different meals, or keep a bag in the pantry, which can last for six months to a year.
5. Beans And Lentils
For cheap and heart-healthy protein, stock up on dried lentils and dried or canned beans. You can throw them into soups, salads, pasta, and more on days when you’re fridge is void of meat or other main meals.
6. Canned Tomatoes
7. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is a key ingredient when it comes to cooking, as it can be used for roasting, sautéing and even salads. It is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower your cholesterol as well as your risk of heart disease. It’s important to buy extra-virgin, as it is the highest grade olive oil that contains the most nutrients.
Photo by Matthew Paul Argall