Preparation is key to eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to healthy eating, having a stocked pantry is essential to keeping you on track. It will keep you motivated to eat healthily, save you many last-minute grocery runs, and will ensure that you always have the staples for a healthy meal readily available.
Here are some of the best healthy items to keep stocked in your pantry at all times.
Whole grains such as quinoa, oats, and barley are healthy staples that you can always have in your pantry. Whole grains are complex carbohydrates, which are one of the three main macronutrients. You can add whole grains to almost any meal, from rice bowls to barley salads. They also make great side dishes. Whole grain pasta contains more nutrients than refined white pasta and tastes just as great, making it the perfect healthy alternative. Whole grains provide you with lots of energy and help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Dried & Canned Beans and Legumes
Whether you prefer them dried or canned, beans and legumes are fiber-rich sources of protein that can last a very long time in your pantry. Beans, such as chickpeas, lentils, black beans, and kidney beans can be used in many dishes for some plant-based protein. You can make black bean tacos, curry with chickpeas, lentil soup, or throw them into your favorite salads. Beans are just as versatile as poultry and meats, but they are cheaper, have more fiber, and can stay in your pantry forever.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are full of healthy fats that will keep you satisfied for a long time. Keep some nut butter in your pantry, as well. You can spread them on toast, pair them with apples for a healthy snack, or make a delicious sauce for your main dish. You can also add nuts and seeds, such as hemp seeds or chia seeds, to your salads, smoothie bowls, or yogurt for some extra texture and fat.
Vegetable oils, such as olive oil and avocado oil, are also excellent sources of healthy fats. You can use these oils for baking, roasting, and dressing your salads. If you cook, you most likely use some cooking oil regularly. Vegetable oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that keep us healthy and full.
Canned tomatoes come in all forms— diced, crushed, paste, sauce— you name it. No matter how you like your tomatoes, they are a pantry staple. You can make pasta sauces, tomato stews, chili, soups, and so much more. It’s always good to have some tomatoes on hand.
Sauces and Condiments
Most sauces and condiments have a very long shelf-life. However, many store-bought sauces are full of preservatives, added sugars, and artificial additives. The simpler the ingredient list, the better. Tahini, coconut aminos, salsa, mustard, and healthy homemade mayo all add flavor to your meals while still being healthy for you.
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