Do you ever get the feeling that you have to start over every day? Recipe books, buying everything from scratch and you end up with a ton of leftover ingredients that you’re not sure what to do with? Or, you go for the easy, often unhealthy option from the supermarket freezer or takeaway. The answer to this is your PANTRY. The method that will help you out of the food shopping and neverending hamster wheel.
A clean, tidy and organised pantry is wonderful. When you organize your pantry you will have quick access to ingredients, and by stocking nourishing foods you will have the basics, and you’ll only need to add your fresh ingredients to make up a healthy and delicious meal for your family or friends.
Now start storing your grains, nuts, seeds, flours and dried fruit in airtight glass containers – this will keep the food fresh after they have been opened, and a good way to keep the ingredients organized. Grains can be a bit tricky to identify if you have a lot of them, so a good tip is to label the containers or cut out the label from the bag and stick it to the lid.
Here’s the list of the stables I always carry in my pantry:
Largely unprocessed nutrient-rich grain foods that provide maximum health benefits.
A great grain choice, high in minerals and B-vitamins, easy to cook and use as a side dish or in salads, its gluten free too, the perfect pantry staple.
A nutritional powerhouse, oats contain good fats, protein, fibre and vitamins, use them for porridge, baked goods, and granola.
Full of fibre and minerals, and gluten-free, use them raw in breakfast bowls or salads or cook and use just like rice or pasta.
The tiny power seed is high in protein, with lots of fibre, B-vitamins and minerals, it’s a great and easy ingredient that lives up to its SUPER-FOOD status, use it in salads, as a side dish, breakfast porridge or granola.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Are packed with minerals and good fats, easy to throw into your morning smoothie, sprinkle over salads or use in a baked treat.
Lots of good fats, E-vitamin, and calcium plus the protein and magnesium content make almonds the perfect post-workout snack
Are rich in minerals especially zinc which boost your immune system, sprinkles over salads or seafood, or grinds and use them in tasty tahini.
A mineral powerhouse, full of magnesium which helps relieve stress and muscle tension, add them to a smoothie, roast them for a crunchy snack or salad topping.
Are high in good fats and contain lots of iron and zinc. They are easy to blend into milk as a dairy alternative or roast with chili flakes and sea salt for a healthy snack.
Are high in fibre so are very helpful for our digestive system, and rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, use them in baking, homemade granola, sprinkle over cereal or blend into a smoothie.
Sunflower seeds Are a super source of E-vitamin which protect our body’s cells, use them in breads or granola bars or mix with other seeds and nuts for a healthy snack.
One of the highest sources of plant based omega-3 fats, rich in antioxidants, fibre and protein. Use them in your cereal, your breakfast bowl or smoothie or sprinkle over mashed avocado.
FLOURS AND SUGARS
Buckwheat flour High in protein and fibre, gluten-free and with a lower glucaemic index than regular wheat flour, I often use it for pancakes or other baked goods
With fibre, protein and high water solubility spelt flour can be easier to digest than some other flours and can often be used in place of regular wheat flour.
Unrefined sugars as coconut sugar can be a smarter way to sweeten, as some trace minerals are retained.
Pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup are naturally derived syrups, they contain antioxidants and are richer in minerals than other refined sweeteners.
In nibs or powder form are sourced from the same beans as regular cacao but raw cacao retains more antioxidants and enzymes, thanks to a lower processing temperature. Bake with it or dust it over cakes.
Are tasty in all sorts of treats and the natural sweetness of dried fruits in baking can mean less refined sugars required. Dried fruits contain fibre, antioxidants and minerals.
High in calcium and magnesium, always remember to look for the sulphur-free varieties
Sweet and satisfying with their natural sugar and fibre content dates make a good energizing food snack and for eating both before or after exercise.
Figs are good for the digestive system, they are packed with fibre and the iron potassium are particularly concentrated in dried figs.
LEGUMES AND BEANS
Are a great replacement for meat as a vegetarian source of protein.
Also known as garbanzo beans are a great source of fibre and protein. Use them for homemade hummus or in stews and salads.
Adzuki beans Black beans
All are high in folate, fibre and, use in soup, stews and sauces.
Especially green and brown lentils contain a good range of nutrients, including iron, minerals, and B-vitamins, low in fat and high in fibre and protein, which will keep you full for longer lentils is a great addition to soups and stews or in salads.
It won’t only be your gut thanking me, but also your eyes, enjoy!