eathome

Basic food pantry: how to eat healthy + avoid constant food shopping

February 21, 2018

Do you ever get the feeling that you have to start over every day? You look in recipebooks and buy everything from scratch and 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?

There’s help on the way – we have a method that will help you out of the food shopping and cooking hamster wheel: The Pantry.

A clean, tidy and organised pantry is a wonderful thing. When you organize your pantry you will have quick access to ingredients, and by stocking nourishing foods you will have the basics, and you only need to add your fresh ingredients to make up a healthy and delicious meal for your family or friends..

Start storing your grains, nuts, seeds, flours and dried fruit in air tight 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.

Here’s the list of the stables I always carry in my pantry:

WHOLE GRAINS

Largely unprocessed nutrient-rich grain foods that provide maximum health benefits.

Brown rice

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 stable.

Oats        

A nutritional powerhouse, oats contain good fats, protein, fibre and vitamins, use them for porridge, baked goods, and granola.

Buckwheat

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.

Quinoa

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 baked treat.

Almonds  

Lots of good fats, E-vitamin, and calcium plus the protein and magnesium content make almonds the perfect post-workout snack

Sesame seeds  Are rich in minerals  especially zinc which boost your immune system, sprinkle over salads or sea food, or grind and use them in a tasty tahini.

Pumpkin          

Are 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.

Cashews        

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.

Flax seeds      

Are high in fibre so are very helpfull for our digestive system, and rich in plant

based omega-3 fatty acids, use them in baking, home made granola, sprinkle over cereal or blend into 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.

Chia seeds        

Are 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

Spelt flour          

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.

Coconut sugar    

Unrefined sugars as coconut sugar can be a smarter way to sweeten, as some trace minerals are retained.

Maple syrup      

Pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup are naturally derived syrups, they contain

antioxidants and are richer in minerals than other refined sweeteners.

Raw cacao        

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

temperatures. Bake with it or dust it over cakes.

 

DRIED FRUITS 

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.

Dried apricots  High in calcium and magnesium, always remember to look for the sulphur-free varieties

Dried dates      

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.

Dried figs        

Figs are good for the digestive system, they are packed with fiber 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.

Chickpeas        

Also known as garbanzo beans are a great source of fibre and protein. Use them for home made humus or in stews and salads.

Adzuki beans   Black beans

Kidney beans

Cannellini beans

Pinto beans

Are al high in folate, fibre and, use in soup, stews and sauces.

Lentils          

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.

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