Let’s talk about pantry essentials. What are on the first items on your grocery list? It’s essential to keep basics around for at-home cooking. Having access to these staples will allow you to create delicious and nutritious meals without reaching for the processed unhealthy options. Root vegetables are a great way to start, along with onions, shallots, and garlic. These staples are a must in any pantry and can be found in most grocery stores and farmers markets.
Fruits and citrus are next up on the list, these will have a shorter shelf life but can be consumed quickly in recipes, beverages or as a healthy snack. We recommend keeping a few limes and lemons on hand to provide brightness and balance to your meal. Fresh produce can be difficult with certain items having longer shelf lives than others. Rotation is key, keeping the items that need to be used and consumed upfront and available.
Moving into the items with longer shelf lives, our next go to are stocks. Whether you go for vegetable, chicken, or beef stock it’s wonderful to have around. You can even make your own stock at home, a fun and simple way to get the most out of your groceries.
Grains can be difficult to choose from, maybe you’ve only had a few varieties or are not sure how to cook them. Now is a great time to test it out. With a long shelf life and amazing versatility, we recommend keeping a few on hand including rice, quinoa, couscous and oatmeal. Beans, Don’t forget these important staples. Similar to grains, especially dried vs. canned beans, can be intimidating to tackle or know how to best use. However, beans can be a wonderful option to build a meal around. With versatility in size flavor profile and nutritional benefit be sure to stock up lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas.
Last but certainly not least on our list are herbs and spices. We’re going to keep it relatively basic here, the options are vast especially when it comes to spices. For us, the basics begin with salt, black pepper, cumin, chilli powder, basil, oregano, cilantro and parsley. These are familiar to most and you may even have them all in your cupboard right now. Once the basics are covered, branch out and try something new, you might just discover your next favorite flavor!
We all have our personal preferences, dietary restrictions, and overall accessibility to certain seasonal or regional food resources. The goal is to provide yourself and family with a well-rounded base of pantry items that can help build balanced, healthy and nutrient-rich meals at home. We’d love to hear what your go-to pantry staples are, let us know in the comments. Happy cooking!
Written by: Andy Velez | Marketing Manager | Active Wellness