Updated: Jun 24
There are some key ingredients that we should pack our pantries with to allow us to easily make healthy meals every day. These ingredients have varying nutritious benefits that most importantly, can help us to avoid many illnesses caused by an unhealthy diet.
I pack my pantry with an assortment of grains, nuts, dried fruit, and peas for creating wholesome and balanced meals. All of these ingredients contain many health benefits that can assist with building and supporting a healthy body.
Have a peek below into some of my pantry essentials, their health benefits and how they can be used.
High in antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthy brain function, gut and weight control. Walnuts can be used in many desserts, savoury dishes and for snacking.
You can make healthy plant based minced "meat" by processing walnuts with mushrooms or other vegetables and seasonings.
High in vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, cashews can also help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They are creamy in texture and have a milder taste than most nuts. This makes cashews ideal for using in both desserts and savoury dishes.
Cashews can be used to make a variety of plant based "cheeses", "milks", and smoothie bowls. Visit my blog for delicious recipes using cashews.
Rich In antioxidants and fiber, oats can lower cholesterol levels and support healthy blood sugar levels. They are very filling and can be used for making gluten free desserts and smoothie bowls.
Turn your oats into oat flour by pulsing them in a food processor until grounded. Oat flour can be used as a replacement to wheat flour in a variety of desserts, pancakes, breads and for thickening sauces.
A grain that's high in fiber and amino acids. Quinoa is also high in protein which makes it an ideal grain for adding to a plant based diet.
Add cooked quinoa to your veggie burger patties for added protein and texture.
Cholesterol free and low in sodium, pasta also contains carbohydrates that help to support energy levels. You can use pasta in a variety of dishes as a base for adding nutritious sauces and vegetables.
Serve your pasta with homemade sauces made from fresh vegetables and herbs. Visit my blog for nutritious pasta sauce recipes.
High in amino acids and folic acid but low in sodium and cholesterol. Basmati rice can assist with balancing energy levels and is a tasty addition to many meals.
Serve your basmati rice with curries made from wholesome ingredients such as herbs, spices, nuts and vegetables.
High in fiber and protein, lentils can also assist with lowering cholesterol, increasing energy levels and promoting healthy digestion and heart. They can be used in numerous ways for creating healthy meals.
Cook your lentils in vegetable stock or with fresh vegetables and herbs for added nutrients. Lentils are also ideal for making veggie burger patties. For a high protein meal, add cooked lentils to other grains and vegetables and form into "meatballs" or burger patties.
A deactivated yeast that contains high amounts of essential protein, vitamins and minerals. This yeast is a staple in many vegetarian and vegan dishes because of its high amounts of vitamin B12. And the best part is, nutritional yeast has a naturally cheesey and delicious nutty flavour.
You can use nutritional yeast for making dairy-free cheeses, and flavouring any of your favourite plant based meals.
High in antioxidants and medicinal properties, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease. This spice can be used in many dishes and desserts.
Cinnamon can be added to your breakfast oats, smoothies or even chili. You can also steep cinnamon sticks in boiling water and served as tea with other herbs or spices.
Can improve your mood and assist with depression, cocoa can also reduce blood pressure and improve brain function. And as most of us can agree, it's the most delicious addition to almost any dessert.
Add cocoa powder to your smoothies or breakfast oats and throw in some dates for added health benefits.
High in antioxidants, iron and protein, dates can improve bone health, assist with balancing blood sugar levels, reducing blood pressure and supporting digestion. Dates are also very sweet and rich in taste, which make them a perfect replacement for processed sugars.
For creating healthy desserts, simply use date paste or soften pitted dates in warm water then drain and blend them until smooth. This easy-to- make, nutrient- dense sweetener can be added to your smoothies, cakes and frostings. Visit my blog for recipes using dates.
High in fiber and iron, desiccated coconut can assist with preventing strokes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It can be a delicious addition to many savoury and sweet dishes.
Add dessicated coconut to your cakes, pie crusts, breakfast oats, or toast them and sprinkle on top of your dishes.
Corn Cakes @kallo:
A healthy gluten free substitute for wheat bread. These corn cakes can be topped with your favourite spreads and sandwich fillings for creating delicious healthy meals and snacks.
Serve these for breakfast for the family with a variety of toppings, from savoury to sweet. And for a fun and healthy breakfast, I love to spread these corn cakes with my chocolate date spread, then decorate them with fresh fruit.
Coconut Oil @cgacaribbean:
A healthier alternative to vegetable oil, coconut oil has been proven to contain a variety of health benefits. Some of these include helping to boost our energy, supporting digestion and fighting against alzheimers disease. Coconut oil can be used to replace butter and other oils in cooking and baking.
Use @cgacaribbean coconut oil in your favourite cake recipes for rich, moist and scrumptious cakes. Visit my blog for a variety of recipes using coconut oil.
I hope that these tips have been helpful. And can assist you with packing your pantry with a variety of nutritious foundations for your meals and snacks. And remember that stocking your pantry correctly is the first step to making healthy food choices.
What are some of your pantry essentials? Let us know in the comments!