0 In Balance

Pantry Staples

pantry staples

Pantries can be a private part of your home. After all, it shows your true eating habits all in one place. Your pantry staples reveal a lot about the food you enjoy.

Will you be judged you for the bag of chips stashed away in there? Or will your friend shake their head at you for that half eaten box of Oreos? I hope not! No judgement here. However, I have decided to share some of my pantry staples I keep in my home to help me with my healthy eating habits. As well, keeping those pantry staple ingredients available when I have no dinner plans and need to whip something up quick!

I often get comments on how well I eat (even though I’m not nearly as healthy as I could be food wise) I still try and keep it at an 80/20 rule most of the time. This means eating as best I can 80% of the time and 20% of the time I will maybe eat a little too much dark chocolate… or when out for dinner once in a while I just don’t feel like getting that $18 salad! This is why, at home I like to keep pantry staples so I am prepared, even when I’m not. Trust me, this will make your life much easier. Especially, once you have learned how to use the ingredients, which ones go well together, and with the right spices.

Pantry Tips

I have a couple of tips for your cupboards, to make life easier. Most important, keep things in jars with labels. This keeps your cupboards (and life) organized. You don’t have to look around for bags with elastics piled on top of each other, or bulk bags buried in the back of the cupboard. This also allows you to be able to see when things are running low and you need to stock up. Lastly, keeps your cupboard or pantry looking visually appealing, making you feel good about the space you keep your food in! Try and organize your ingredients into a category system. To keep similar foods in the same area, that way your not bouncy all over the room trying to remember where things are. I have broken my pantry up into categories, feel free to use those ones.

My Pantry Staples

The pantry staples I keep in my cupboard allow me to have ingredients to whip up quick and easy meals, as well as to have simple snacks on hand. Keep in mind, this does not include stuff I keep in my fridge, I will save that for another post. These are all dry ingredients, that for the most part, don’t go bad for a long time. Therefore, they are foods to eat alongside your fruits, vegetables, or meats you would keep refrigerated. 

nuts and seeds

Nuts and Seeds

I keep loads of nuts and seeds that I occasionally snack on, and use in most meals. Salads, smoothies, sweet treat recipes, bowls, sauces, etc.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Slivered almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp hearts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Shredded coconut

 

superfood powders

Powders

Powders are great to have to add to foods for a nutritional boost! Antioxidants, protein, greens, collagen, and more. I tend to add these to smoothies, but they can be used in soups, stews, sprinkled on oats, and whatever else your little heart desires.

  • Maca powder
  • Cacao powder
  • Protein powder
  • Matcha powder
  • Wheatgrass powder
  • Spirulina powder
  • Collagen powder

 

rice

Rice

Rice is great to always keep on hand. I find that I can literally put anything (veggie wise) on top of of rice and be totally satisfied. One thing with rice is that I stick to brown rice for the most part, to get some nutritional value from it, I also keep my portion sizes of rice smaller then my veggie or, protein, that I’m pairing it with.  

  • Brown long grain rice
  • Brown basmati rice
  • Sticky rice (for sushi)

Legumes and Beans

Legumes and beans are great to have on hand to add carbs and protein to your meals. They require minimal preparation (especially if you buy the canned ones like me!), add loads of flavour to your meals, and fill your tummy. They’re a triple threat! I tend to buy some in cans and some dried, depending on prep time.

  • Red lentils (dry)
  • Green lentils (dry)
  • Brown lentils (dry)
  • Chickpeas (can)
  • Black beans (can)
  • White beans (can)

I always rinse both legumes and beans before eating or cooking.

spices

Spices

Spices add loads of flavour to your meals, and are generally a pantry staple in most homes. I’m sure you already knew that… but I often find that people don’t use spices to their advantage. Play around with them, figure out which flavour combinations you like. I always feel like you can never have too much spice or flavour.

  • Cinnamon
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Whole peppercorn (apposed to finely ground up pepper)
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Curry powder
  • Garam masala
  • Ground coriander
  • Cumin powder
  • Paprika
  • Basil
  • Chilli powder

A lot of these spices are geared for Indian and Mexican flavoured dishes because those are the flavours I enjoy. Figure out the flavours you enjoy and work with that!

Sweeteners

Sweeteners are very important to me! As you know I have a huge sweet tooth so it is important for me to have different kinds of sweeteners, as pantry staples, that are refined sugar free for me to use in my daily meal planning and prepping.

  • Coconut sugar
  • Mejooled dates
  • Cane sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey

 

nut butters

Nut Butters

Nut butters are another one of my weaknesses, therefore a pantry staple… yay for healthy fats! I put nut butters in smoothies, on fruit, on oatmeal, on toast, and more. Seriously, they are a great alternative to that sweet something you might be craving and are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins. I actually only keep a few around the house only because I find nut butters to be too expensive for my taste to be honest. But there are a few that I just cannot resist.

  • Almond butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Coconut butter

 

pantry staples

Vinegars

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar

Oils

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Sesame oil

Other

Ok so there’s a few more things that I couldn’t quite place into categories but are important.

  • Rolled oats (not the pre-flavoured ones)
  • Quinoa
  • Dark chocolate
  • Hot sauce
  • Low sodium soya sauce

 

That’s it. My pantry staples. These ingredients are key for me and my healthy living lifestyle. Being able to have what you need on hand all the time really helps when trying to prepare healthy meals. As well as, when I have no meal plans, with these staples I am able to whip something up quick! I hope this is helpful and you’ll be able to come up with your own pantry staples, or maybe even use some of mine. Trust me, you live and you learn, so if a lot of these ingredients sounds scary or, you are unsure of what they even are, give some new things a try. There is no harm in trying new foods, that’s how you learn to find your balance and what foods work for you! If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section. Also tell me some of your staples you keep in your pantry. Happy balancing babes!

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