You know the nightly drill – schedules get hectic, work gets out later than expected and suddenly your meal plan goes right out the window. It’s chaotic and often unavoidable. The best way to manage these changing conditions – other than having a bottomless budget and endless free time to grocery shop – is to stock your kitchen the right way. Hi viewers and welcome back to Bestie!
It’s easy to be tempted by snacks or high-calorie, high-fat meals. But when you keep the kitchen full of the most nutritious staples, the options are limited and you are forced to choose healthy foods. Having the right items on hand is actually easier than you think. And in today’s video, we will tell you healthy kitchen staples that you should have stocked at all times. From eggs, bananas, honey, sweet potatoes to fresh herbs and more, watch till the end to learn about all of them.
1. Canned Beans
If you’re looking for filling fibre, vitamins, minerals, and protein all in one food, then beans are to the rescue. Many Americans don’t get enough of these nutrients and beans provide them. Plus, they can last for years on your shelf. Use them in last-minute meals like soups, salads, burritos, and tacos, or simply have them on their own with some herbs, spices, and cheese.
You can also top them with Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, to get an extra dose of protein and calcium. And the best part is that beans of any kind are super cheap, so you don’t have to worry about hurting your bank account when you buy in bulk.
You can technically keep eggs for three weeks past the printed date. That makes them a lasting source of protein and choline, a nutrient that protects your heart, brain, and metabolism. You can eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and pair them with veggies and starch, like potatoes.
3. Canned Tuna
No pantry is complete without a few cans of water-packed tuna. It can add healthy omega-3 fats and protein to a variety of dishes, including salads, casseroles, omelets, enchiladas, or vegetable dips. Eat no more than 12 ounces of lower mercury seafood a week. Because white tuna is higher in mercury, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not eat more than 4 ounces a week.
Inexpensive, tasty, versatile, and packed with nutrients—these attributes make bananas a must-have on your counter or stored in your freezer. They’re a great source of potassium and complex carbohydrates. You can buy a bunch and freeze the extras so you can toss them into smoothies. You can also slice them and throw them on a whole grain waffle with peanut butter or add them to oatmeal or cereal. And when they get super ripe, use bananas for flourless banana cinnamon muffins.
5. Non-Fat Dry Milk
This is a great way to always have milk on hand, whether it’s for recipes or otherwise. It’s also an inexpensive protein and has a longer shelf life than regular milk. It can even be mixed with real milk to make a double protein beverage that’s popular with athletes.
6. Canned Tomatoes
Many foodies actually prefer canned to fresh tomatoes. They are picked and canned at the height of freshness, so they have more flavour. Use canned whole or diced tomatoes in all kinds of recipes without the hassle of cooking and peeling fresh ones. If you’re concerned about BPA in cans, look for tomatoes in glass jars.
7. Dry Oats
Dry oats are perfect for mornings when all the milk and eggs are gone. You might feel like you have to run to the store or stop at your nearest coffee shop for breakfast. But when you have dry oats, you can throw together a warm bowl of oatmeal in just a few minutes. They are also great in recipes like cookies, muffins, and bread.
8. Sprouted Lentils
These lentils are shelf-stable and good sources of protein and slow-burning carbohydrates. They are also easier to digest than their un-sprouted versions and cook in about half the times of normal lentils. They can quickly become a side dish or main course when cooked with broth, herbs, and spices.
9. Canned Soups
Low sodium and organic packaged soups can make quick, healthy meals or snacks. Just make sure to avoid the preservatives. Sure the vegetables may not be as fresh, but sometimes you just have to do the best you can. Choose soups without cream bases and containing plenty of vegetables and grains. We recommend vegetable, bean, chicken, and wild rice.
10. Peanut Butter
An everlasting favorite of kids and adults, peanut butter is a comfort food that should be a part of every pantry. It’s a great source of filling protein and healthy fats. Beyond sandwiches, spread it on apples, bananas, celery — even waffles. You can add it to smoothies or use it in dips. Mix it with hot water and a splash of soy sauce for a flavorful Asian-inspired pasta sauce or salad dressing.
11. Sweet Potatoes
This healthy food staple is popular for a reason – they are as delicious as they are nutritious. Sweet potatoes come naturally loaded with vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and beta-carotene. They are also known to help reduce stress and relieve inflammation. You can make delicious baked potatoes which are healthy and low in calories.
12. 100% Whole Grain Paste
Can anyone live without pasta? Whole grain pasta is rich in nutrients and makes an easy, filling meal. The complex carbs found in it serve as a great source of energy and promote muscle health. Whole grain foods have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Almonds are great for snacking or for topping yogurt and salads. They promote heart health with their healthy fat content. They are also loaded with magnesium, shown to help prevent heart attack and high blood pressure.
Everyone loves something sweet in their diet. Honey is a natural sweetener which is also packed with a ton of goodness. It is known to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and also has antioxidant properties. Maple syrup can be used as a natural sweetener as well. It is rich in nutrients like magnesium, potassium and manganese. Make sure to use organic raw honey without any preservatives.
For one cup of cooked quinoa, you get 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre for just 222 calories. Plus, the hearty whole grain is a good source of energizing iron and B vitamins. The best part is that it’s one of the speediest grains to cook and is ready in 15 minutes.
You can combine cooked quinoa with shredded chicken, and chopped veggies, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Or, eat it hot as a substitute for oatmeal. Stir in almond milk, dried fruit, nuts, and drizzle with honey.
16. Fresh Herbs
Packed with a surprising number of antioxidants in their little leaves, they add a wonderful flavour to any dish. Fresh herbs also give new life when used on leftovers or make already prepared foods taste homemade.
They are available in many varieties. You can use cilantro for Thai or Southwestern dishes; basil for Italian, rosemary for marinades or roast chicken. Always store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, not wrapped in plastic.
17. Frozen Berrie’s
Fresh berries are often rather expensive. In summer, gather a few extra blueberries or strawberries and freeze them for winter. Or buy them already frozen. Frozen fruit sometimes contains even more vitamins and minerals than their fresh equivalents. Enjoy the berries in a smoothie on hot days or stir them into your oatmeal.
18. Plant Based Milk
Stock up on any plant-based milk that you like, whether it’s almond, soy, rice, cashews or hemp. You can always use it in breakfast cereals, for making baked goods, and in any dish that requires a creamy texture.
19. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. It is loaded with healthy fats, and antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Always buy cold-pressed olive oil for the best flavour. Cook with it, but also drizzle over finished dishes, like grilled fish, pasta, and vegetable sides. Just be sure not to go overboard. Even though it is good fat, one tablespoon still packs 120 calories.
20. Dark Chocolate
This type of chocolate provides powerful disease-fighting polyphenols and has even been associated with weight loss. You can keep it on hand, and not just for chocolate cravings. You can also use it as a surprise ingredient in sauces. For example, throw one square into a braising sauce for meat to elevate the flavour.
21. Frozen Shrimp
Four large shrimp are only 30 calories and contain virtually no fat. They also offer a hefty dose of protein. Buy them peeled and deveined so they can be easily defrosted and incorporated into last-minute weeknight meals. You can make shrimp scampi, shrimp tacos, or shrimp salad, or bake and grill them.
22. Bone Broth
This is an incredibly nourishing superfood that has been eaten for thousands of years. It has health benefits like strengthening bones, skin, nails, and hair and reducing inflammation and joint pain. Moreover, it also supports the immune system and improves digestion.
These benefits stem from bone broth’s high collagen, gelatin, amino acid, and mineral counts. It’s great to sip it warm like you would coffee or tea. Bone broth can also be used in tons of recipes as a base for soups, curries, smoothies, stews, and sauces, or in place of water in rice, quinoa, and pasta dishes.