Six months ago, going to the grocery store was a part of normal routine. Now, it’s recommended to go as infrequently as possible. Many are opting for grocery delivery services to avoid having to step foot in a public place due to the coronavirus. One of the benefits of this new era is that we now have more time to cook at home!
A well-stocked pantry allows for versatility when throwing together a quick and easy home-cooked meal. It can be tempting to only reach for junk foods at the store because of their long shelf life, but rest assured, there are healthier alternatives out there.
Let’s pretend for a moment that we are on a healthy grocery store tour together and I’m talking you through essential items to keep on hand. Here’s what I would suggest:
For the Pantry
- Canned beans
- Canned tuna (I prefer Wild Planet or Safe Catch brands)
- Protein and fiber-rich pasta made from lentils or garbanzo beans
- No-sugar-added marinara sauce
- Your favorite whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, etc.)
- Rice alternatives – Banza rice (made from chickpeas) or Right Rice (made from veggies)
- Variety of nuts and seeds (store these in the refrigerator to extend shelf life)
- Hemp seeds – 3 tablespoons provides 10g protein (an easy way to boost the overall nutrients on your plate)
- A few nut butters and tahini
- Old-fashioned oats
- Shelf-stable milk (non-dairy, unsweetened)
- Variety of oils and vinegars
- Apple cider vinegar
- Coconut aminos (healthier swap for soy sauce; gluten-free)
- Sesame oil (for an Asian-infused dish)
- Extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
- Avocado oil (for high heat cooking)
- Unrefined, virgin coconut oil (for baking)
- Nutritional yeast – 1 tablespoon provides 5g of protein and over 100% of daily vitamin B’s (find it in the spice aisle)
- Protein powder and/or collagen powder (for smoothies)
- Medjool dates (for homemade energy bites)
For Your Freezer:
- Variety of frozen vegetables
- Frozen spinach
- Whole-grain or sprouted bread
- Sprouted or grain-free tortillas
- Fresh meat/seafood
- Frozen fruit
Produce (that has a longer shelf life):
- Garlic bulbs
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash – spaghetti squash, butternut squash, etc.
- Citrus fruit
Wondering how to turn these staples into easy and healthy meals?
During the month of April, I will be hosting a FREE mini cooking series on Instagram to show you how! Click here to get all of the details. I’ll be sharing the weekly menu plans and ingredients beforehand so that you can cook right alongside with me. Happy cooking!