How to Stock Your Pantry Like a Pro
Cooking a healthy meal shouldn't mean you have to run to the store for ingredients. Here are 21 items to always keep on hand.
Quinoa >> This high-protein grain is a great substitute for pasta or rice dishes, but what many people don’t realize is that it works just as well for hot breakfast cereal. Prepared like oatmeal, it’s delicious with a smidge of maple syrup, cinnamon, apples and walnuts.
Rolled oats >> Great for breakfast, but also added to baked goods or ground up into flour.
Organic chicken stock >> A base for many soups and sauces, of course, but you can also use it to cook grains and greens for added flavor.
Extra virgin olive oil >> As if this needs an explanation.
Balsamic vinegar >> See above.
All-natural peanut or almond butter >> Of course, nut butters are great to have on hand for snack time, but have you ever thought to add a spoonful to a smoothie instead of sugary protein powder?
Raw honey >> When raw, honey is said to have many medicinal values, including working as an antibiotic and a natural allergy remedy. Use in salad dressing, yogurt, nut butter or to sweeten any baking recipe.
Chickpeas >> Hummus. Period.
Black beans >> Add girth and Mexican appeal to any salad or stir fry. Or refry them yourself. Or make soup.
Crushed tomatoes >> A staple for many soups and sauces, and great for a basic marinara.
Dried cranberries >> Dried fruit makes any salad just a little bit better.
Walnuts or almonds >> Add healthy fats to salads, breakfast grains, smoothies or baked goods.
Panko bread crumbs >> This Japanese bread crumb is lighter than the ones you’re used to.
Sesame seeds >> Add to salad dressing for an Asian flavor or sprinkle over stir fry for added crunch and great visual character.
Sea salt >> Say good-bye to Morton’s. This staple is rich in minerals the body needs. Experiment with different varities
Cumin >> Smoky and full of flavor, cumin adds depth to beans, Mexican dishes and chili. Combine with sea salt and garlic powder for a zesty rub for chicken.
Dried ginger >> Try adding dried ginger, sesame seeds, honey and fresh OJ to soy sauce for an easy Asian-style marinade or dressing.
Garlic powder >> If you don’t have fresh garlic around, this does the trick. Without stinking up your fingers!
Dried basil >> To make any dish more Italian.
Dried cilantro >> To make any dish more Mexican.
Hot pepper flakes >> To add heat.
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