Stock Your Pantry With These Family Staples
Now more than ever, it is important to keep your pantry full of all the essentials. With school starting, the convenience of a well-packed pantry is crucial for healthy and easy go-to meals. Avoid frequent grocery store trips by keeping the staples below on hand.
Stock an assortment of frozen vegetables in the freezer: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, and peas. Frozen vegetables are healthier than canned vegetables because they contain fewer additives. When cooking, steam the vegetables in the microwave to retain the flavor. For a quick meal, toss the vegetables with brown rice, add them to pasta, or cook them with eggs.
Get the nutritional benefits of fruit without worrying about it going bad within a few days. Stock up on an assortment of low-sugar frozen fruits: berries, mangoes, pineapple, and peaches. Thaw the frozen fruit and add it to yogurt, a smoothie, or oatmeal.
Freeze meat to provide family meals for months. Meat will add protein and substance to your plate, keeping you feeling satisfied and energized throughout the day. For an easy dinner, try whipping up burrito bowls with lean meat such as chicken or ground turkey and topping with black beans, rice, cheese, and salsa.
Bread is another staple that may go bad quickly when sitting in the pantry but can last up to six months in the freezer. Set it out to thaw for toast in the morning or sandwiches at lunchtime
Yogurt is full of protein, vitamins, and calcium. You can eat yogurt as a protein-packed snack or use it as a healthy substitute in a recipe. Eating a cup of yogurt before a meal will prevent you from overeating. Yogurt can also help you sleep better, making it the perfect bedtime snack.
This fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) is a superfood. It’s packed with nearly 20 vitamins, potassium, folate, and iron. For a quick meal, make avocado toast or upgrade your sandwich with a slice of avocado.
Eggs are one of the most versatile foods and can make an assortment of meals. They’re also packed with protein and vitamins. Try making scrambled eggs, a frittata, an omelet, or poached eggs.
Long-Lasting Fruits & Vegetables
It’s hard to eat clean when half the produce you buy goes bad after a few short days in the fridge. Avoid wasting food and money by opting for some vegetables and fruits that’ll stay fresh for months such as carrots, apples, onions, winter squash, cabbage, and beets.
Rice and Grains
Whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and quinoa are just a few easy and healthy options to add to any meal. Use brown rice to make a vegetable stir-fry or whole-grain spaghetti pasta with ground turkey meat sauce.
Great for on the go, prepackaged snacks are a must-have in any home. Pack your pantry with fruit snacks, granola bars, pretzels, or goldfish for a quick afternoon hunger cure. Bonus: Prepackaged snacks are great for portion control!
Canned goods are affordable and last forever. Stock up on whole, diced, and crushed canned tomatoes, which are full of antioxidants and minerals that reduce the risk of heart disease. Legumes are another pantry powerhouse. They are high in fiber, iron, and protein. They also regulate your digestive system and steady your blood sugar. Lastly, always make sure to have a variety of broths on hand such as chicken, beef, and vegetable broth for quick soups and added flavor in casseroles.
Along with eggs, potatoes might just be the most versatile food out there. From mashed to baked, there are several ways of preparing potatoes that even the pickiest eaters can enjoy. Make a breakfast hash with diced sweet potatoes, ground turkey sausage, bell pepper, and eggs. Toss some white potatoes in garlic and olive oil and roast them in the oven for a perfect side dish.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nut butters are all the rave and for good reason. Packed with protein and healthy fats and low on sugar, almond, peanut, and cashew butters are great paired with toast, bananas, or your morning oatmeal. For an easy snack option, opt for a handful of mixed nuts or add almonds and peanuts to dried fruit and pretzels for a tasty trail mix.
Don’t forget to keep a bottle of olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil in your kitchen. These oils are much healthier cooking alternatives to canola oil or butter and can be used when cooking eggs, sautéing vegetables, cooking stir-fry and pasta, and mixing salad dressings.