Stock Your Kitchen With These Pantry Powerhouses
You are what you eat and typically you eat what’s in your kitchen pantry. That’s why it’s important to keep a well-stocked kitchen. See what you need to cook healthy meals and eat nutritious snacks — even when freezing temperatures or winter storms keep you from the grocery store.
Stock an assortment of frozen vegetables in the freezer: spinach, broccoli, 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.
Your favorite fruit may not be in season in the winter, so stock up on an assortment of frozen fruits: berries, mangos, pineapple, and peaches. Look for low-sugar frozen fruit. Thaw the frozen fruit and add it to yogurt or oatmeal. Make a healthy smoothie with frozen strawberries, bananas, milk, and yogurt.
Brown rice is a healthy and filling staple. To cook flavorful rice, use a pan with a tight-fitting lid and fill it with salted water. Use brown rice to make a stir-fry or a nutritious side.
Legumes are high in fiber, iron, and protein. They also regulate your digestive system and steady your blood sugar. Plus canned beans are affordable, making them a pantry powerhouse. Use beans, corn, cheese, and tortillas to make vegetarian tacos. Or whip up burrito bowls with black beans, corn, cheese, and rice.
Whole, diced, and crushed canned tomatoes are available all year. Also, canned tomatoes are surprisingly healthy — they’re full of antioxidants and minerals that reduce the risk of heart disease. Use canned tomatoes to make tomato soup, vegetable stew, or pasta sauce.
This fruit (Yes, it’s a fruit) is a superfood. It’s packed with nearly 20 vitamins, potassium, folate, and iron. Avocados are also filling and flavorful. For a quick meal, make avocados toast or add avocados to scrambled eggs. Upgrade your sandwich with a slice of avocado.
Eggs are one of the most versatile foods — they make an assortment of meals. They’re also packed with protein and vitamins. Try making scrambled eggs, a frittata, an omelet, or poached eggs. Also, hardboiled eggs are a nutritious afternoon snack. Add an egg to oatmeal to make it even more nutritious.
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.
There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of oatmeal in the winter. This gluten-free food is filling and healthful — it helps reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Oatmeal is also affordable and won’t expire quickly. Add cinnamon and dried fruit to make your oatmeal taste decadent.
Peanut or Almond Butter
Peanut butter isn’t just for kids. It’s packed with protein and potassium, making it a staple in your kitchen. If you can’t make it to the grocery store, you can make peanut butter sandwiches. You can also eat a spoonful of peanut butter as a sweet and salty snack.
Don’t forget to keep a bottle of olive oil in your kitchen. Olive oil is a heart-healthy cooking staple. Use olive oil when cooking eggs, sautéing vegetables, cooking stir-fry and pasta, and mixing salad dressings. Buy a large bottle of olive oil so it will always be available.