One of the things I get asked often is what I usually stock my pantry with. So in this post I’m sharing some of my must-have healthy ingredients to guide you if you’re also wanting to “healthify” your pantry.
1. Rolled oats – I love my oats and usually have these for breakfast. Oats are rich in omega 3s, fiber and lots of antioxidants. They are known to help with reducing cholesterol, improving blood sugar levels, and also are low-glycemic which helps you feel full longer. Oats can be used in lots of recipes, from pancakes to muffins, to even smoothies and cakes. You can also grind oats to make it into oat flour and can be used in breads, muffins, cookies and other baked treats.
If you’re in a rush, overnight oats would be a life-saver. Just soak oats with some milk or water the night before, plus some chia seeds, greek yogurt, fruits and sweetener. Then top them with more fruits in the morning and voila! You have a delicious, quick healthy breakfast. Check out these BLUEBERRY LEMON OVERNIGHT OATS to get you started!
2. Almonds – among all the whole nuts, almonds are my favorite. I eat them as snacks, add them to my baked goods, top them on my oats, add them to salads and smoothies, make nut butter and nut milk from it. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They’re good for your eyes, heart, skin, and even your brain. There are endless reasons why to include this in your daily diet.
If you are buying raw almonds, it’s suggested to soak them first with water or lightly toast them on a pan. This activation process releases the natural oil and also makes them more easily digestible.
I also keep ALMOND MEAL in my pantry which is pretty much ground almonds. I buy in bulk as I use them quite often in my baking as a substitute for flour for a gluten-free option. These ALMOND PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES are the real deal! Tastes even better than your fave packed cookies.
3. Coconut sugar – my favorite natural alternative to refined white sugar. It’s one of the most low-glycemic sweeteners and is highly versatile in use. I add them in my cakes, and cookies for a healthier twist. It’s also high in nutrients like iron, potassium making it a better option than your regular white sugar which has ’empty calories’.
Word of caution though, sugar is still sugar. So always use in moderation just like how any sweetener should be used.
4. Coconut oil – another staple in my baking. I use coconut oil to replace butter or other oils in my baked recipes. It has a high boiling point so it’s also great for cooking like stir-fries or grilling. I also love using it for pancakes as it gives it a more distinct taste than butter. Nutrient-wise, they are high in healthy fats, and can provide mental boost, aid with immunity and hormonal support.
5. Raw cacao – I’m a chocolate lover and if there’s one thing you can always find in my pantry, it’s a stash of raw cacao powder. I use it a lot in my baking in lieu of regular cocoa powder. Raw cacao is full of flavonoids and contains up to 4 times the amount of antioxidants than cocoa powder. It can be used in different ways, from adding them into smoothies, bliss balls, porridge, hot chocolate drinks, and other raw desserts that require chocolate. Adding raw cacao into your daily diet is known to boost immunity, mood, and even slow down ageing from free radicals. You can check out this HEALTHY FUDGY BROWNIES recipe to give raw cacao a try!
6. Chia seeds – this known superfood has gained wide popularity due to many benefits you can get. They’re rich in anti-oxidants, complete proteins so they can help up your protein intake especially if you are vegetarian. They are a great source of omega 3s aka the good fats which are essential for brain and heart function. It also provides iron, fiber, and calcium making it one powerhouse of nutrients despite its tiny size.
I add chia seeds mostly into my smoothies and oats. And I also add them in my homemade granolas and top yogurts with it. You can even make ‘chia eggs’ as binders in lieu of eggs for vegan options for pancakes, waffles or brownies. Simply combine 2.5 tablespoons of water to every tablespoon of chia seeds to replace one egg in a recipe.
7. Maca powder – is another superfood that I have been loving for some time now. It’s adaptogenic which is known to increase energy, endurance, fertility, and even libido. Maca is grown in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years and people there use it to make hot or cold drinks, pies, and soups. It has an earthy, almost caramel-like taste making it the perfect addition to smoothies, porridge, and even teas.
I love having my ‘maca lemon tea’ with a teaspoon maca, squeeze of lemon, and drizzle of pure honey to a cup of hot water. It’s very soothing and I always have it whenever I’m feeling under the weather. It does wonders every time!
I hope this short list helps you stock up your pantry. Explore new ingredients and flavors. And always go for natural and less processed ones.
How about you, what are the staples in your pantry?