Some of My Favorite Foods to Keep in the Pantry
Having healthy pantry foods is always a good idea but right now with our current situation and people hoarding food (and toilet paper), it is a really great idea. I want to help you load up on the right foods so that you keep your family healthy and well-fed during our coronavirus quarantine. I can’t tell you how many people I see at the grocery store with carts that are overflowing with junk food and toilet paper.
Newsflash – Junk food is not going to keep you healthy and I’m not sure what you are doing with all that toilet paper!
This blog is about what you should be buying. I hope to give you lots of ideas on how to keep your pantry stocked with healthy foods even after this crisis has passed so that you avoid eating processed foods when time is limited.
Protein that is Shelf Stable
It’s a good idea to have some protein options outside of your typical fresh poultry, beef and fish. I know that when I’ve gone shopping over the past few weeks the pickings have been scarce when it comes to healthy, fresh options for protein. Pouches or PBA free cans work well for shelf stable animal protein. Dried organic jerky, jerky bars and powdered protein are all great essentials to keep on hand. Here are some of my favorites.
Fish and Chicken – Keeping cans (or pouches) of sardines, chunk light tuna, organic chicken and Wild caught Salmon are staples that should always be on the shelf. These items can make for easy meals in no time. Throw them on a salad, make salmon or tuna patties for dinner or make a salad using avocado or Just Mayo and serve on grain free tortillas, healthy crackers or even wrap it up in lettuce to make wraps. Simple and tasty, having canned fish on hand is a great option. Wild Planet makes BPA free cans of salmon, tuna, sardines and even organic chicken that can be found at your local grocery store.
Organic Grass-Fed Jerky – Organic Jerky offers a way for you to get protein as a snack or meal. These are great if you are on the go or confined to the home, unable to get to the store. Kids can take these to school and adults can take them to work making them an easy, portable source of protein. Always make sure your source is organic because regular jerky will have nitrates which are thought to be carcinogens.
Wild Zora Bars – These are animal protein and vegetable bars that come in a variety of choices all made from grass-fed organic beef, natural lamb or free-range turkey. They mix them with spices and get amazing reviews as a must have bar for camping, hiking, long sporting events, snacks or part of a meal. Shelf life is long with no nitrates or MSG. Another must have protein for your pantry.
Sunwarrior Protein – This is my favorite vegan protein powder by far. I love that it is not grainy when you mix it with water or nut milk. It is great for using in baked goods to add extra protein and you will find it in my Balanced Oatmeal recipe to add protein to an old-time favorite breakfast. Add unsweetened cocoa to make it chocolate or fruit to make it whatever you want but having this or your favorite one on hand is essential.
Protein Bars – Check out some of my favorites by clicking on the link provided. The Pegan and Paleo ones will have a lot of protein and serve to replace animal protein at a meal. Great for travel, snacks and again as a must have staple in your pantry. The other bars listed are also good to have on hand but I particularly love the ones by Julian’s Bakery for their macronutrient profile and simple ingredient list.
Having beans on hand is a necessary staple for your pantry. There are so many ways to use beans in recipes as your protein source and they are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals too. Try making beans and greens, my Butternut Squash and Black Beans, rice and beans, cauliflower rice and beans, bean burgers and bean soup. Whether you buy canned or dry make sure you have some on hand. The higher protein pasta made entirely from beans is another great option for quick, healthy meal staples. Keep in mind a lot of the “bean” pastas are full of flours making them super high in carbs so check the label first. Some of my favorites are shown below.
Tru Roots – This company makes sprouted lentils and Mung beans that are all great options to keep on your pantry shelves. I love the Tricolor lentils the best. Easy to cook with just water or broth and makes a great addition to your meal. Being sprouted makes them easier to digest.
Explore Cuisine Bean Pasta – This is the only bean pasta I have found made with just 100% organic beans. These pastas are super low in net carbs and high in protein so great for vegetarians and anyone wanting to eat more plant-based. Get creative with topping ideas such as pesto, dairy free “cheese” sauces made from cashews or a home made tomato sauce.
Nuts and seeds make great snacks and additions to your meals. Too many nuts and seeds however, can mean too many calories so these should always be measured out. They are a great source of energy but many of us get plenty of energy – even during a time like the coronovirus shopping frenzy. Nuts and seeds can also be hard on the gut so I really love the sprouted ones. A few of my favorites are shown below.
Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds – I simply can’t say enough good things about these sprouted pumpkin seeds. I find them at Costco and I put them on my salads and in my Daily Harvest cups. They add extra protein and some healthy fats to my meals. Super yummy so make sure you measure them out! And speaking of Daily Harvest, that would be a freezer staple to have on hand for sure. Click on the shared link to get your first 3 free.
Sprouted Almonds – Organic sprouted almonds are super crunchy and delicious. You can sometimes find these in the bulk section of Whole Foods. These are great as snacks or try them in my Dark Chocolate Almond Bark. Either way, make sure you measure since nuts are a high source of energy.
Chia Seeds – These are a great source of omega 3’s. You will find many of my recipes that use them to thicken a shake or make a pudding. Also, these can be used as an egg substitute for people that can not have eggs in their diet. Once opened, keep them in the refrigerated for a better shelf life.
There are so many items to keep on hand which is why many of us have overflowing pantries. Some other things to consider in your stock would be oatmeal, healthy cereals, rice, quinoa, cartons of tomatoes, unsalted broth, healthy condiments and dressings, almond flour, coconut flour and other baking essentials. Here are a few of my favorites. Look for Love Grown cereal and Red Bob’s oatmeal in your local grocery stores too.
POMI tomatoes – These are always in my pantry since tomatoes are hit or miss most of the year. They are simply tomatoes without any hidden sodium, MSG or high fructose corn syrup found in many canned products. You will find I use them in many of my recipes. Find them at Publix or Target.
Almond Flour – I use this grain free flour in so many of my recipes. Almond flour can easily replace regular flour in a recipe to make it grain free.
Coconut Flour is a fine baking flour but can not be used as a one to one substitution. It requires a lot more liquid and the consistency of your baked products would be very different if you used just coconut flour. I use it in combination to the almond flour in my recipes to soften them.
Vegan ProGranola – This is also grain free, gluten free and guilt free. The same high protein, low net carbs and even lower in calories cereal option but no animal protein. This product uses pea protein instead of eggs and also has no flax seed which makes it easier on digestion for some people. Enjoy it with unsweetened nut milk or coconut yogurt as a meal or snack.
This list is by no means inclusive and I would love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite foods? Please look for this post on social media and share your ideas to help others create a great, healthy pantry for their family.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!