Taking the time to set up your pantry and have some key ingredients on hand can make it much easier to prepare healthier meals. I make sure I have the ingredients below in my pantry or fridge, this means I can put together a healthy meal when I’m running short on time. All I have to pick up are the fresh ingredients and some protein.
Some recipes suggestions have been included for use with some of the pantry basics, this way you have an idea of what meals they can be used to create.
This list below may seem overwhelming and I certainly don’t intend for you to go out and buy everything all in one go. Instead you can build your healthy pantry basics gradually, try the recipes I have suggested and before you know it you will have grown a great pantry and have a range of easy recipes on hand to prepare quickly with your pantry ingredients.
Spices + Seasonings
There are so many wonderful spices available and my pantry basket is packed with many! To keep things simple though I have listed below the ones I use most frequently.
- Sea salt
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika
- Baharat spice blend – Morrocan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
These are my go to flours for when I am baking muffins, cakes or pastry. All of these flours are gluten free and are nutrient dense (with the exception of potato starch but I use this in small quantities to lighten mixes).
- Blanched almond meal
- Coconut flour
- Tapioca starch
- Potato starch
- Buckwheat flour – Buckwheat and brown rice flour pizza
This section requires a much longer blog post about which sweeteners to use instead of refined sweeteners and the whole fructose issue. But for now to keep things simple, this is what I use in my diet and have on hand in my pantry. But to be clear I use these sweeteners in desserts which I don’t consume every day, these are occasional foods.
- Raw honey
- Coconut palm sugar
- Rapadura sugar
- Medjool dates
Nuts + Seeds
There are so many nuts and seeds, all with wonderful health benefits. The ones below are what I use most frequently and make sure I always have on hand.
- Pine nuts
- Flaked almonds
- Hemp seeds
Healthy Cooking Fats:
I don’t have all of these oils on hand all of the time. I always have olive oil and butter as I use these in cooking. But I mix it up between the other oils, which I use for salad dressings. So at the moment I have hemp seed oil in the fridge and when I’ve used this up I’ll switch to flaxseed oil. I love making my own mayonnaise so will always have either avocado oil or macadamia oil on hand. To read more about the reason I recommend these fats over others read this blog post on Fats .
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Hemp seed oil (store in the fridge)
- Flaxseed oil (store in the fridge) – you have to try my delicious salad dressing using this oil
- Avocado oil
- Macadamia oil – I have a great mayonnaise recipe using this oil
These basics didn’t fit into any of the above categories but are still important in any basic pantry.
- Dijon mustard
- Wholegrain mustard
- Concentrated Bone Broth
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar