Most households today have well-stocked pantries. This is an easy thing to do since you can get your supplies from the supermarket or through online shopping and have these delivered straight to your home by food distributors.
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Regardless of where you get your rations, it always pays to have a well-loaded pantry so that you and your family can quickly satisfy your hunger pangs at any time.
Healthy Pantry Essentials
Stocking your pantry is quite an easy thing to do. However, if you want to serve easy-to-make healthy meals using your pantry staples, you need to carefully choose which products or foods to store.
Below are seven pantry staples you should always have so that you can whip up healthy and delectable meals:
Rice, oats, grits, and cornmeal – these are just some of the common types of grains you should always have in your pantry. They are some of the most versatile food products around.
They can be cooked and served as the main component of a dish or as a side dish. Grains can also be used as coating, filler, and binder for dishes you want to pan fry or bake.
Whole grains are healthier than refined ones since they naturally have B vitamins, fiber, and iron.
Refined grains are enriched with these nutrients after they are processed so they are still good options as well.
Grains can keep for a few months when stored in airtight containers. As such, you don’t have to restock this product over and over again and you can buy them in bulk (which means more savings for you).
Eggs aren’t just breakfast staples anymore; they can be cooked and served for lunch, dinner and even as snacks too.
Quiches, frittatas, and omelets are filling and healthy dishes that are easy and quick to prepare. Hard-boiled, soft-boiled and poached eggs are also great as snacks and main dishes or as toppings for other dishes.
Eggs are rich in protein, vitamins D and E, biotin, long chain omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. They are one of the most nutrient-filled foods around.
Eggs also have a good shelf life; just make sure the ones you buy have “best before” dates that are several weeks away from when you purchased them.
You can get this detail from food service companies if you regularly have fresh eggs delivered to your home. Also, always store them in a cool, dry place.
3. Green Vegetables
Vegetable salads are meal staples that are nutritious and easy to prepare.
But aside from just tossing them together, you can use them as ingredients in other recipes and cook them in various ways. Some of the most versatile green veggies are kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, cabbage lettuce, and broccoli.
You can serve these vegetables boiled with a dip or baked. You can also add green leafy vegetables to smoothies, too.
Fresh green vegetables are good sources of various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients including vitamins A, C, and D, calcium, fiber and iron.
Unfortunately, most green veggies don’t retain their freshness for long so you have to include them in your weekly or bi-weekly grocery shopping list.
4. Root And Crop Vegetables
Root and crop veggies can be served as main or side dishes since they can be cooked in different ways: baked, roasted, boiled, mashed and pureed.
They can be added to other dishes and by following the right recipes, are good as snacks, too.
The best root vegetables to store include carrots, beets, radishes and turnips. For crop veggies, go for potatoes, jicama, sweet potatoes, and yams.
These vegetables have high nutrient content and most are available year-round, making them very affordable. They have a long shelf life as well.
Always store some apples, bananas, berries, avocados, lemons and other fruits in your pantry. Although they have a short shelf life, with the right storing practices, you can prolong their freshness.
You can cap off a meal with a tasty, nutritious and easy to whip up dessert with the fruits you have in your pantry.
They can also be added to savory dishes and served as snacks as well. You can serve a fruit platter for dessert or a snack.
You can use them to make ice cream, yogurt parfait or frozen fruit pops. You can also add them as toppings to cakes, bread, waffles, and bagels.
Whether you use fruits in recipes or simply serve them fresh, you boost everyone’s daily nutrient intake. Fruits are some of the most nutritious and complete foods around and you can eat them any time of the day.
With the right assortment of pantry staples, you won’t have a hard time whipping up something good and filling for the next meal. You can be sure it will be something healthy, too.