The season for going through the entire house, room by room, deep cleaning and organizing (also known as attempting the impossible) is upon us! If you are anything like me, you probably start spring off with big plans for de-cluttering, simplifying and organizing every square inch.
Then, before you know it, summer is in full gear and you-re lucky to have gotten through one or two rooms. I don’t really have a good fix for this, but Erica recently posted this advice on NLM (which I found to be very helpful)!
What I do have is the perfect list of must-haves for your pantry. Clear out what is unnecessary or unhealthy and fill it with the items below – you’ll be able to quickly put together lots of healthy meals and snacks.
Whole grains are great sources of fiber and minerals. They also have more protein than their simple grain counterparts
- 100% Whole-Wheat Flour – I almost always substitute whole-wheat flour in any recipe that calls for white-flour
- Corn Masa – you will typically find this in the Latin food section of the grocery store. It comes in very handy when making homemade corn tortillas (I know that sounds intimidating but they are super-easy to make…just follow the recipe on the packaging.)
- Almond Meal – this is great to use in homemade pancakes, muffins and granola bar recipes (I typically replace 1/4 of the white flour amount with almond meal)
- Quinoa – this nutty-flavored grain is full of protein and fiber (check fiber content)
- Steel-Cut Oats – whenever I’m in the mood for oatmeal, this is my go-to grain
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour – while not a whole grain, I do keep white flour on hand…cakes and other sweet breads just aren’t the same without it!
As a self-proclaimed sugar addict, I try to keep healthier versions readily available to add to my coffee and baking recipes.
- Raw Sugar
- Agave Nectar
- Pure Maple Syrup
A small portion of nuts and seeds (along with a little bit of dried fruit) is often the perfect mid-afternoon snack for me. They are also good for homemade granola and granola bar recipes.
- Raw Almonds
- Raw Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Raw Sunflower Seeds
- Beans (Black, Kidney, Garbanzo) – having canned beans on hand is a must for me as I can whip up a pot of chili in no time (just put a couple of cans in a pot, add browned ground turkey, a can of tomatoes, chili seasoning, salt & pepper…voila!) or throw a can of drained beans in the Vitamix/food processor, along with some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for hummus.
- Tomatoes (Diced, Crushed) – I typically select diced tomatoes with herbs or onions included for additional flavor
- Pumpkin Puree – be sure to get %100 pure pumpkin (not the pie filling) and use in muffin, bread, and pancake recipes to replace some of the fat
- Dried Fruit – I add a tablespoon or so to my steel-cut oatmeal instead of sugar
- Panko Bread Crumbs – for any “oven-fried” dishes