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Healthy Eating Pantry Essentials

Sara K. Larsen - Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Over the years I've learned that if I stock my kitchen with nutritious foods that are versatile and easy to prepare, eating healthy isn't too difficult. If you have healthy food at your fingertips you won’t be as tempted to reach for unhealthy items when you get busy. 

Having a good base to work with in your pantry will also make starting out a bit easier. If you have all the basics you’ll only need to go grocery shopping once a week, mostly to stock up on fresh produce. The list below is not a one size fits all. You may need to substitute ingredients for your taste, food allergies or intolerances. 

Whole Grains:
Whole wheat pasta
Whole wheat bread
Quinoa
Soba noodles
Couscous
Brown rice
Millet
Steel cut oats
Whole wheat crackers
Whole wheat English muffins
Whole wheat tortillas

Protein:
Skinless, boneless chicken or turkey breast
Lean meats with all visible fat trimmed off
Fish: tilapia, halibut, grouper, snapper, salmon
Eggs
Tempeh
Tofu
Black beans
Cannellini beans
Chickpeas
Pinto beans
Lentils

Vegetables:
Cauliflower
Green beans
Asparagus
Spinach
Cucumber
Dark leafy greens
Eggplant
Peppers
Celery
Zucchini
Squash
Carrots
Kale
Mushrooms
Okra
Leeks
Turnips

Fruit:
All berries
Apple
Kiwi 
Banana
Orange
Watermelon 
Peach
Pear
Grapefruit
Pineapple
Plums
Cherries

Dairy:
Butter 
Low-fat milk
Low-fat yogurt
Soy almond milk
Greek yogurt
Low-fat cheese

Nuts, Seeds, & Oils:
Extra virgin olive oil
Flaxseed
Avocado
Raw almonds
Raw cashews
Raw walnuts
Sunflower seeds
Natural nut butters

Spices:
Basil
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Cumin
Chili Powder
Cinnamon
Ginger
Paprika
Turmeric
Nutmeg
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

Miscellaneous:
Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Balsamic vinegar
Tomato sauce
Mustard
Salsa
Honey
Apple cider vinegar

What are some of your healthy eating pantry essentials?