How to Stock a Healthy Pantry

March 11, 2020   10 Comments

Do you know how to stock a healthy pantry? I’m sure we all have some healthy food in our home but right now it seems important to review what we should have on hand.

How to Stock a Healthy Pantry

The photo above is your typical pantry - not exactly a healthy one but a common one.

It took a few days of watching the news before I grabbed my credit card, shopping bags, and hand sanitizer and drove to Costco.

After I was handed a wipe for my shopping cart, I began wandering with the other zombies looking for things I should buy. I sniffed at other’s choices (do you really need 8 boxes of Frosted Flakes?) but my visit netted me 4 bags of coffee, 4 jars of peanut butter, dark chocolate, and a case of Guinness. I’m ready!!

Obviously, I am prepared for St. Patrick's Day.

Since I write about healthy eating, I have been thinking about this moment as an opportunity to review what it is in I have in my house if I couldn’t go to the store. Time to stop what you are doing and take a good hard look at what you stock to cook for yourself and your family.

Got Poptarts, potato chips, and ramen? Yes, you will survive getting sick but you might get other illnesses from these questionable choices.

It is spring cleaning time! Toss the crap out (we all have it).

What should you buy? Lots of food that will remain shelf stable and keep you free of diabetes and heart disease.

Before I go any further, we all want to ensure that we keep these critters out of our food.

We stored some of our food in our basement, such as a big bag of rice, and supported a whole family of mice before I bought two large metal garbage cans and ended the fun. When we run out of dried beans or rice - we go down to the garbage can to get more.

Also, these jars are a much better choice than plastic bags (we also got moths in our flour).

Okay, so now you’ve got a system to keep out vermin. Here are my healthy pantry suggestions with some recipes to go with them:

  • Whole grains - brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole grain pasta
  • Beans - canned beans and dried beans (pintos, lentils, black beans….)
  • Canned fruits in water (or fruit cups) and canned tomatoes
  • Eggs - they keep for five weeks in the fridge
  • Canned tuna in water
  • Peanut butter
  • Root vegetables that you store in a cool dark place such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and beets.
  • Nuts and dried fruit (peanuts, almonds, walnuts and dried mango, raisins, cherries….)
  • Frozen vegetables and fruits. I would buy blueberries, strawberries, mango, corn, peas and spinach.
  • Frozen lean meats and fish such as chicken breast, skinless chicken thighs, turkey breast, salmon, tilapia.
  • Powdered milk, canned milk, and/or shelf stable milk or shelf stable almond milk.
  • Sprouted wheat bread for the freezer

Finally - I would have on hand gourmet essentials that can make every day food taste better such as spices, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onions and Parmesan cheese.

I would avoid canned soups (high in sodium) and other processed foods as much as I could.

Here are a few recipes that you can cook from this list of staples:

1. Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili:  Healthy, Inexpensive, and Delicious

Get the recipe here: Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili Recipe

2. Healthy Baked Oatmeal

Healthy Baked Oatmeal

Get the recipe here: Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe

3. How to Cook Salmon from Frozen

How to Cook Salmon from Frozen

Get the recipe here - scroll down to the bottom of the page: How to Cook Salmon from Frozen Recipe

4. Light Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Light Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Get the recipe here: Light Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe

7. Instant Pot Refried Beans

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Get the recipe here: Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe

What do you always have in your pantry? Do you know how to stock a healthy pantry?

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Love this topic. I would add milk to my rotation - canned and powdered. I also really like the shelf-stable milk at the dollar store. I use the whole to make my yogurt. I can skip the heating/cooling step by using the room-temp whole milk, stirring in my starter (a spoonful of Chobani plain Greek) and incubating with my immersion cooker. If I want to make thicker yogurt, I stir in half a cup of powdered milk first, then refrigerate overnight so that the powder dissolves completely.

Thanks for this topic as I was just placing an order for groceries - and I even loved the comments which were helpful too!

@Patticake - excellent!! I have dried milk powder always and should have thought of it. I am adding it to the list for everyone.

Thank you for the list and the great recipes to go with it. I have almond butter (which I prefer to peanut butter, but I do have a small jar of PB2 for certain things), oatmeal, and unsweetened applesauce in jars. Appreciate the reminder to purge junk - it has a way of sneaking in, right?

Fantastic helpful list, thanks!

This is "great" & THANK YOU SNACK GIRL & others for all you share. I look forward to reading more again. Blessings & To All anneippi

Thanks so much for the info. ❤️

Thank you so much!! Very helpful!!

Thank you so much this was very helpful


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