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Tips for Stocking a Healthy Pantry

If you have healthy food at your fingertips, you’re more likely to eat it, right? To look and feel your best, keep your pantry stocked with the right goodies. Then, all you have to do is add fresh produce to make a balanced meal packed with the fibre, protein and nutrients you need to thrive. Here’s what you’ll find in the GMB team’s pantry…

1. Grains and legumes

Being healthy doesn’t mean having to deprive yourself. Pasta, rice, noodles and even baked treats can be nutritious if you use grains that are better for your digestion and overall health.

  • Wholewheat pasta
  • Gluten-free flours (e.g. coconut flour, almond meal)
  • Brown rice – great for anyone sensitive to gluten
  • Quinoa – this baby contains all nine essential amino acids for energy
  • Amaranth
  • Barley – bye, bye cholesterol!
  • Rolled or steel-cut oats – nourishing and oh-so-filling
  • Soba noodles
  • Lentils – Mum was right, lentils are packed with protein and fibre
  • Wholewheat flour – it has an impressive insoluble fibre content and fewer calories and carbs than white flour
  • Rye, sourdough or gluten-free bread

Throw out:

White flour, white pasta, white rice, white bread… Sensing a pattern here?

2. Nuts and seeds

Not only are nuts and seeds the perfect snack, but they can also be thrown into smoothies and salads for an extra nutrient hit. They’re an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as protein, fibre and calcium. Raw is best, and stick to a small handful.

  • Almonds – they taste nice, and lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. #overachiever
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts – the number one nut for heart health
  • Cashews
  • Pine nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Tahini – made from ground sesame seeds, this paste works well in dressings and marinades
  • Seeds – sesame, pumpkin, hemp, chia
  • Dried fruit – dates, sultanas, cranberries, goji berries. Don’t go too crazy with these.
  • Almond butter
  • Natural peanut butter – you can’t go past Pics Peanut Butter. It contains two ingredients: peanuts and a little sea salt. That’s it! Plus, Pics uses Australian hi-oleic nuts, which are bursting with protein, antioxidants and monosaturated (aka good) fats. They also have an unsalted version if you’d prefer. Click here to try Pics Peanut Butter.

Throw out:

Salted nuts, commercial nut butters with an ingredient label as long as your to-do list

3. Seasonings and taste enhancers

Herbs and spices can take the flavour of a meal to a whole new level. They’re also fun to experiment with, so enjoy.

  • Himalayan sea salt – detoxifies the body and boosts hydration. Yes, really!
  • Black peppercorns
  • Allspice
  • Chilli powder – contains antioxidants and revs up the metabolism
  • Nutmeg
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon – sprinkle it on your coffee and morning oatmeal to keep your blood sugars in check
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Turmeric – an amazing anti-inflammatory
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Ginger – thanks to its medicinal properties, it’s great for immunity and nausea
  • Oregano – sprinkle this on your salads for an Italian flavour
  • Dill
  • Organic honey
  • Agave syrup
  • Stevia
  • Cacao
  • Lemons and limes – for a little zest!

Throw out:

4. Oils and condiments  

If you’re on the healthy eating bandwagon, you probably do a lot of cooking, baking and salad-making at home. Props to you! Make sure to have these healthy oils and condiments in easy reach.

  • Extra virgin olive oil – bonus points if it’s cold pressed
  • Apple cider vinegar – a shot a day keeps the doctor away (or you could just pour a little over your salads)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Flaxseed (for salad) and toasted sesame oil (for stir-fries)
  • Soy sauce – choose one with reduced sodium
  • Dijon mustard
  • Worcestershire or hot sauce if you like things on the spicy side

Throw out:

Tomato/barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, vegetable oils

5. Canned goods

We’re all busy, and sometimes, there’s no chance of making it to the shops on the way home. And that’s okay! Keep these items handy so you can whip up a quick weekday dinner without any dramas.

  • Tomatoes – they’re loaded with antioxidants like lycopene. Go for a version with no added salt
  • Corn
  • Olives (e.g. Kalamata)
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans – we like kidney beans, cannellini beans and black beans
  • Lentils
  • Tuna– It’s a great (and cheap) source of protein, vitamin D and omega-3s. Just look for ‘springwater’ on the tin, and avoid anything marinated in oil.

Throw out:

Tinned fruit, bottled salad dressings

What else do you keep in your healthy pantry? How often do you cook at home? Let us know in the comment section below!

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