I wrote a blog post for Nicole over at NEO Endurance titled What’s In Your Pantry? and it showcased what was in pantry at the time of the writing. I have since updated my pantry with some extra ‘new’ foods that I wanted to add to this list because I think they are important. For the original list of what was in my pantry you can click the link above or read below:
Dried Beans: I have dry red kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas. These are a great go to source for protein and flavor. You can make chili, add it to your rice, make vegetarian patties and much more with dried beans. The trick is to soak them in water over night and then when you are ready to cook them bring water to a boil, add the beans and then reduce to a simmer and cook until they are soft.
Spices: This is where your flavor AND health aids come from. Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Red Pepper, Fennel, Rosemary, Thyme. You name the spice it should be in your pantry. My favorite? Herbs De Provance, especially in my omelets. Every spice has a health benefit as well whether it is an aid in digestion or in reducing swelling there is a benefit to adding spices to your food.
Seeds: Seeds are another ingredient with tremendous health benefits and should be a part of your daily diet. Quinoa, Sesame, Chia, Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin are all in my pantry. I put them into smoothies, top off stir fry, make homemade jam and not only do I add flavor to my food but I get a nutrition punch.
Grains: I have barley, millet, oats, risotto and polenta are in my pantry. All of these items are tremendous sources of vitamins and minerals but also fiber. Fiber helps keep you feeling fuller longer which aids in weight loss. I can make overnite ‘oats’ which each of these and they are flexible enough to aid in sweet as well as savory dishes.
Dried Fruit: Cranberries, Cherries, Raisins and Figs are a great way to spruce up your oatmeal. You can also add them to your salads to give them a different flavor profile. Tired of spending money on bars at the grocery store? Make your own and use dried fruits to help bind and add flavor to them. Not to mention the added health benefits of un-processed food.
Suzie’s Thin Cakes: These are my snack. They are very thin in comparison to regular rice cakes but have far fewer calories and carbs. I spread homemade nut butter (also in my pantry) and honey (also in my pantry) on them every night and top them with strawberries or bananas.
So that was in my pantry as of that writing but as I mentioned I have added a few new items that I believe have taken my pantry to another level.
Chocolate: There are two forms of chocolate in my pantry now. The first is Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight (it was on sale at 3 bars for $5) and Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips. I have been using the Ghirardelli melted down and adding it to my waffles and they turn out perfect with that dark chocolate taste. For the mini chips they are great on top of coconut whip to make a sort of cannoli like filling.
Coconut (Shredded): Coconut has been almost a daily item in my diet because of its taste but it is also a healthy fat. With whole coconuts I have removed the shell and used the meat to make coconut bacon but the shredded coconut is what I put in my pantry. I use this on top of my waffles, on top of my snacks at the end of the night and it adds a little more texture to them. The brand I currently have is Bob’s Red Mill but I have also used Let’s Do Organic Coconut but not the reduced fat variety.
Risotto: I realized after the post for Nicole that I had risotto in my pantry and this is because I wanted to make a different type of pizza crust and was thinking about millet or quinoa but then saw the risotto. Since then I have made a couple of dishes, including the pizza crust, with this great ingredient. I have a new dish coming out this week that I am calling it Italican Cuisine. I can’t wait to make it. In addition to risotto I do have other rice in my pantry. A wild rice blend and brown rice are there and are great for stir-frys or if you just add beans to them.
Honey and Molasses: These should be in everybody’s pantry as they are natural sweeteners that can be used in your oatmeal, baked goods or even savory dishes to enhance their flavor. I use honey on a daily basis and molasses when I am making a gingerbread shake or gingerbread oatmeal.
That is a glimpse into my pantry and if I am in a pinch and have run out of vegetables I know I can turn to my pantry and make a meal.