Stocking a Healthy Pantry

Stocking a Healthy Pantry

It’s hard to stick to your New Year’s resolution of eating well if your pantry is full of temptations and convenience foods. Set yourself up for success by stocking your kitchen with a few healthy essentials so you’ll have the tools you need to choose wholesome recipes and make smart substitutions in your favorite dishes.


WHY? Sweet potatoes are filling, sweet root vegetables full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and a laundry list of minerals. They’re an incredible, fiber-rich carbohydrate source that’s easy to digest and can be prepared savory or sweet.

USE IT. In place of white potatoes, or in pies, pancakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, and pancakes.


WHY? Lentils are a legume rife with fiber, lean protein, iron and minerals. They possess an earthy, neutral taste, making them the perfect canvas for your favorite spices and sauces.

USE IT. As a side dish, salad topper, made into vegetarian burger or meatball patties, or in soups, stews, curries, wraps, tacos, and stir fries.


WHY? Unroasted, unsalted raw nuts like cashews, almonds and walnuts are a great item to always have on standby. Loaded with healthy fat, protein and minerals, they’re both versatile and satiating.

USE IT. On their own as a filling snack, as an oatmeal or salad topper, in granolas and trail mixes, or in baked goods.


WHY? Turmeric is a powerful spice known for its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the primary component of turmeric, has been studied and observed as a cancer inhibitor in some medical studies.

USE IT. To season meat and add flavor to dishes such as peanut sauce; it can also be used in broths, soups, curries, roasted vegetables, chilis or any savory recipe.


WHY? Loaded with polyphenols and high in monounsaturated fat, it can help lower “bad” cholesterol and control insulin levels. Research published by the New England Journal of Medicine reported that individuals who consumed extra-virgin olive oil compared to low-fat diets had a 30% lower risk of having a heart attack, stroke or heart disease after 5 years.

USE IT. As a cooking oil, stirred into warm dishes or roasted vegetables, as a salad dressing, and as a soup topper. Note: Oils are still high in calories; so don’t forget to be mindful of your portions.


WHY? Salsa is a blank canvas of chopped or pureed tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, and lime – from here, you can add whatever your heart desires (or whatever you have on hand). Fresh salsa is full of vitamins A and C, and it’s low-calorie so you can add flavor to your meals without worry.

USE IT. On eggs, to dip veggies, as a salad dressing, and in stews.


WHY? Stevia is an all-natural sweetener that hails from the stevia plant. It contains zero sugar and zero calories, and it much sweeter than white sugar. Although it is a natural sweetener, it should still be consumed in moderation.

USE IT. In place of processed sugar or artificial sweeteners in drinks and desserts.


WHY? Ginger is an aromatic, spicy and distinguished spice. Fresh ginger is a root that can be peeled, minced and added to a variety of dishes. It is highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory attributes, nausea relief, and as a digestive aid.

USE IT. In teas, desserts, baked goods, smoothies, and ethnic dishes.


WHY? Oats are a versatile and hearty gluten-free grain bursting with fiber and minerals. Oats have a low glycemic index, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar. (Be careful – instant oats don’t seem much different and are more convenient, but they have a high glycemic index.)

USE IT. cookies, smoothies, muffins, and pancakes.As hot cereal or in granola, breads,


WHY? Quinoa – pronounced keen-wah – a gluten-free grain crop grown for its seeds, is a source of complete protein and a host of vitamins and minerals. Black is the firmest, red is in the middle, and white is the softest. “Quinoa is the mother of all grains – and not only for dinner,” says Savory Grille chef and owner Shawn Doyle. Quinoa is a source of complete protein and a host of vitamins and minerals, making it a great addition to your daily diet.

USE IT. In place of other grains such as rice, as a salad topper, or as a hearty breakfast.  Soak your quinoa before cooking to improve its texture, flavor, and make it easier to digest.

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