By Teresa Ingrasciotta
Reap huge health benefits by making simple changes to your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Here are the 10 categories of must-haves to keep on hand…
1. Plant Proteins for a Protein Punch
Black Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Kidney Beans, White Beans.
Choose organic dried black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney or white beans. Soak and cook with a piece of Kombu seaweed for additional thyroid-supporting benefits. Cook a huge batch in your crockpot or pressure cooker; freeze in individual packets to have ready to enjoy! For a quick go-to, keep canned, BPA-free beans in your pantry.
2. Gluten-Free Grains & Flours
Experiment with some easy-to-find grains and flours available at all health food stores, and some supermarkets. Sorghum, Amaranth, Gluten-Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Wild Rice, Buckwheat, Chickpea, Coconut, Almond, Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, are just a few popular choices. Store flours and grains in your fridge.
3. Health-Supportive Fats & Oils
Instead of bread, enjoy almond (or other non-peanut) butter on a piece of fruit like an apple, pear, or banana. Cook with high-heat tolerant fats like Coconut Oil or Ghee. Save your Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil for salad dressings or to finish a bowl of your favorite steamed veggies. Tahini (ground sesame seeds) is not only great for hummus; keep it handy for dressings, marinades, and sauces.
4. Salad Dressings
Be gentle on your gut and instead of harsh wine vinegars, choose apple cider vinegar (preferably raw, unfiltered), lemon, or lime juice to make your vinaigrettes.
5. Seeds & Nuts
Walnuts, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds, and Pumpkin Seeds are great combined into trail mix with Unsweetened Shaved or Shredded Coconut, and a small amount of dried fruit. Blend Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, and Hemp Seeds into your smoothie, or enjoy sprinkled on your food. Store all seeds and nuts in the fridge.
Choose the best quality you can find and always-in moderation!! Bittersweet Chocolate (at least 70% Cacao), Carob Powder, Dried Fruit: Raisins, Cranberries, Currants, Honey (raw and local preferred), 100% Pure Maple Syrup (Grade B preferred), Raw Cocoa Nibs or Powder, Unsweetened Shaved or Shredded Coconut.
7. Sea Vegetables
Chock full of thyroid-supportive iodine and minerals, keep Kombu, Dulse, Kelp, Nori, and Wakame in your pantry. Hydrate and watch grow into healthful greens to add to your soups and salads.
8. Fresh Produce
Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Ginger, Lemons, Limes, Onions (red, yellow), and Winter Greens: Kale, Chard, and Collards, etc.
9. Frozen Foods
Kale, Spinach, Organic Berries; Chicken Breasts and Turkey (ideally organic and pastured), Grass-fed Organic Beef.
10. Dried Herbs, Spices, and Condiments
The foods you prepare will be significantly enhanced not only in taste, but also in nutritional value by adding these into your pot, pan, or marinades. Also, the more herbs and spices you use, the less salt you’ll need! Periodically check the expiration dates and make sure to replace them since they will lose their potency, taste, and nutritional benefits the longer they sit in your pantry.
Try these: Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Cinnamon (sticks or ground), Coriander, Cumin, Curry Powder, Fresh Ground Pepper, Ginger (ground), Cloves (ground), Himalayan or Sea Salt, Nutmeg, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, Rosemary, Thyme, Turmeric; Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Mirin, Rice Milk, Tamari (gluten-free), Vanilla Extract, Arrowroot, Vegetable Stock or Bouillon Cubes
Join our next Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer Makeover Class where you’ll learn how to incorporate these and many more items into your lifestyle. You’ll also learn an easy way to unravel the sometimes confusing Nutrition Facts Labels and Ingredients Lists. The class is free, but the knowledge you’ll gain is invaluable!