I think one of my favourite rooms in our new house has got to be the pantry.
In our last house we had a tiny little closet of a pantry and it just wasn’t much space to store food and other kitchen-type stuff. When we started designing this house a big pantry was on the must-have list. I wanted lots of space to store food but also dishes and awkward appliances too.
And now I have what is pretty close to my ‘dream’ pantry (If only someone would come organize it nicely for me!) But what good is a nice big pantry if it isn’t stocked with the right stuff?
I think I know myself pretty well, especially when it comes to my eating habits, cravings and otherwise food-related tendencies. Since eating ‘healthy' doesn’t exactly come naturally to me, I know that I am far more likely to lean in that direction if I have the right stuff on hand.
And so now that our DietBet (lovingly referred to as the #BeastBet) is in full swing, I knew I had to do a good pantry stock up so that making the right choices will be easier. I try to pick up things wherever I can get a good deal but one of my favourite places for pantry purchases is Trader Joe’s.
So what do I like to have that pantry stocked with anyway? Here, I’ll tell you some of my favourites Oils & Vinegars
Grapeseed Oil (bought this for the first time today)
Coconut Oil (my new favourite cooking oil)
Balsamic Vinegar (dark and white)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Rice Wine Vinegar
Dried Goods & Grains
Nuts, Seeds & Dried Fruits
Pecan Pieces (way cheaper than whole or halves)
Sunflower Seeds, shelled
Raisins (all colours, big and small - there are so many yummy varieties!)
Whole Grain or Flaxseed Tortilla Chips (and hummus!)
Popcorn Seeds (lots of fun making it in a pot on the stove!)
Epicurious Spice Mixes: herb & garlic, apple sage, 3 onion
Mocha Steak Rub (Whole 30 recipe and SO good)
Homemade Taco Seasoning (recipe coming soon)
Bouillon Packets (can jazz up any soup that’s tasting a bit bland!)
Fridge (sorry, not technically the pantry)
I find that when I have this kind of stuff on hand, it is far easier to try out new recipes for salad dressings, marinades and healthy baking. All the dried stuff, nuts and fruits are great for power cookies, granola bars and healthy muffins. The oils, vinegars and spices are great for making any meat or salad taste so much better. The canned and jarred stuff is great for snacking and adding to salads, sauces etc. And well, I’m the kind of girl who needs some salty crunch in her life and in the absence of potato chips, some of these other crisps and chips are a distant substitute but enough to satisfy that salty, crunchy craving now and then.
Now I don’t have all of these things in my pantry at all times but try to pick them up when I can. Especially at times like these (BeastBet) I like to have as much of it as possible so that I can make what I need to make. Healthy eating requires a bit more creativity and if I have the right stuff available, I am more likely to choose better recipes and put together smarter meals. It also makes meal planning a lot easier when you have a good base of ‘staples’ to pull your recipes together.
What kinds of things do you have in your pantry? Do you find it’s easier to eat healthy when you have the stuff you need on hand?