Remember the panic when the pandemic started? That time has probably taught a lot about what foods you should keep at home and how to eat in an emergency situation.
Autumn is a good time to start thinking about stocking up your kitchen pantry for winter. As we know, covid is still there, so it is better to keep some healthy staples nearby just in case of another lockdown (you never know).
The best option is always to ensure that you can keep eating healthy so you need to have some whole foods like beans, lentils, rice, flour, dried fruits, canned veggies and pasta to make your dishes healthy. With some help from herbs and spices, you can create incredible sensations in your own home kitchen. Just use your imagination and creativity.
What are the best staples I should stock in my pantry?
The answer is high-quality whole foods and healthy products. You need to eat well during hard times and stay fit.
Legumes: dried beans, lentils, chickpeas
The best foods you can stock are legumes and pulses: dried beans, dried lentils, dried chickpeas, dried peas. You can also buy canned legumes, but they tend to be less healthy (high added sugar content and salt). Legumes and pulses are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a great source of plant-based protein and fibre, meaning they are super satisfying. They are also versatile, which means you can use them in many dishes. Think of all those delicious meals you can prepare with them!
Whole grains, pasta and rice
It would be best if you always had some whole grains, rice, and pasta which are a source of carbs, and you need them to prepare a full meal. Whole grains are a source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. If you're looking for some super healthy, go for buckwheat (kasha), barley, bulgur, quinoa, brown rice and wild rice. These products are packed with complex carbohydrates, and they will keep you fuller for longer plus, they help you manage your cholesterol.
When you buy pasta, remember that the healthiest versions of pasta are those made of legumes, pulses and whole grains.
Organic canned vegetables
Your pantry needs to have some canned vegetables, too - always ready for an emergency, such as organic canned tomatoes - just there for you when you crave some delicious pasta with tomatoes. However, you have to be careful - some canned foods are high in added sugar, salt and sodium. It is safer to buy organic canned veggies - as they are always less processed and offer nutritional value. So when you crave some delicious pasta at times - keep your organic canned tomatoes nearby.
Organic broth and stock
One of the most comforting dishes you can cook at home is soup. Soup is always easy to make, even when you have limited ingredients. Of course, the best is to make your own vegetable stock but if you want to buy it in a supermarket, choose organic broth and bouillon. It is made with high-quality ingredients and less salt.
Nuts and nut butters
Nuts are packed with fibre, protein and monounsaturated fatty acids. They are the healthiest snacks you can eat. They keep you full for longer, keep your blood sugar low, and help you reduce your risk of heart disease. A handful of nuts will make a perfect daily portion for a quick and healthy snack. Go for almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts. Look for nuts online if you cannot find them in your grocery store.
Peanut butter and almond butter will make great replacements for nuts. Just make sure you're buying natural nut butter made with 100% nuts, no salt and sugar and no preservatives. Remember also that peanut butter should be eaten in moderation - two spoons a day should be ok.