10 Healthy Pantry Staples to Always Have on Hand

When thinking of a healthy diet, the mind may gravitate to fresh fruits, veggies, and lean protein sources. While those products are necessary, they often come with a quick expiration date and unlike popular belief, food staples can actually come in a packaged form. Be sure to keep the pantry stocked with these food staples and essentials!

10 Healthy Pantry Staples

1. Oats

Traditional oats are a healthy pantry staple, as the whole grain is packed with fiber and offers a significant amount of nutrients. They show versatility in baked goods, blended into smoothies, or for the use of these overnight oat recipes.

2. Tuna

Canned or pouched tuna deserves its spot on the food essentials list, as tuna and other fatty fish are loaded with protein and healthy fat, offering convenient muscle-building and anti-inflammatory effects to the body. To keep benefits maximized, look for tuna soaked in water, rather than oil, to reduce unwanted fat calories along with the blue Certified Sustainable food label, BPA-free indication on packaging labels, and “light” or “white” tuna products that are naturally low in mercury.

3. Beans

Beans easily make it onto the food essentials list, as they are fiber-packed, a plant-based protein source, and diverse in preparation related to their extensive variety. It is important, though, to rinse off canned beans to rid the high sodium content. Stretch their valuable use in this black bean omelet or blackened tilapia with red beans and rice recipe.

4. Peanut Butter

Despite the well-known caloric density of peanut butter, most nutrition experts would include it into a food essentials list. Esteemed characteristics of peanut butter include its rich healthy fat supply and plant-based protein supply along with being non-perishable. But when choosing peanut or any other nut butter, be sure to select a product free of added sugars and oils, gravitating to products indicating simply peanuts and possibly a little salt. And while the notorious peanut butter and jelly never goes out of style, nut butter can also be used in these 10 creative ways.

5. Olive Oil

Though oils tend to be discouraged, olive oil is an exception. The oil is a source of healthy fat and shows promise in reducing heart disease risk and managing type 2 diabetes while also being quite versatile in the kitchen. But considering its high-caloric density, its use should still be moderated.

6. Brown Rice

Rice is a healthy pantry staple that compliments with a widespread of flavors, including chicken, beans, and soup. Choosing brown over white rice provides the body with greater nutrients, including fiber and B vitamins. Wild rice is also a respected whole grain source and featured in this chicken stuffed recipe.

7. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is much more than an ingredient come fall time and deserves its spot on the food essential list. It offers extensive nutrients and health benefits, including weight loss, eye and heart health, and advantageous to the brain and immune systems. Along with its feature role in the notorious Thanksgiving pie, you do not want to miss out on these 11 pumpkin recipes!

8. Spices

Experimenting with various spices is a fun way to play with flavors of meals without the need of a surplus of salt. From the taste of sweet cinnamon to the ice it up in the kitchen with these tips and ideas!

9. Vinegars

Keeping vinegar varieties in the pantry is extremely valuable to offer unique flavors to dishes. Additionally, vinegar shows to be a healthy alternative to sugary and oily dressings and sauces, making some products less than appealing at a nutritional standpoint. Find uses for essential vinegars, including apple cider and red wine, here.

10. Coffee

Or even more specifically, coffee beans! Purchasing coffee in its whole bean form and grinding immediately before use is suggested to offer the richest flavor. Drinking coffee has been suggested to facilitate weight loss, improve physical performance, with other health benefits that are further described here. But to optimize the benefits of coffee, ixnay the “fancy” drinks that are loaded with added sugar, syrup, and cream.