Healthy Cupboard Staples

With another lockdown looming upon us most people are rushing to the supermarkets to stock up on food. I believe one of the positives of spending more time at home is perhaps having more time to cook, prepare healthier meals and experiment with recipes.

In this article I discuss the smart and healthy cupboard staples that may guarantee you healthy food/meal choices when you are spending more time at home. Having a clear list of what you need to purchase can also help you manage your food shopping budget better too.

Here is the list of long shelf life food items:

Pasta – go for the wholegrain varieties or why not try bean or chickpea pasta for higher protein content (these varieties are also naturally gluten free).

Tinned Tomato Sauce – to incorporate into curries, soups and homemade pasta sauces.

Tinned Coconut Milk – you can use it instead of a nut milk, as a creamer in hot drinks as well as in cooking and baking.

Canned Chickpeas – a great source of vegan protein, you can add them to salads, soups or make simple dishes such as Hummus – why not  try my Beetroot Hummus Recipe.

Canned Beans (butter, kidney, cannellini) – another great source of protein, which is very versatile and can help you put together simple meals (use in salads, add to soups and stews) such as my Butter Bean Hummus Recipe  (I clearly cannot get enough of hummus, but it is so good).

Wholegrains – wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal, buckwheat – you can use these in salads, cook as side dishes, use in baking or use in healthy breakfast recipes such as my Buckwheat and Apple Porridge Recipe.

Healthy Oils – such as coconut oil, avocado, walnut oil and olive oil to use in cooking and salad dressings.

Nuts and Nut Butters – a handful of nuts with an apple makes a great balanced snack and nut butters are a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. You can consume these with fruit, in baking or drizzle  them on your porridge in the morning (why not try this Purple Power Porridge Recipe).

Spices and Herbs – such as oregano, turmeric, dill, coriander, cinnamon, etc. – you can experiment with adding them to bakes, salads, soups, porridge and any homemade meal really!

Nut Milks – these usually have longer shelf life than cow’s milk and may be a good source of healthy fats – the general guidance is to go for the unsweetened versions. There is plenty to choose from such as coconut, hazelnut and almond milk.

Herbal Teas – instead of your builder’s tea or cup of coffee, why not stock up on some herbal tea varieties, which are generally lower in caffeine than conventional tea/coffee and have more health boosting properties.

Here are some suggestions for herbal teas:

– Decaffeinated green tea – which contains plenty of antioxidants
– Mint tea – which not only tastes great, but also improves digestion
– Echinacea – this amazing herbal tea fights off infections and stimulates your immune system
– Ginger tea – the zingy drink has been known to boost immunity and reduce inflammation

This article is specifically about long shelf life cupboard essentials, but don’t forget to incorporate fruit and veggies (frozen are fine) into balanced meals too.