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Staples of a Healthy Pantry

While many of us stock up our pantry in case of an emergency, very few of us think about stocking up a healthy food pantry. Sometimes food that is bought for the sole purpose of storing in a pantry for future use is not always the healthiest choice we can make.

However, there are several foods that are wonderful choices for both healthy and “in case of a pinch” pantry situations. Stocking your pantry with these items will make healthy cooking easy.

Beans

Possibly the number one food that should be in anyone’s pantry is the bean. Kidney beans, cannellini beans, lentils, and navy beans are only a few among the vast variety of beans. Beans contain large quantities of protein while offering just as much variety to any meal. Beans can be used as main ingredients in dishes such as casseroles or as a topping to a salad. Used in Mexican dishes such as a Tex-Mex bean dip or as part of a fajita, beans add flavor, variety, and protein. Beans can certainly take the place of fatty red meats in some recipes while never losing an ounce of flavor.

Whole Wheat Pasta

We all know the benefits of adding whole grain into our diet. Yet another added benefit of whole wheat pasta is that it is so versatile and can help us put together a quick meal in a pinch. Whole wheat pasta offers bran, fiber, antioxidants, and all-important B vitamins.

When your pantry is stocked with whole wheat pasta, the possibilities are endless. You could toss some broccoli and shrimp together with whole grain spaghetti, add a salad, and have a delectable meal in minutes. Perhaps some sun dried tomatoes and chicken tossed with some whole wheat pasta is just the thing for your family.

Whole Grain Cereals

Cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar are the best staple any pantry could boast. Fiber keeps your stomach full and can jump-start your day getting you healthfully on your way.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has been used for centuries to provide high quality, excellent taste, and health benefits. With olive oil as a staple in your pantry, you will find its uses endless. Olive oil is useful for frying skinless, boneless chicken, for tossing on salad and even as a concoction for dipping your whole grain bread. The health benefits that olive oil provides far outweigh its cost.

Canned Goods

Canned goods are an immediate staple of any pantry. However, be careful of what is in those canned goods. Look for low-salt canned goods such as diced tomatoes. Canned salmon is an excellent source of protein and provides necessary Omega 3s, while broths that come in the low sodium variety are easily added to any recipe.

These are just a few of the staples that can get every pantry up and running to a healthy start.