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Pantry Staples

August 25, 2017

We have actually had a pantry for the first time ever this summer and I fell in love! It's like a walk-in closet for your food. Yes please. I get asked a lot about how I can consistently eat healthy (consistent is a loose word when you're pregnant lol) and not be tempted by treats. My answer: don't keep treats in the house if you don't have the willpower to turn them down. This ebbs and flows with me. Sometimes I can say no to a bag of chips no problem, but other times I have a hard time not eating the entire thing. I listen to my body and my cravings (and my husbands) and stock our pantry accordingly.

 

I thought it would be helpful if I shared a few of our pantry staples that we always have on hand. These items help us stay on track and make throwing together a healthy meal SO easy. It's best for Jason and I to have food in the house that makes us feel good and helps fuel our bodies. It's also necessary to do this during the week because once we are out at the lake on the weekends we let ourselves indulge in treats. It's all about balance for us!

 

This has been especially important now that I'm pregnant. Some days I do not feel like cooking and will grab whatever is quick. Having a pantry full of good choices makes staying on track easy. It also helps me make sure I'll have something on the table for dinner when I don't feel like cooking. I have shared 15 items below, why we love them and how we incorporate them into our diet. 

 

**One thing I want to mention is always look at the ingredient list. Every brand is different and sometimes companies add things in that you wouldn't expect to be there. Look for minimal ingredients that you recognize and can pronounce. Take a sneak peak into our pantry below!

 

 

1. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil

Jason and I love this oil. It's so versatile and is an easy way to increase our fat intake. We are all about a high healthy fat diet. I mainly use coconut oil for baking because it does taste like coconut. Jason cooks his eggs in it, and we add it to our smoothies, make homemade chocolate with it and SO much more. Some of the recipes on my blog that use it: Lemon Coconut Protein Bites, Dark Chocolate Peanut Buter Cups, Grain-Free Double Chocolate Donuts, Matcha Pistachio Energy Bites, Raw Vegan Gingerbread Bites, Raw Banana Carrot Cake Bites and more!

 

Why we love it:

  • High in natural saturated fats, which increases the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body

  • Reduces inflammation and improves digestion

  • Easy to digest and absorb its nutrients

  • Anti-microbial and anti-fungal

  • Immediately converted to energy instead of stored as fat

 

2. Chia Seeds

I love having chia seeds in the house! They are another source of healthy fats and provides so many added benefits. Recipes on my blog that use them: Chia Jam, Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding, Kefir Cherry Chia Pudding, Lemon & Raspberry Chia Pudding, Healthy Oatmeal 4 Ways, Green Tea Detox Smoothie and more!

 

Why we love them:

  • High in fiber, which aids digestion

  • High in protein, calcium and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

  • High in antioxidants, which prevents premature skin aging and free radical damage

  • Boosts energy and metabolism

 

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Jason and I have been doing so much reading lately on how bad vegetable oils are for you. They are refined, processed, loaded with trans fats, have excess omega 6 fatty acids and are linked to a myriad of diseases. To avoid them we use healthy oils, one of them being olive oil. Olive is not only good for cooking but also dressings and marinades.

 

Why we love it:

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Smoke point of ~400 degrees F

  • Supports heart and brain health

  • High in Oleic acid, which fights free radical damage

 

4. Avocado Oil

This is another oil we use for cooking and I love it. It's newer to the market and not as readily available as olive oil yet, but if you can find it make sure you add it to your cupboard! It has a milder taste than olive oil, which is why I love using it in my Vegan Pesto.

 

Why we love it:

  • Smoke point of 520 degrees F, which makes it ideal for high-heat cooking

  • High in healthy fats - oleic acid and essential fatty acids

  • Boosts nutrient absorption

 

5. Manitoba Hemp Hearts

I love having these on hand to sprinkle on just about anything, put into smoothies, add to baking and to make homemade hemp milk! Side note: these start in the pantry, but once the bag is open store them in the fridge!

 

Why we love it:

  • Plant-based protein

  • High source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids

  • Easy to incorporate into your meals

 

6. Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another great source of fat. It is great for cooking, baking and putting in smoothies. It's a great option again if you can't have dairy. My Dark Chocolate Peanut Buter Cups and Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding call for it 

 

Why we love it:

  • High in fiber

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals 

  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol

  • Provides electrolytes and prevents fatigue

 

7. Oats

This is a must for breakfasts, baking and cooking. Check out my post Healthy Oatmeal 4 Ways to see how I use it most often. It's also Everly's favorite breakfast and fills her up for a long time!

 

Why we love it:

  • Whole grain source of fiber, which keeps you full longer

  • High in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

 

8. Dry Beans

I always used to buy canned beans but since reading about the potential danger of canned goods I have tried to limit them in our cupboard. Dried beans are inexpensive and so versatile! My go-to are black beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans and kidney beans. I use them in chili, soup, to make my Roasted Red Pepper Chipotle Hummus and to make baby food for Everly.

 

Why we love them:

  • Good source of plant based protein

  • High in vitamins and minerals and keep you full longer

 

9. Sweet Potatoes 

I love having these on hand as an easy starch. I use them to make sweet potato fries, food for Everly, cut them up into chili or make sweet potato noodles using my spiralizer.

 

Why we love them:

  • High in Vitamin A and beta carotene

  • Anti-inflammatory nutrients

  • High in dietary fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar

 

10. Raw Unfiltered Honey

I use honey to sweeten almost everything, especially my baking because we don't keep refined sugar in the house. It's really sweet so you don't need much. I buy raw when I can because it isn't heated or processed and keeps the nutrients in tact.

 

Why we love it:

  • High in antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes and minerals

  • Can lessen seasonal allergies, is a natural energy source and can also help you get a good nights sleep if taken before bed

 

11. Wild Canned Tuna and Salmon

This is a great quick protein source that Jason and I throw on salads or have with a charcuterie board for an easy dinner. Buy wild when you can and packed in water. 

 

12. Organic Marinara Sauce

We always have this on hand to toss with veggies, pasta or on top of chicken. Try and find a brand that has minimal ingredients and NO added sugar.

 

13. Raw Unsalted Nuts

I always have nuts on hand for snacking, throwing in smoothies, using in my energy bites, blending into nut butter or throwing into my Vegan Pesto. They are high in healthy fats and such a good quick snack to reach for. My faves are almonds, cashews, walnuts and brazil nuts. Make sure you look at the ingredients to make sure there are no added oils!

 

14. Dried Fruit

I keep these in small amounts because although they are natural, they are a very concentrated form of fruit (make sure there are no added sugars or oils). I usually have medjool dates, prunes, raisins and apricots. They are perfect when I need something sweet after dinner, or to put into my energy bites. Some recipes that use them are my Raw Vegan Gingerbread Bites, and Lemon Coconut Protein Bites.

 

15. Spices

We have accumulated so many spices over the years and I love using all of them. It is such an easy way to add so much flavor to any dish. Our top used spices are garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, basil, dill, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.

 

 

Our cupboards are full of so much more than this, but I thought I would just give you a sneak peak. Let me know below what some of your pantry staples are that help keep you on track!

 

Best,

Stacey

 

 

 

*All nutrition information can be found at www.draxe.com

 

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Believer. Hockey Wife. Mom.