A well-stocked kitchen pantry is important for several reasons. Not only will you have healthy and nutritious options on hand for cooking at home, but it also saves you money by not having to dine out. You get to pick what goes into your dishes ingredient-wise AND… you don’t even have to put pants on to eat a meal. Well um that is unless you have company then I would suggest putting them on! LOL So to help you out I’ve gathered a list of my 10 must have pantry staples.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You need some kind of fat to cook with. A good quality olive oil packs a punch with antioxidants that can help lower your cholesterol as well as helping to ward off heart disease and cancer. Besides that, it’s the perfect cooking oil with its excellent taste and quick heating ability .
- Fresh garlic – you can slice it, dice it, mince it, mash it and use it to keep sparkling vampires away. Sorry while I love the movies, vampires do not twinkle! You can use it just about every type of food. Plus it’s good for you! It helps prevent heart disease and lowers your cholesterol.
- Spaghetti Sauce – now you know me, I’m all about making my own sauce from scratch. I HIGHLY recommend my simple Italian marinara. Since it has the acid in it from the tomatoes and no meat you can use the water bath canning method to store it on your shelf.
- Noodles – bagged noodles in various shapes and sizes can be used to make elaborate dishes to simple buttered, salted noodles.
- Rice/Quinoa/Couscous – these all serve great as a side dish or part of the main dish. Just like noodles you can eat them plain or even with a little salt and pepper.
- Peanut Butter (or similar) – whether it’s peanut butter, almond or cashew this stuff rocks. You can use it in desserts, in sauces, in a main dish or just on a spoon.
- Flours – with just water and another ingredient or two you can make a multitude of items from breads, desserts, pizzas and so forth.
- Canned vegetables – whether it’s canned corn, crushed tomatoes or baked beans these low-sodium canned veggies are great to add to any meal!
- Canned meats – I know, quit cringing but canned tuna or chicken is a great source of protein when you just can’t afford to buy fresh meat.
- Sugars – we all need a little sweet from time to time.
Now I could have gone on and on of other items but let’s hear from you. What are some of your must-have essentials?