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Must have’s in the pantry

Knowing what to put in our pantry can be a daunting task and we can be heavily influenced by the media and what’s on special at our local supermarket. Work often finishes late and the kids are busy with afterschool sports which means we might not get to the store in time. By having a few staples and some healthy snack options in the cupboard this means we have something in the cupboards as a back up plan. Sometimes having a cluttered pantry can also clutter the mind and contribute to the stresses of healthy eating. So as the end of year approaches and the importance of our health being has been heightened more than ever this year, it’s time to clear out the cupboards and get organized.

Firstly, it’s always a good idea to see what you do have, sometimes we surprise ourselves or forget that we have some great sauces or canned good that haven’t expired yet. Check the best before dates and get rid of any expired goods so we can make room for some new tasty options.

Pantry essentials:

1. Dry and canned goods – Dry goods come in handy when we don’t have much left in the fridge or we would like an vegetarian alternative. Some nutritious choices are beans, lentils, canned tomatoes, soup, tuna or vegetable/meat broths

2. Grains – Staple grains include brown rice, quinoa, wholegrain pasta, rolled oats, whole wheat flour or g/f flours, seedy breads, g/f bread, pita pockets, wraps. Try to store in air tight containers away from any heated areas.

3. Nuts, seeds & dried fruits – A great item to bulk up your salads or grab a handful for an afternoon snack. Variety is the key so try making a jar of all your favourites (unsalted preferably and not soaked in oils) - pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, nut butters, shredded coconut, cranberries

4. Fresh fruits and vegetables – Choose a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables (eat a rainbow) and rotate them throughout your week

5. Frozen fruits & vegetables – Great for smoothies, adding to stews and for moments when we haven’t had time to shop

6. Meats, poultry, seafood – Try to include 4-5 protein options in the freezer to have on hand plus a couple of fresh options for the day - beef, chicken, fish, prawns, lamb, pork

7. Vegan meats and tofu – It’s important to examine the labels when it comes to vegan meats as some can be low in nutrients or filled with unwanted substances. Non-GMO and gluten free is a good place to start and checking the packet for sodium levels and nutrient levels.

8. Oils & vinegars – Good quality cooking oils provide us with healthy fats, antioxidants and aid in disease prevention. Some good choices include olive oil, avocado oil, coconut, apple cider and balsamic vinegars

9. Fridge supplies – As well as fruits and vegetables having a good source of calcium and protein is essential for the body. Options include yoghurts, free range eggs, feta cheese, hummus and hard cheeses

10. Snacks – We are all guilty of opening the cupboard and hoping that something tasty will appear. If you are prone to choosing some unhealthy options then its best to avoid having them in the cupboard (out of sight out of mind works for me). Some good choices are air popped popcorn, whole grain crackers, popped or baked chips, dark chocolate or home baking.

11. Eco-friendly cleaning – Ecostore is one of my favourite brands for the family and keeping the house clean.

12. Kitchen utensils - Having the right kitchen tools is an important part for creating healthy meals. It makes the meal prep easier, allows for more inspiration and ensures a tastier meal all round. Southstream market has some great new utensils for the kitchen.

Want to find out more or ask a question? Click Here to get in touch with Chrissy.

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