Power your pantry!
A properly stocked pantry is the key to preparing better-for-you meals at home. Having the right ingredients on hand lets you put together tasty meals in a hurry. Build your pantry over time by stocking a variety of the below items.
Balance of oils: canola and olive oil
- Use less expensive olive oil for cooking and more expensive extra-virgin olive oil for salads and finishing a dish. You won’t notice the difference in flavor when cooking with less expensive oil.
Variety of vinegars, citrus juices and fresh citrus
- Stock white, red, sherry and balsamic vinegars for salads, sauces and cooking.
- Lemons, limes and oranges have great flavor and acid, so they can be used as vinegar substitutes.
- Vinegars and citrus’ have unique flavors. Experiment to discover what you and your family like!
- Try vinegar on raw onions and garlic to cut the strong flavor but still maintain the powerful benefits.
Low-sodium stocks and broths
- These are useful for a soup, sauce or stir-fry base.
- Stocks and broths come in beef, chicken and vegetable flavors. Choose the unsalted or low-sodium varieties.
- Try stock or broth to thin homemade mashed potatoes instead of butter.
Herbs, spices and ethnic items
Herbs and spices add lots of flavor without adding fat. However, they should be used in moderation as they can be high in salt. Try a variety of the below items to add zest to your meals.
- Fish sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Hot sauce
- Kosher salt
- Sea salt
- Soy sauce
- Sriracha sauce
Assortment of whole grains
Whole grains are an excellent source of nutrients and fiber. Grains differ in their uses and flavors, so experiment to find the ones you and your family like best.
- 100% whole-grain breads
- 100% whole-grain oatmeal
- Variety of whole-grain, low-sugar cereals
- Brown, white or wild rice
- Brown or white rice pasta
- Whole-wheat pasta or couscous
- Cellophane noodles or vermicelli
- Quick cook, traditional or steel-cut oats
- Rice paper
- Wheat berries
- Wheat farro pearls