Stocking a Healthy Pantry 101

 
 

One of the most challenging parts for me about living in a tiny house has been the limited pantry space. Slowly and surely, I am learning how to fit more of our pantry staples into our space.

My number one tip for anyone who has either lost inspiration in the kitchen, struggles to cook healthy meals at home, or wants to eat well on a budget is to stock a healthy pantry. So naturally, I have been determined to keep this habit up in my own home. 

Spices, bulk dried foods, produce and some baking supplies are all a kitchen needs to become a blank canvas for tasty creativity. This practice has not only ignited excitement and adventure when it comes to cooking for me and many others, but has also helped keep the cost low while allowing a consistent diet of healthy, organic, nutritious, mostly local and balanced foods for a low price and without a lot of extra effort.

BULK FOODS

Bulk foods shopping is easier on the wallet, allows you to always have a healthy dinner in your cabinet, and also ensures that you have a cheap and healthy foundation for your meals and baed goods all the time. No more saying “we have nothing to eat, let’s get take out.”

Whole-food flours: whole wheat, coconut, almond, oat, brown rice flours. Also keep some agents like arrowroot powder for baking with gluten-free flours.
Whole grains: brown rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, rolled oats or oat groats.
Dried Beans, Spilt Peas, legumes, black beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas.
Variety of Nuts and Seeds: Almonds and cashews can be especially helpful to have around for dressings, nut butters, making your own nut milk, and salads. I also like to have peanuts (for peanut butter), and pecans or walnuts for heartiness.
Dried fruit: dates (especially good for healthy snack-making), raisins, and a specialty dried fruit like apricots, cherries, or craisins. These can help turn any salad or granola from ordinary to extra-nutrient containing extra-ordinary.

SPICES AND HERBS

These serve as both flavor for meals and as a medicine cabinet. Keep immune boosting herbs and roots, like Osha and yarrow as well as spices like garlic, turmeric and ginger and use them generously to reduce inflammation, keep your immune system strong, and to keep your food exciting.

Green tea
Other tea making supplies like chamomile and mint
Salts-unrefined sea/Celtic/Himalayan
Any and all herbs and spices that you commonly use. I particularly like to have: garlic powder, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and a curry mix.

BOOSTER FOODS (or superfoods)

Honey/Maple Syrup/Molasses
Vegetable Broth
Tomato Sauces and Paste
Sea Vegetables
Lacto-fermeted vegetables
Flaxseeds, Hempseeds and chiaseeds
Nutritional yeast
Spirilina/chlorella
Seeds for sprouting

OILS AND VINEGAR

Organic and Cold Pressed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Unrefined Coconut Oil
Small amounts of walnut, flaxseed and sesame

Apple Cider, Rice, Balsamic Vinegars

 

PERISHABLES

These need to be replenished more often and will also vary drastically from household to household based on diet preferences.

Active Yeast and Sourdough starters
Hardy Bread
Fresh, local, Seasonal Fruits and vegetables
Organic dairy and pastured (or backyard) eggs
Frozen meat (if you eat meat- hunt or buy half of the animal from a farmer) 
Bone Broth
 
Ghee, butter or Lard (If vegan, I like having avocados on hand at all times)