Here’s a master list to use when you’re stocking up on healthy ingredients and essentials.
Filling your kitchen with healthy choices makes living your healthy lifestyle a pleasure, not a chore. Although it looks like a long list, it’s worth it to stock up on condiments and frozen goods, since they will last for a long time.
1. Staple Vegetables
For vegetables, stock up on carrots, cauliflower, celery, carrots, and bell peppers, because they have a better shelf life than other vegetables. You can use them in stews, for making stock, with dips as a snack, and in a lot of other types of recipes.
2. Staple Fruits
For fruit, stock up on apples, grapes, berries, and pears. These last a long time in your fridge, and are good for snacking or in oatmeal and baked goods.
3. Greens Like Lettuce, Spinach, and Kale
Fresh greens are always good for making a quick salad or for steaming or sauteing. You can also throw them in stews, soups, and healthy scrambles.
4. Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs add flavor and freshness to almost any recipe you’ll make. My favorites are cilantro, parsley, thyme, sage, and rosemary. If the herbs are damp, then wrap them in a dry paper towel before storing; if dry, wrap them in a damp paper towel before storing.
5. Garlic and Ginger
Garlic and ginger are excellent to have for flavoring savory dishes.
6. Nuts and Seeds
We use them sparingly at Forks Over Knives, but nuts are good to have in case you don’t have nut milk—you can quickly make some nut milk at home. You can also use nuts and seeds to garnish your salads or main dishes.
Good quality store-bought salsa makes cooking easier, as you can use it in main dishes and as a dip or a dip ingredient.
Some good hummus is always useful to have in your kitchen, since you can use it as a dip or as a sandwich spread. Try this delicious low-fat hummus recipe.
9. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor to food, so it’s a good vegan ingredient to have on hand. You can use it in pasta, in dips, and in other savory dishes.
10. Nut Butter
Nut butters are good for a snack w/ celery or apple, dressings, and baked goods.
11. Tamari or Coconut Aminos
Tamari or Coconut Amitnos are useful for making Asian dishes, for overall flavor, and in dressings.
For the Freezer…
12. Cooked Beans
Whenever you make a batch of beans, double the recipe so that you have extra to freeze. This cuts down a lot of prep time during the week.
To thaw: remove from the freezer and thaw in the fridge overnight, or run under hot water to use them immediately.
13. Frozen Vegetables
Stock up on frozen vegetables like vegetable medleys, edamame, and green peas, and you will always have healthy options when you’re cooking.
15. Frozen Fruit
When your grocery store is having a sale, stock up on frozen berries, and other frozen fruits. You can use them when baking, snacking, or in smoothies. I also buy a bunch of bananas, peel them & cut them in half and put in a freezer bag – this way they never get too ripe & mushy.
Compliments of Lora Ulrich, TeamRPC Nutritionist