Eating healthy can be hard, between work, school, errands, and busy schedules, cooking a healthy meal after all of that probably makes you tired just thinking about it!! But before you go through that drive thru line and regret, here are some MUST have pantry/food items to have on hand to help make it easy!
9 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating
- Brown Rice
Cook up a giant batch of brown rice on Sunday night as part of your meal prep for the week and you’ll have the base for a slew of filling meals for lunches you can take to work and dinner when you get home. Add chicken to, veggies and or beans to make a quick/easy/healthy lunch.
Beans of all shapes and sizes are rich in protein and fiber. Keep a variety of canned beans in the pantry, or cook a big batch that you can quickly heat up and toss with a few spices for a quick meal. Heat leftover chicken & black beans for a super yummy, easy meal as well!
Oats can turn your boring breakfast into a fiber- and protein-packed meal to keep you fueled all morning. Say goodbye to sugary cereals and protein bars, and explore all the ways you can use oats, so many great overnight oat recipes you can throw in the crock pot and it’s ready in the morning!
- Canned Tuna
You can add this versatile ready-to-eat protein into salads, casseroles, and sandwiches. It’s inexpensive and packed full of vitamins and healthy fats; just make sure to look for tuna canned in water, not oil.
- Frozen Shrimp
Enjoying “fancy” seafood meals doesn’t mean you have to buy expensive, fresh-off-the-boat fish. With a package of frozen shrimp, you can create a variety of dishes that are inexpensive and fast.
Believe it or not, you can make pesto in 10 minutes flat. This is another one that you should make in a big batch and freeze for later. Even non-chefs can master this easy recipe for basil pesto.
- Sweet potatoes
Packed with vitamin A and rich in fiber, sweet potatoes bring a natural sweetness to so many fast and simple dishes. They can be cooked in batches in the oven, microwaved if you’re short on time, eaten plain, or turned into mash, pies, or fries.
When a dish calls for white potato or grains, sweet potatoes are often a great substitute that provide even more nutrients and antioxidants than their counterparts.
There’s a squash for every single season, and they are all so useful in the kitchen: Butternut, delicata, kabocha, spaghetti, and others provide endless options for incorporating more veggies and nutrients into a variety of meals.
Beyond simply being diced and sliced, squash provides the perfect healthy substitute for noodles, tortillas and a variety of other grain-based dishes.
Eggs are nutritional powerhouses that can be part of any meal — add hard-boiled eggs to make a not-sad-desk salad, bake savory vegetable frittatas, or use them to craft your favorite meat and cheese quiche.
(Bonus: Pairing eggs with vegetables is a great way to get more veggies in before lunch.)
Click HERE for more info and lots of recipes for each of these items!