I’m a foodie so I like watching the “What’s in my kitchen” YouTube video’s. So I decided, after a recent trip to the store, to show you items I try to always keep on hand so that I make smart eating choices to prepare healthy meals and snacks that keep me on track. When stocking you fridge and pantry, do not have trigger foods in your home. Trigger foods are those foods that are difficult for you to practice self-control and you tend to over eat them. Foods such as cookies, ice cream and chips are trigger foods for many people. For me, it is peanut butter. I am a peanut butter addict and have been known to take a spoon to a jar and go to town! Sooooo….. peanut butter is not allowed in my home. Lol. Another reason it is key to stock your kitchen with the right foods, is that you have no excuse to stop by your favorite fast food restaurant because you’re tired and don’t have the ingredients on hand to quickly prepare a healthy meal at home. I always make sure to have veggies (frozen or canned), a lean protein (chicken breast, chicken sausage, tuna), and a heathy carbohydrate (quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, or squash) on hand so that I can quickly and easily create a healthy meal at home. So here’s a quick tour of what I had on hand.
Fresh Fruit – Fruit is a convenient grab and go snack. I like to eat fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth. I try to buy what is in season so the fruit is fresh and more affordable. I have a chart that shows in season fruit and veggies by month
Tea – I like to have a variety of flavors on hand. Tea also helps curb late night snacking
Canned Veggies – Canned veggies are inexpensive and easy to prepare since you can cook them on the stovetop or in the microwave
Dry Goods 1 – Pancake/waffle mix (I like the Kodiak Cakes because they have pretty clean ingredients and they are easy to prepare since you just need to add water). Coconut sugar, single serve tuna packs, Lara Bars, Quest Nutrition protein bars, Quinoa & Brown rice blend, gum, and unsweetened coco powder
Dry Goods 2 – Oatmeal, stevia packets, ground flax seeds. I use a variety of flours, such as tapioca starch, coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda
Seasonings – Seasoning and sauces add flavor and keep your food interesting. So I have hot sauce, Adobo seasoning (my favorite seasoning I add to almost everything!), Nutritional Yeast (a cheese replacement and source of B12. I sprinkle over veggies, popcorn, and salads), healthy cooking oils and sprays (non-sticky spray for fat free cooking), olive and coconut oil for sautéing and frying. I also use olive oil as a replacement for butter on my bread or on sweet potatoes
Freezer – Frozen veggies, like canned veggies, are inexpensive and easy to prepare, frozen fruit is used for smoothies and make great toppings for oatmeal and pancakes. When you buy frozen fruit, make sure to check the label to avoid preservatives and added sugar. The only ingredient should be the fruit itself. For my bread, I choose organic, whole grain, and local. The bread I buy usually comes from Washington or Oregon.
Meat/Poultry – After buying a pack of meat, I like to portion it out and place in freezer storage bags. Did you peep that pack of drumsticks on sale for $1.66? Score!
Condiments – I like having a variety of condiments for the same reasons I like having a variety of seasonings and sauces on hand. Regular mustard (add to sandwiches and used to make homemade honey mustard dressing), jalapeno mustard (use on veggies or tuna), chicken broth (use instead of water to add flavor when cooking veggies and quinoa), balsamic vinaigrette (read the label and avoid preservatives, color additives, and added sugar), lemon juice (add flavor to water), cashew milk (great for thickening my smoothies), salsa (make sure there’s no sugar added).
Refrigerator (top shelf) – Eggs, cauliflower crumbles (use to make pizza crust, mashed potato replacement, steam hem, sauté, add volume to oatmeal), deli meat, and fresh veggies. I try to buy fresh veggies whenever possible. But, of course, frozen, and canned are still great options
Refrigerator (bottom shelf) – Meat that I was going to use that weekend for meal prep. I portioned out and froze what I did not use, already prepped green beans from earlier that week, and more veggies 🙂
Crisper – More veggies! I consume lots of leafy, green veggies because of course I like the way they taste, but you can also eat a lot of them for a small number of calories
Mason Jars – Mine are freezer safe and BPA free. I use them for smoothies and to freeze liquids (sauces, soups, and chili) and to store homemade jams and salad dressings
Protein Powder – I always choose a vanilla flavor. I typically choose a vegan powder, because they tend to have cleaner ingredients and are naturally sweetened with stevia
Apple Cider Vinegar – I use it for salad dressings (bonus tip: it can also be used as a facial toner)
Freezer bags – I like to write a description and the date I am storing it
Digital food scale/measuring cups/measuring spoons – No eyeballing it! These take the guess work out of properly portioning out your food.
Plastic items – Sorry for the messy drawer:). Storage containers and plastic water bottles I take with me on the weekends
Other good items to have on hand – These are other items that are great to have on hand. Coconut milk (use to thicken soups and sauces), nuts (unsalted or lightly salted with sea salt), popcorn (Smart Foods or Skinny Pop brands are great. Avoid buttered popcorn), nut butters (avoid brands with added oil and sugar), coconut aminos (a soy-free alternative to soy sauce), pasta sauce (no sugar added), and Greek yogurt. I know many people love Yoplait, but they are a sugar bomb so I personally avoid that brand and any brand that has added sugars. I really like the Oikos Triple Zero Greek protein yogurt. This yogurt is sweetened with Monk Fruit and Stevia. It is also high in protein and low in fat. Honey or agave nectar (natural sweeteners), string cheese, cottage cheese, and soups (Pacific Foods or Amy’s brands).
Having a well-stocked fridge and panty gives you easy access to heathy food. Make sure you have a variety of foods and seasonings to make your meals interesting and flavorful. Know your trigger foods and keep them out of the house. Use measuring cups, spoons, and a scale to help you portion out your food. Keep your kitchen stocked for success!
What are some of your kitchen essentials?