With swimsuit season behind us and cozy nights on the couch ahead, we’re all likely to be spending more time at home in the coming months. It may be hard to find the motivation to work out as the weather gets colder, so eating healthy is a great way to keep your health and fitness in check.
Read on for 15 healthy foods that you should always have in your pantry.
While it’s best to keep whole grain rice on hand, it’s a good idea to keep whatever your rice preference is in the pantry at all times. Rice is a great addition to meals since it fills you up, and it also can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Rather than eating out, you can always whip up something if you have rice on hand.
2. Canned beans
Similar to rice, canned beans are great to have on hand because of their versatility. They provide high protein, can add some fun flavor to your meals, and they’re shelf-stable, so you don’t have to worry about eating them right away.
Whether you like almonds, walnuts, pecans, or all of the above, nuts are a great addition to any pantry. They work great as a snack, especially given their protein, but they can also be used in dishes. Maybe your Asain dish could use some chopped peanuts, or your strawberry salad could use some pecans. Nuts are a great way to take dishes to the next level.
4. Maple syrup
When you’re looking to sweeten a recipe, maple syrup is a great substitute for sugar or sweetener. As a natural sweetener, maple syrup is typically lower-calorie, and it also provides antioxidants.
We prefer steel-cut or rolled oats, but minute oats are also good in a pinch. Oats can be used in smoothies as well as baked goods. Oat bowls have taken the internet by storm in the past few years, and this easy, delicious dish can help keep you full for hours.
As you can guess, we would recommend whole-grain pasta to keep as a household staple. Pasta is great to have on hand since it can be made super quickly. Plus, it holds well once cooked, so it’s a great option for meal preppers.
7. Hot sauce
Having hot sauce on hand to spice up your dishes is sure to be useful. Most restaurants have hot sauce on the table, no matter what they serve, so you deserve the same option at home.
8. Nut butter
Nut butters are great to pair with your favorite fruit, in your oatmeal, yogurt, or in a smoothie. Plus, everyone loves a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so make sure you're prepared for your childlike cravings.
9. Vegetable broth
Especially with the weather cooling down, you’ll want to be prepared to make your favorite soups. Stock up on some bone or vegetable broth next time you’re at the store.
10. Canned tuna
Tuna may not be for everyone, but if you like this high-protein, low-calorie fish, you’ll want to make sure you have it at all times. It’s incredibly cheap, too, so it’s easy to stock up on it and not have to add it to the list.
Yes, your bread should also be whole grain. As we all know, you can use bread for avocado toast, sandwiches, bread crumbs, or french toast, but no house is really complete without bread (or gluten-free bread if your body calls for it!).
12. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are high in nutrients and are easy to add to a variety of recipes, so they’re good to keep in your pantry. You can sprinkle some into dishes whenever you think to do so.
13. Coconut oil
Not everyone agrees which cooking oil is the best for you, but regardless, you must keep one on hand. There’s nothing worse than being ready to cook, then realizing you don’t have the staples you need!
When you’re looking to have a snack, the worst thing is having nothing on hand. Popcorn is a great low-calorie option to keep on hand for any time you have a salty craving.
15. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is known as being the healthiest chocolate for you, so make sure you keep some on hand. Whether you need it for a recipe, or you need a bit as a pick-me-up, having chocolate on hand makes any house a home.