Basically all the groceries that I panic when we run out of…
Today I thought I would put together a comprehensive list of all the ingredients that I constantly keep stocked in our kitchen. Andrew and I like to meal plan at the beginning of every week (typically Sunday) and then go out and purchase all the fresh ingredients that we will need for the recipes that week. This helps us cut down on waste (foods going bad), stop buying extra items we don’t actually need, and makes cooking at home during the week seem more manageable since we already stocked everything we need. However, the list of essentials below consists of all the ingredients that I ensure we always have on hand no matter what. Some of these can be used as ingredients in our dinners, but many times these are what I grab to make quick breakfasts and lunches during the week or supplement my meals with an extra boost of nutrition/wellness.
I hope this list is helpful for anyone getting started on their healthy eating journey or just interesting for those looking to mix up their routine a bit. Settle in because this is a long one…
GF Rolled Oats – My holy grail food. Oats are infinitely adaptable and as I mentioned in my overnight oats post, something I eat nearly every day. They are so filling, nourishing, and comforting – the gf ones help ensure that I don’t get an upset stomach.
Cinnamon – My favorite comforting spice. It also has a bunch of health benefits like boosting the metabolism and aiding digestion. This goes on top of all my oats and sweet potatoes.
Vanilla Extract – Necessary for all baking, oats, and sometimes I even throw it into smoothies.
Powdered Peanut Butter – This one might seem a little weird, but I have been addicted to it for years. By adding a little water, it creates the perfect peanut butter “sauce” – great for topping oats, popcorn, sweet potatoes, smoothies, toast, the list goes on an on. It includes the same health benefits as regular peanut butter but is easier to spread.
Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter – Hands down my favorite nut butter. I go through an embarrassing number of jars. When I don’t have time to make my own almond butter, this is what I reach for. It tastes decadent, but still has low sugar content. Give this a try and prepare to become addicted.
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk – An obvious choice for anyone on a plant based diet. Seamlessly blends into oats, smoothies, and wonderful with granola.
Coconut Yogurt – Dairy free, delicious, and will not lead to an upset stomach. A great alternative to greek yogurt.
Tahini – Perfect as a base for crafting homemade dressings for all types of veggies and salads.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – A delicious cooking oil with so many extra benefits like healthy fats that translate to energy and being able to withstand higher heat. (I love the taste of coconut so I don’t even notice it but for those who do not, they also make coconut oils that lack the coconut after taste).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A basic for nearly everyone but I thought it was worth repeating since we always have a giant bottle ready. We also put some in a Misto which allows us to coat veggies more evenly before putting them in the oven, making them crisp up even more.
Chia Seeds – The amazing little seeds that add a significant amount of protein and fiber to any dish. Perfect for adding to smoothies and oats, but they also act as a great binder in vegan baking.
Hemp Seeds – Rich in fiber, protein, Omega 3, and Omega 6 fatty acids which help with digestion, metabolism, and balancing hormones. A great topper!
Spirulina Powder – High in protein, antioxidants, and B vitamins. This can help balance blood sugar and I love adding it into smoothies for a bit of an extra boost.
Sleepytime Tea – My favorite night time ritual, I drink a cup after dinner and before bed nearly every night. Not only does it help me digest but also lulls me to sleep like a charm, to the point where I nearly pass out on the couch with my mug still in hand.
Truvia – The best for adding to anything that needs a sweet boost. I love that it never has a bitter aftertaste like many stevia products.
Lemons – I squeeze a half lemon into warm water and drink this every morning as soon as I get up. I find that it kick starts my system and rehydrates me upon waking. I also am simply addicted to the taste of citrus and end up squeezing lemon juice into most of my veggies/salads.
Organic Raspberries – The perfect sweet treat after dinner. I eat a handful or two of berries nearly every day as I think they are just the most refreshing, while also being full of antioxidants. I recommend buying these organic when possible as berries can easily become contaminated in the farming process.
Sweet Potatoes – I have had a long time love affair with sweet potatoes. My favorite easy lunch for years and years has been to cook a sweet potato and then load it up with veggies, nutritional yeast, sea salt etc. or peanut butter, cinnamon, and granola.
Nutritional Yeast – This may sound like the grossest thing ever but I assure you that is just the horrible name 🙂 If there is one product I would recommend picking up on this list, it would be this. It takes on a mild cheesy flavor that is perfect for topping pretty much any dinner/lunch I can think of. Additionally, “nooch” is full of essentials vitamins that anyone following a plant based diet needs such as vitamin B-12 and folic acid.
Raw Cashews – Great for soaking and adding to vegan sauces, dressings, and soups. These are what give plant based meals their “creaminess.”
Raw Almonds – An infinite amount of uses including snacking, making homemade almond butter, and grinding into a flour for gf recipes.
Zucchini – I love to make zoodles with our spiralizer. They are perfect for putting together an easy weekday lunch or adding to stir fry/pasta dishes for an extra serving of veg.
Banza Pasta – Andrew actually discovered this brand from Shark Tank. It is a delicious gf pasta made of chickpeas. I actually like it more than the real thing as I find that it has more flavor and definitely more protein, keeping you fuller longer.
Organic Pasta Sauce – I am a long time tomato sauce lover, growing up in Philly I was instilled with a love of Italian food early on 🙂 We always have a jar of this lying around, perfect for heating up and topping zoodles as an easy lunch.
Unsweetened Apple Sauce – Necessary for adding to vegan baked goods, especially if you don’t like bananas like me. I also love adding a scoop of this to my raspberries at night, with some cinnamon as a sweet treat.
Frozen Fruit – We keep a variety stocked in our freezer year round for smoothies. I especially love frozen berries, mangoes, and peaches. This way it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, we can still enjoy the benefits of these fruits and it also means that I don’t have to add extra ice to smoothies.
Garlic – A healthy way to pack a ton of flavor into almost any dish. Garlic is incorporated into almost every meal we make so I always try to keep some around.
Organic Spinach – My favorite base for lunch time salads and I also love adding it to pasta sauce. It wilts down quickly but packs an extra punch of depth and nutrition.
I hope you enjoyed this lengthy list of all my essentials. Hopefully you can print this out and take it with you next time you hit the grocery store for a bit of extra inspiration. I will aim to update this post as well whenever I develop new food obsessions.
Do you have any pantry basics that you simply can’t live without?