One of my hall time healthy living tips is stocking your kitchen well. If you buy crap, you’ll be much more likely to eat crap!
If you are just getting started with a whole foods diet, the range of ingredients you can use can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? What the hell is maca?
Well worry not, I’m here to give you a list of some ideal ingredients for your stock cupboard! Having these on hand means that a healthy meal will be much easier to prepare. Most of these ingredients are cheap and easy to find, a few are a little more expensive and unusual, but make nice additions. Here we go!
Cheap(ish) and cheerful
- Tins or cartons of beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans etc with no added salt or sugar (bonus points for organic)
- Dried beans and lentils
- Tins or cartons of chopped tomatoes
- Jar of passata (sieved tomato sauce)
- Tinned fish – salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines
- Coconut milk
- Jarred or foil packed olives
- Oats – jumbo and Scottish varieties
- Brown or wild rice
- Nut butters – peanut, almond, cashew etc, no added sugar (these are often best kept in the fridge once opened, however I have zero room in my little fridge so they go in the cupboard)
- Raw nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamias etc (ditto the fridge situation)
- Raw seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, sesame etc
- Dried fruit – dates, raisins, cranberries (look for no added sugar and free from sulphates)
- Maple syrup
- Rice or corn cakes
- Plain popcorn kernals for popping yourself
- 70% or higher dark chocolate
- Dark chocolate chips
- Plain wholegrain or spelt flour
- Baking powder
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Cocoa powder
- Flaky sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Carton of non diary milk – unsweetened almond or coconut beverage (I get koko brand)
- Dried herbs – to start with I’d get Italian seasoning, sage, thyme, rosemary
- Spices – to start I’d get cinnamon, ginger, cumin, coriander
- Other seasonings – curry powder, Chinese 5 spice
- Apple sauce – I just get cartons of apple and pear baby food (this is for baking!)
- Green tea – I love Clipper!
- Herbal teas
- Chai tea
- Coffee – I get water decaffeinated. My fave is from decadent decaf
- Coconut oil – ok this is a little more expensive, however I really believe it’s such a great ingredient that for me it counts as an essential. I use coconut oil at least twice a day in cooking and more for self care too. See my post on uses of coconut oil for more info!
Extras – more expensive, but add a little extra sparkle!
- Raw apple cider vinegar – the raw has the ‘mother’ containing good bacteria. I get this from Amazon.
- Maca powder – an adaptogenic superfood powder. Good if you suffer from stress / hormonal imbalance
- Raw cacao powder – a less processed version of cocoa powder, great for raw chocolate making and adding to smoothies
- Cacao butter – for raw chocolate making, although coconut oil can also be used
- Matcha powder – a pure form of green tea. Full of antioxidants and metabolism boosting properties. Add to smoothies, porridge or make a matcha latte
- A green powder – for added boost in smoothies, you can get wheatgrass, clhorella, barley grass or a blend. Have a look in health food shops.
- Coconut sugar – a great natural sweetener
- Chia seeds – packed with omega 3 fats, chia seeds can be added to various recipes as well as mixing with liquid to create a gel or pudding
- Goji berries / goldenberries – dried fruits with extra antioxidants and health benefits
- Cacao nibs – the pure form of chocolate! Bitter and crunchy, great for sprinkling on top of things
- Buckwheat flour – good for gluten free baking
- Coconut flour – also good for gluten free baking
- Ground almonds – another one good for gluten free baking!
- Pink Himalayan salt – a mineral packed version of regular salt with a pretty colour
- Tamari – wheat free version of soy sauce
- Protein powder – For adding to smoothies, baked goods or making your own protein snacks (keep an eye out for my post coming later this week!)
- Coconut water – hydrating drink pull of electrolytes
- Gelatin – their are two types, one which dissolves in water, the other one creates a jelly. Both contain decent amounts of protein and good fats and can be excellent for gut health.
- Liquid stevia – I order my stevia drops from iHerb and love the plain and the vanilla. They are great for adding sweetness to smoothies or porridge for zero calories (use code AGA105 to get $5 off your first order! Just make sure you keep the order total under £15 to avoid charges)
For some of the more unusual items, Amazon, Holland and Barrett, Goodness Direct and iHerb are good places to find them, as well as independent health food shops.
What do you think of this list? Have I missed anything? What are your most important store cupboard ingredients?