stocking your healthy kitchen
Changing your habits can be hard and making healthy choices when your kitchen isn’t stocked can be even harder. If your kitchen is well stocked with healthy ingredients then you will find is much easier to rustle up healthy dishes. Our tips below will make sure that your kitchen is stocked with all you need.
Stock up your larder/food cupboard with healthy essentials –
brown rice, black rice, red rice and wild rice
potatoes & sweet potatoes
passata and tomato puree
extra virgin olive oil
apple cider vinegar
coconut oil both ‘raw’ for energy balls and sweet treats and ‘mild’ for cooking
nuts – walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds
seeds - sunflower, chia, sesame, flax, pumpkin
eggs – organic
We also have some pouches of Merchant Gourmet lentils and quinoa in our larder for those days when everything is a rush and you need food NOW! These can easily be heated up and combined with some salad ingredients, a sprinkling of seeds and a tasty dressing and you have a meal in minutes. These are also handy to stock in your desk drawer at work for emergencies.
Make sure you have plenty of vegetables and salad ingredients in your fridge. A weekly veg box scheme helps here. I order a ‘Large Very Veggie Box’ from Abel and Cole every week for my family of 5. It’s delivered to my doorstep before I even get out of bed and so I know that on those busy weeks when even a trip to the supermarket is too much I will still have lots of vegetables to conjure up a meal with.
I also make sure I have some coconut water and dairy free milk in my fridge to make a smoothie. Some Greek yogurt for a tasty breakfast with berries or adding to curries to make them creamy and some kefir as my children love it for breakfast or a snack before bed.
I go to the butcher for my meat and try to choose organic and grass fed where possible. Grass fed meat has been shown to be more beneficial and is less inflammatory than grain fed meat.
I always have a stock of berries, spinach, peas and bananas in the freezer. I use the berries for breakfast with some Greek Yogurt or in smoothies. The spinach is useful for adding to stews, curries and smoothies for that extra vegetable. When my bananas start to go brown in the fruit bowl then I peel, cut up and place in the freezer. These can then be used in a smoothie or combined with berries to make ‘ice cream’.
I also often bulk cook and store food in the freezer for those unprepared days! Good foods to bulk cook include a tomato and vegetable sauce, stews or bolognese sauce. Also, if I’m making a curry or stew then I will try and cook double the portions so that I can place in the freezer for another day. I have learnt to portion this off before serving my husband as he sometimes thinks he needs to finish off the whole pot in one serving!
Stock up on spices to flavour your meals naturally. Spices and herbs often contain extra vitamins and minerals and make your meals more exciting to the tastebuds. Adding spices to your dishes can also improve the nutritional profile of the dish for instance, cooking meat at a high temperature, such as a BBQ, produces AGEs (advanced glycation end products) which can be a factor in ageing and worsen many degenerative diseases. However, by adding spices and herbs to meat before cooking (marinading) then you reduce the AGEs.
I love the spices from Steenbergs – many are organic and they literally have any spice or blend that you could possibly need. They come in glass jars and so look very pretty in my drawer too! As well as dried spices I also have fresh ginger, turmeric and red chillis on hand.
I have several herbs growing outside my kitchen door. The ones i use most frequently are rosemary, thyme, mint, parley, coriander and basil. These can easily be grown in pots if you don’t have lots of room.
Keep your fruit bowl stocked so that your children always have a healthy snack to grab on the go. Make sure it’s fruit that they will actually eat and enjoy so you don’t waste money and food. My children love apples so I always make sure we have a plentiful supply. I also always have some lemons - great for squeezing over a chicken before roasting or adding to marinades.
So obsessed am I with drinking tea that I have a whole drawer of my kitchen devoted to a range of herbal teas. Anything from cinnamon or ginger tea to warm me up on a cold afternoon, turmeric tea post workout, sweet fennel tea to help with digestion and green tea for the morning.
Hopefully with these ingredients in your kitchen you will never come home hungry and wondering what to cook. Being prepared with healthy choices makes it so much easier to stay on track.