Having a well-stocked pantry full of staples is a MUST HAVE in my home. On any given day my pantry is full of nut butter, spices, baking supplies, and pasta, and flours to make most dishes. In this blog post, I will be sharing my pantry staples, tips on your maximizing fresh produce, and 14 easy recipes to make with your pantry staples and produce.
My number one tip for stocking up is to buy food that you like. There, everyone’s pantry staples will look different depending on what you like. Also, I’d suggest labeling your food to save you time and money. So many people don’t even know what’s in their pantry so I’d suggest you start by taking an inventory of what’s in your fridge.
Working a full-time job leaves me with less time to make a healthy home-cooked meal on most days. Whether I’m meal prepping or cooking a quick and easy mushroom pasta dish, I’m fully loaded and ready to prepare a snack or dinner with my pantry staples. However, with the crisis going on right now I’ve been working from home and I’ve got more time to make healthy delicious meals. As a result, I’ve seen a surge in people wanting to learn more about stocking their fridge and recipe ideas from pantry staples.
Pantry staples I always have stocked in my kitchen listed below
- Flours: I always have coconut flour, regular, and oat flour (my favorite) on hand. Oat flour is perfect for baking or making vegan recipes such as these yummy oatmeal pancakes.
- Cans & Jars: Although I prefer to have dried beans. I always have canned chickpeas, black beans, kidneys, diced tomatoes, and pasta sauce on hand. Sun-dried tomatoes, vegan salad dressings, and giardiniera.
- Sauces & Condiments: Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), nutritional yeast, pesto, dijon mustard, ketchup, vegan mayo, bbq sauce, and hot sauce are all my favorites.
- Dried Goods: Lentils, quinoa, brown rice, steel-cut oats, chickpeas, a variety of pasta, and noodles. Note: Dried rice and beans will last up to 3-5 years in your pantry. Cooked beans will last 3-5 days in the fridge. In the freezer, cooked beans will last 5-8 months. Cooked rice will last 4-5 days in the fridge. In the freezer, cooked rice will last up to 6 months.
- Nuts & Seeds: Typically, I have pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, and pine nuts. Store these according to package instructions. Also, I suggest you keep them in your fridge for longer storage.
- Dried fruit: I love adding pitted prunes and figs to my salads and smoothies. Both are a great source of fiber. If you know me then you know I can’t get enough fiber.
More Pantry Staples from my kitchen
- Oil & Vinegar: I always have grapeseed oil (love its neutral flavor), coconut oil, and olive oil. Walnut oil is great for making salad dressings. And let’s not forget, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar for cooking, adding to avocado toast & creating salad dressings, and homemade vinaigrettes.
- Spices & Dried Herbs: Spices are great for adding flavor to your food. Some of my favorites are sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, parsley, basil, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. With a variety of spices, you can certainly make your own blends.
- Baking Items & Sweeteners: I love love love adding maple syrup to sweeten up just about anything that needs it. Also, I use, brown sugar, Medjool dates, baking soda, baking powder, coconut sugar, cacao powder, and vanilla extract. One sugar-free sweetener that works well in baked goods is monk fruit.
- Dairy-Free Milk: Almond milk, hemp milk, walnut milk (alkaline milk), cashew milk, and oat milk. You can easily make any of these at home. Some of them require a nut milk bag and some don’t.
- Fresh Produce: I always have onions, garlic, ginger, red & baked potatoes, and sweet potatoes at home. Note: fresh onions, garlic, ginger do not like moisture. Make sure you keep them in a dry place. Also, I like to have a bowl of an assortment of fresh fruit such as avocados, apples, peaches, and kiwi on my countertop. See my tip below on how to preserve your garlic, onions, and ginger.
14 easy pantry staple recipes
- Chickpea Salad Sandwich: Try this delicious “tuna” sandwich for a quick and easy wholesome dinner.
- Overnight Oats: Enjoy these almond chocolate overnight oats for breakfast or snack.
- Pumpkin Soup: Love having canned pumpkin ready to prepare whenever I’m in the mood for that flavorful pumpkin taste.
- Black Eyed Peas: Add these to roasted veggies and cornbread for a complete meal.
- Chana Masala: One of my favorite one-pot meals that are made with lots of flavors.
- Lentil Soup: I eat this soup weekly. Just add lentils, potatoes, and any other veggies you have on hand for a complete meal.
- Lentil Bolognese: Lentils, pasta, herbs, and spices make this dish amazing.
- Easy Green Beans: The perfect side dish that tastes even better with potatoes.
- Homemade Granola: A deliciously healthy and easy snack.
- Oatmeal Pancakes: I love having oats for pancakes as I love starting my day with fiber and lots of energy.
- Vegetable broth: The perfect base for soup, stew, or chili.
- Veggie Chili: I love eating chili at any time of year.
- Golden Milk Muffins: Adding turmeric to baked goods makes for a really good anti-inflammatory treat.
- Oat Milk: I’ve been loving oat milk in my hot chocolate and so many other recipes.
How to make food last longer in case of an emergency
There is so much panic shopping happening right now. It’s challenging to find frozen vegetables in the grocery stores. Although the frozen section has been empty the fresh produce is always stocked. That’s when it hit me. I could just buy fresh vegetables and freeze them accordingly.
Vegetable options for freezing
- Swiss Chard
- Green Beans
- Snap Peas
- Snow Peas
How to prep and freeze your vegetables
- Wash your veggies.
- Blanch them for 30 seconds.
- Transfer them to a bowl of cold or ice water to cool.
- Drain and allow them to dry completely.
- Transfer them to airtight bags or containers to freeze for several months.
How to blanch your vegetables
- Add water to a pot.
- When water hits a boiling point add your vegetables.
- Blanch your veggies for 30 seconds and continue the steps as mentioned above.
Soups, Stews, & Broths
These will last up to 4-5 days in the fridge. But, they will last up to 6-8 months in the freezer. Here are a few soups, stews, and broths for inspiration.
Ideas on preserving your herbs
Use your fresh herbs to make pesto or chimichurri. After you make the sauce add them to an ice tray and store them in the fridge for future use.
These sauces can be added to pasta, roasted veggies, pasta salads, and so much more. Note: When you add acid to sauces and freeze them the color will oxidize. That’s okay. Your herbs will still have flavor but they may lose some of their beautiful colors.
Note: I do not suggest you freeze dairy sauces. Freezing creamy (dairy) sauces introduces water to it and causes separation.
Preserving garlic, ginger, and onions
Dice your onions, garlic, ginger and freeze them (separately). Add them to an ice cube tray and they will last up to 6 months in the freezer. Just pop one of them out of the tray when you’re ready to use it.
Preserving other vegetables and food
- Mushrooms do not like moisture. Add them to a bag and store them in a cool dry place. If you want to freeze mushrooms you will need to saute them in a pan. Wait for them to cool and store the mushrooms in the freezer. They will last for several months.
- Pickling – Pickle your veggies. This is a great way to preserve your produce. Tip: you can use the liquid the pickling as a base for salad dressing.
- Dough – will last 3-6 months in the freezer.
- Confit – You can confit almost anything. The process of confit involves cooking something at a low temperature in oil.
- Avocados – Once your avocado reaches ripeness, you can store them in the freezer. Once you are ready to use, take them out and let them unthaw. Cut and eat your avocado. However, they must be ripe when you freeze them.
- Tomatoes – Since they go bad pretty quickly you do not want to put them in the fridge. Store your tomatoes in a dry place. Ex, add them to a large bowl and leave them on the counter. Alternatively, you can cook your tomatoes and store them in the freezer.