Staples in Your Kitchen are the Keys to Eating Healthy
If you’re new to putting together a kitchen you may not know that the word staple doesn't just mean those little pieces of metal that hold pages together. It also refers to the items that are continuously kept on hand. Kitchen staples vary from house to house but historically have included items like flour, oats, rice, sugar, honey, salt, milk, butter, and eggs. These items can be included in a variety of recipes and make many all on their own. Aside from the dairy products these items also stay freash for long periods of time which is what made them so valuable. The staples in modern homes frequently includes things like soda, chips, ice cream, sweetened cereals, and microwavable foods. These items can be very enjoyable but when it comes to eating healthy they are stumbling blocks.
What are the staples in your house?
Which items in your house are you willing to go back out to the grocery store for in the middle of the week because you ran out? Are you ensuring that you will have healthy options when it’s time to cook dinner or pack lunches? Or are you buying impulse foods that will throw a healthy eating plan out the window?
What should you keep in your pantry?
1. Spices- spices will help you diversify your diet without adding extra fat, calories, or sodium
2. Whole grain carbohydrates- pastas, flour, oatmeal, cereal, and breads that are made from whole grains or brown rice can be inexpensive meal fillers that won't induce huge insulin spikes. If you are allergic to wheat consider alternative carb sources such as Quinoa or Sorghum based products.
3. Natural peanut butter- find peanut butter with just nuts and salt, nuts in general are full of the kinds of fats your body craves but for those of us with little ones we may need supplies for the occasional PB&J
4. Canned veggies- I know these are not the healthiest version of vegetables but they still contain fiber which can fill a belly at a meal when you haven't been able to get to the store for fresh veggies
5. Beans and Lentils- if you like this sort of thing these items keep for long periods of time and can 'beef' up soups, stews, and side dishes
What should you keep in your fridge?
1. Canned fruit- fresh is best but fruit stored in natural juices can be easily added as a side at dinner or eaten at snack time
2. Eggs- despite their bad rap due to cholesterol eggs are a good cheap source of protein
3. Milk products- the commercials are right, properly handled milk and milk products are good for you, not only because of calcium, but also pro-active bacteria cultures in yogurt
4. Meat- if you struggle to get your proteins from plants then you need some good lean meats, you also need to look into organic, free range, and grass fed meats but these can cost more
If you want to see some ideas on how to use your staples...
- Make the Most of Your Money... Stretch One Chicken to Feed Your Family Dinner for 3 Days
1 chicken 3 dinners. With a few simple ingredients you can stretch your food budget to lengths you never thought possible.
- Recipes with Chicken: Diversify your Chicken Repertoire with Simple Changes to Classic Cooking Metho
Chicken is a delicious, healthy, and affordable dinner option that graces my table at least 3-4 times a week. With this frequency the entrée can become monotonous. Because of this I have done my best to come up with a variety of methods for preparing
Equip yourself with easy meal ideas
When you have had one of those days and the thought of making dinner makes you cringe try some of these ideas that work like fast food without all the harmful side effects
1, Pick up a precooked rotisserie chicken, bring it home, steam some asparagus, and open a can of pineapple. Save the left overs for use to make chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings, or chicken soup
2, Make a salad. Be sure to add some other veggies, some fruit, some nuts and a yummy dressing.
3. Pre-cook. Face it we know these days come. I have at least one a week. Take time on a day off and make something the re-heats well. Things like lasagna and casseroles can be made days in advanced and simply slipped into on oven to be warmed up.