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A Registered Dietitian’s Healthy Pantry Staples

Want to stock your kitchen like a dietitian? Here are my pantry staples I always have to make healthy eating easier and more convenient.

Pantry staples pinterest graphic

Cooking more meals at home is a great way to eat healthier and save money. However, if you’re new to cooking, this can be overwhelming! In order to cook healthy food, you need to have healthy ingredients in your kitchen. This is why it is so important to keep your pantry stocked with some nutritious essentials.

I love to cook at home, and I make sure to always have these essential ingredients in my kitchen. I make a note on my grocery list whenever I am running low to restock. It is so much easier to create simple, healthy meals in a pinch when you have nutritious ingredients on hand!

A Dietitian’s Healthy Pantry Staples

Healthy cooking oils

Pantry staples - oils

I use a few different oils in my cooking, depending on certain factors. Avocado oil is wonderful for high heat cooking, and extra virgin olive oil tastes amazing in salad dressings! These cooking oils offer heart healthy unsaturated fats, and are less processed than other vegetable oils. Store them in a cool, dark place to prevent oxidation.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Oil sprays: avocado oil, coconut oil, and olive oil (I love Chosen Foods)
  • Toasted sesame oil

Whole grains

Whole grain products are always in my pantry. I keep a variety on hand, including brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, and oats. I love making vegetarian stuffed eggplant or peppers, grain salads, or just simple veggie and brown rice stir fries for dinner. Here are the whole grains I currently have in my pantry:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Bulgur
  • Oatmeal
  • Farro

Frozen fruit and vegetables

Pantry staples - frozen produce

These are technically stored in the freezer, but I consider them pantry staples because they last a long time. Frozen produce is just as nutritious, or more so, than fresh produce, because it is frozen at peak ripeness. Using frozen fruit or vegetables in your recipes is a great way to save money, because it is quite inexpensive. I love to heat up frozen fruit to make chia jam and add frozen peas to pasta dishes. I usually have all of the following frozen items in my freezer:

  • Berries
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Mixed vegetables

Nuts, seeds, and nut butters

Pantry staples - nuts and seeds

I always have multiple types of nuts, seeds, and nut butters in my pantry. I add nuts and seeds to oatmeal and homemade granola, and grab a handful for a snack all the time. Also, I consider peanut butter it’s own food group, so a jar (or two) is an essential in my kitchen! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Almond butter

Canned goods

Canned goods - pantry staples

My pantry always has a handful of canned goods stocked away. Canned ingredients, like beans and tuna, easily add an inexpensive boost of protein to any meal. I also like to have canned tomatoes or sauce on hand to make an easy pasta sauce or add to soups. Consider purchasing a few cans of these items next time you hit the grocery store:

  • Beans
  • Tuna or salmon
  • Tomato sauce or paste
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Artichoke hearts

Spices and dried herbs

Pantry stapes - spices

Start collecting your favorite spices and dried herbs to add flavor to your meals. You don’t need a million different spices, but I love to have a variety on hand. If you love Mexican food, grab some cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and paprika. For Italian flavors, try oregano, parsley, thyme, and crushed red pepper. I also love Primal Palate‘s organic spice blends. Their adobo is my absolute favorite!

Vinegars

Pantry staples - vinegars

I love making homemade salad dressings and sauces to add flavor and variety to my meals. I keep several types of vinegar on hand to add to these! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar

What are your favorite healthy pantry staples? I would love to know! Let me know by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Pantry staples shopping list - Daisybeet

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

RD-Approved Costco Finds!

Oh, Costco. How many ways do I love you? The endless rows of giant versions of favorite foods, surprisingly great socks and sports bras, and of course, ALL the samples! I’ve always enjoyed going to Costco with my Mom as long as I can remember. Shopping + food sampling all in one? That’s definitely my idea of an afternoon well spent.

Some of my favorite Costco finds from growing up were the salty, M&M riddled trail mix, Nature Valley granola bars, and Cup-a-Noodles. Times have changed a little since I started paying attention to what I put in my body. Gone are the days of loading up the cart with sodium-laden, sugary foods. This past weekend, I was at my parent’s house helping my mom pack up for their upcoming move. We took a lunch break and went to Costco per my request. Buying in bulk/shopping wholesale can be difficult when shopping for a small household, but knowing your eating habits and purchasing longer lasting, not fresh items can be a really smart financial move. These items here fit seamlessly into mine and Ben’s eating habits,  so I wanted to share some of the best deals I found with you guys! I’ve also noted a range of ways to use each item so you’re able to have some variety in your meals, and make sure nothing goes to waste.

  1. Organic Frozen Berries: 3 pound bag for $8.89
  • This purchase was such a no brainer! Ben and I use frozen fruit regularly, plus frozen foods lasts a long time. I would have spent almost 20 dollars on 3 pounds of organic frozen berries at Whole Foods! I don’t always buy organic produce because of the cost, but strawberries are on the “Dirty Dozen” list, so I try to buy organic berries whenever possible.
  • Ways to use frozen berries: smoothies, berry-chia jam, as a topping for oatmeal or pancakes
  1. Fresh Produce: 1 pound clamshell of organic mixed greens for $3.69, 2 pounds of organic strawberries for $4.99, 6 avocados for $5.69
  • Purchasing produce at Costco can be tricky if you have a small household. This is where knowing your eating habits is essential! For me, I know that I eat a lot of greens each week, as I make big salads for lunch, and often like a bed of greens with my dinner. I also love fresh berries with my breakfast. Once the berries are on their last legs, I’ll make a batch of chia jam, or Ben will throw them into his morning smoothie. We also both love avocado, and will each easily eat half an avocado in a day.
  • Ways to use greens: salads, stir fries, green smoothies, add a few handfuls to homemade pesto, in omelets
  • Ways to use strawberries: smoothies, top oatmeal or yogurt bowls, sliced in pancakes, add to salads, mash onto toast in place of jam, berry-chia jam, muddle or puree and add to a cocktail (or mocktail)!
  • Ways to use avocados: sliced in salads or for sandwiches, avocado toast (duh), avocado egg salad, chocolate avocado mousse, guacamole, creamy garlic avocado pasta sauce, smoothies, a green goddess salad dressing
  1. RX Bars: 12 bars for $16.99 ($1.41 per bar)
  • These are one of my favorite on-the-go snacks to have on hand! I love how simple the ingredient list is, and these bars actually tide my hunger over, as they are a good source of both fiber and protein. Costco only sells a box with their Chocolate Sea Salt and Peanut Butter Chocolate, but those happen to be two of my favorite flavors. Also, this box of 12 is almost 10 dollars less expensive than a box of 12 on RX Bar’s website!
  1. Nuts: Various prices, didn’t see anything over $30 dollars for up to 48 oz
  • Nuts are one of the healthiest, nutrient-dense foods to include in your diet. Costco has a huge variety of different nuts and nut mixes. I usually opt for unsalted varieties to limit sodium consumption. While these bags and containers of nuts aren’t cheap, if you consume them regularly they are a good price compared to typical grocery store prices.
  • Ways to use nuts: on their own as a snack, make your own trail mix, in place of granola on a yogurt bowl, in pesto, blend your own nut butter, crunchy topping for salads and grain bowls, roasted with different spices, added to homemade granola
  1. Almond Flour: $11.99 for 3 pounds
  • This was such an exciting find for me! While I do not follow a gluten free diet, I like to use almond flour in healthier baked goods, because of all the beneficial nutrients it has compared to enriched wheat flour. Almonds and almond flour are high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, magnesium and iron. I had just purchased a 1 pound bag of almond flour at Trader Joe’s for $7.99 the week before, so getting 2 pounds MORE for only 4 extra dollars was a steal!
  • Ways to use almond flour: all those yummy baked goods you have saved on Instagram, pancakes, homemade peanut butter cups, combined with crushed nuts to make a crust on baked fish
  1. Frozen Wild Sockeye Salmon Filets: $32.99 for 3 pounds
  • Last but not least, I found this large bag of wild frozen salmon! I love that the pieces are already pre-portioned and individually vacuum packed. I always choose wild salmon over farmed when it’s affordable, but buying it fresh can be SO expensive. Buying frozen seafood in general is a great way to save money. A 2 pound bag of wild frozen salmon at my Whole Foods was $24.99 for 2 pounds. That’s $12.50 a pound vs. 11 dollars a pound at Costco…great savings!
  • Ways to use frozen salmon: baked or pan fried with lemon juice and herbs, salmon tacos, salmon burgers, salmon egg sandwich, in place of tuna in tuna salad

Buying in bulk is certainly not for everyone, but I love it when I have the option! It definitely takes a little creativity and planning, but can save you money in the long run. I started Daisybeet to show you guys that healthy eating really can be affordable and attainable for all, and I hope I was able to help a little with this guide! I would love to hear your tips and tricks for wholesale shopping for small households, as well as your favorite Costco finds 🙂