Building a pantry full of natural, whole foods is an important step on the path to whole eating. Having the right ingredients on hand will make it easy to prepare quick, delicious, and good-for-you whole meals.
Below is a list of things to always keep around. Think of this list as a starting point, it’s by no means comprehensive. Over time, you’ll notice the ingredients that you use more (and less) often and will be able to gauge what to keep around.
Most of these items are non-perishable and can be kept around for a year or more, just be sure to store everything in airtight containers and pay attention to any expiration dates.
Nuts & Seeds
- Almonds – Whole for snacking and sliced for salads/cooking
- Pumpkin seeds, sometimes called pepitas
- Sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
Oil in nuts and seeds can spoil, so keep them in the refrigorator or freezer for a longer shelf life.
Grains & Pastas
- Brown rice
- Whole oats
- Short-cut 100% Whole Grain Pasta, like penne
- Long-cut 100% Whole Grain Pasta, like spaghetti
- Pearl barley
- Wheat berries
- Wild rice
- Organic canned Black beans
- Organic canned Red (Kidney) beans
- Organic canned Garbanzo beans
- Organic canned Pinto beans
- Organic canned White (Cannellini) beans
- Dried beans, if preparing from scratch
- Organic canned diced tomatoes
- Organic canned crushed tomatoes
- Organic canned tomato sauce
- Organic canned tomato paste
Canned foods are a great way to quickly add healthy ingredients to any meal. Stick to organic canned foods whenever possible, throw out any cans with dents and store them in a cool, dry place.