A new year is upon us which makes it a great time to kick start healthy habits, and the first step to success is to sort out your pantry!
Stocking the pantry with staple ingredients will help you eat a varied and healthy diet. What’s more, pantry staples generally have a long shelf life and often have ‘home brand’ varieties that are less expensive than other brands.
1. Roll into a healthy new year with rolled oats
Rolled oats are an inexpensive, must-have wholegrain in your pantry. They are easy to use and add to recipes, boosting the fibre and nutrient content of meals and snacks.
Oats can be served hot or cold to make a healthy breakfast, throw some into a smoothie or use it in snack recipes. Give these ideas a go:
Did you know that a diet low in legumes is the leading dietary risk of the total burden of disease in Australia?* Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, baked beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans are a nutrient powerhouse. Have a few cans (no added salt varieties) in the pantry as a quick and easy snack or addition to a meal.
Legumes are high in fibre and a great alternative to meat as they are higher in protein than most other plant foods. They are also a cheaper source of protein compared to meat and are better for the environment.
Here are our top tips how to get more legumes into your day:
Brown rice has a delicious nutty flavour and contains more fibre than white rice to keep you fuller for longer. If you’re not used to the flavour of brown rice, why not start by mixing some brown and white rice together to get used to it.
Brown rice does take a little longer to cook but to make it easier you can use sachets of precooked brown rice or cook a batch of brown rice and freeze in individual portions, so you have cooked rice on hand.
Brown rice is delicious on its own or in recipes like our:
Yes, canned vegetables are a must stock item in the pantry! They are a great go-to source when you don’t have fresh vegies or need a cheaper alternative when fresh supplies are limited. They also count towards the recommended 5-a-day vegie serves.
Just remember to buy the ‘no added salt’ varieties. Try these ideas:
Use canned tomatoes and canned beans in our chicken cacciatore recipe – a one-pot dinner wonder
Use canned kidney beans and canned corn in our Mexican meatball recipe – leftovers can be used for lunch
5. Fantastic fruit
Canned fruit in juice is a good option when fruit is out of season or too expensive. They’re great on your cereal in the morning, in the lunch box or added to yoghurt and muesli for a quick and healthy dessert.