Healthy Pantry Staples for Easy Meals

May 12 2023
A well-stocked pantry is like a wisely curated closet: smart staples are a MUST for easy feel-good days! Here are five smart pantry staples to keep on hand…

Pantry Staple: Canned Beans

Pantry Standout: Refried Beans

All canned beans have a place in our pantry, but let's take a moment for refried beans. They come nicely seasoned, and all you need to do is heat them up. Naturally full of plant-based protein and fiber, they've also got serious comfort-food appeal. Use them for tacos, tostadas, burritos… even eggs.

What to make: Meatless Mexican Tostada

Other canned bean favorites: black beans, white (cannellini) kidney beans, red kidney beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

Pantry Staple: Canned Tomatoes

Pantry Standout: Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Crushed, diced, whole, stewed, seasoned—if you have canned tomatoes in your pantry, you're well prepared. The fire-roasted variety brings extra flavor and depth. Add it to sauces, chili, soups, salads, and more.

What to make: 20-Minute Fire-Roasted Veggie Chili

Other canned veggie staples: pure pumpkin, roasted red peppers, corn, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts (Yes, we know tomatoes and pumpkin are technically fruit!)

Pantry Staple: Oats

Pantry Standout: Old-Fashioned Oats

Oats are an obvious go-to for breakfast, but they go above and beyond an oatmeal base! Old-fashioned (aka rolled) oats cook up easily and are still full of nutrients. We use them to bind meatloaf, blitz into oat flour for gluten-free muffins, create healthy cookies… You can also use them to make a satisfying savory meal.

What to make: Chicken Sausage & Apple Oat Bake

Other oat staples: steel-cut oats, instant oatmeal packets (like Kodiak Protein-Packed Oatmeal)

Pantry Staple: High-Fiber Pasta

Whole Grain Pasta

Carbs have taken a reputation hit in the last few decades, but the macronutrient remains important to a healthy diet. We love to super-size our pasta with veggies. Look for varieties with some extra nutritional benefits, then cook it into a simple meal.

What to make: Mega Mac & Cheese

Other pasta staples: bean-based pasta (like the kind by Banza), hearts of palm noodles (like the kind by Palmini), shelf-stable spaghetti squash (like the kind by Solely)

Pantry Staple: Tortillas & Taco Shells 

Flat-Bottomed Taco Shells

There's something about seeing a box of crunchy taco shells in your pantry that feels like the day has been saved. You don't need to struggle to figure out what to make: The answer is tacos. Stuff whatever you have into them—get creative! (Egg-filled breakfast tacos are a fully acceptable dinner.)

What to make: Meatless Cheeseburger Tacos

Other tortilla-type staples: whole-wheat or low-carb pitas (like the kind by Toufayan), low-carb flour tortillas (like La Tortilla Factory’s), corn tortillas

Pop-Up Fact: Canned Foods Aren’t a Healthy-Eating No-No

Research has shown that many nutrients, minerals, and vitamins remain intact throughout the canning process. Plus, there are so many options these days: organic, low in sodium, no sugar added, BPA free, etc. Read those labels, and choose what works for you!

Chew on this:

Pssst… Tomorrow, May 13th, is National Apple Pie Day! These Mini Caramel Apple Pies can be ready in 20 minutes.

This is crucial info! Pass it along to your friends ASAP.


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