Making a habit out of cooking fast, nutritious meals means that your pantry is well-stocked with healthy staples. There’s no other way. So even if a wide majority of popular and healthy foods are extremely perishable and must be consumed in a manner of days, there are still many things that can live a long-lasting life in your pantry, freezer, and fridge.
If you’re out of the products that you usually need, this doesn’t mean you can’t cook anything fast with what you already have! Do you want to make sure you have everything you need? Here’s what you need to read:
Dried and canned beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are probably on top of the healthy foods list. Even more, dried and canned beans and lentils are not only healthy, but they also have a long life on the shelve, which makes them one of the BEST non-perishable food choices you could have in your kitchen.
Did you know that you can store canned beans in your pantry, at the room temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, for up to five years? What about the fact that dried beans can last over 10 years? The reason why these canned goods resist so long is that they lack the required moisture for developing microbial growth.
Nuts, and seeds
Nuts and seeds are all-time nutritional powerhouses. You get healthy fats, filling protein, fiber, and a ton of vitamins and minerals just by eating these wonders. The majority of nuts and seeds can be kept at room temperature for up to four months, which makes them a must-have ingredient in your kitchen.
Natural nut and seed butter are also extremely long-lasting, and very healthy, at least compared to their commercial counterparts, which are rich in added oils and sugar. You can use nuts and seeds in any given dish, such as oatmeal, yogurt, trail mix, salads, and even pasta.
Nuts and seeds butters also bring excellent nutrients to smoothies, or they can be simply eaten as a snack.
When you don’t know what to cook, you can always save yourself by going for a grain-based dish, such as a salad, grain bowl, soup, and even pilaf. They are an amazing choice because they’re extremely versatile and convenient.
Depending on the type, brown rice, amaranth, bulgur, oats, and quinoa can be easily kept at room temperature for months, even years. So if you were considering buying these products in bulk, go ahead! It would be the best choice ever.
Not to mention that any given diet plan has grains in it, given that they are an excellent source of fiber and micronutrients, such as B vitamins, and manganese, but also magnesium.
Frozen fruit and veggies
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, we already know that they are highly perishable. However, this shouldn’t stop you from buying them in their frozen form! This way, you will always have nutrient-dense produce on your hands.
And don’t worry if they are frozen, because nutrition-wise, frozen fruits and vegetables are just as micronutrient-rich as the fresh ones! Once you know you stock your refrigerator with enough greens and fruits, you will consider more easily rapidly cooking a soup or making a smoothie early in the mourning.
In fact, frozen berries can be used in the same way as fresh berries, not to mention that they will come with a natural sweetness to oatmeal, smoothies, and any baked goods you might want to try, but also to yogurt parfaits.
Honey and maple syrup
Everyone craves something sweet once in a while. Honey and maple syrups are great alternatives to these cravings, as they will offer you more health benefits than the other options you might have. Let’s take honey, for example.
Raw honey has all kinds of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and is super rich in antioxidants. Maple syrup, on the other hand, is also very rich in antioxidants and has little amount of nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
You can use honey and maple syrup to add a bit of flavor to a dish, whether it is sweet or not.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used in many recipes, from sauces, and dressings, to baked goods. Not only that, but it’s also useful in the kitchen! For example, it’s one of the most effective all-purpose cleaners you could hope for.
Besides its versatility, this vinegar has many healthy properties. Research shows that it is a great antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and heart-health-promoting ingredient.
Healthy fats for cooking
There are some fats, such as coconut oil, ghee, and olive oil, that can have a long life in your pantry. For this very reason, you need to buy these pantry staples in larger quantities, so you can always have a healthy fat source in your kitchen. If you switch from vegetable oils to these healthy fats, you will notice that the flavors of your recipes will be better.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles are all must-have items, especially if you’re struggling with your gut flora. Research shows that they are amazing when it comes to improving your digestive health, and might even reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels.
Not to mention that these foods will last a long time in your pantry, so you can stock up without worrying that you will waste food. Sauerkraut and pickles alone can last at room temperature for over 18 months.
Spices and dried herbs
If you read other articles on this website, you probably found out about all kinds of flavorful recipes that you want to try. Well, you’ll need many spices and herbs for that, so it’s important to stock up your spice rack.
Spices and herbs are called the 8th wonder of the world because nothing gives flavor to dishes as they do. Even more, incorporating dried herbs and spices will definitely promote your health in different ways.
Some of the most important are turmeric, cayenne pepper, rosemary, cinnamon, ginger, oregano, and cumin. They all have impressive health benefits that will improve your gut health, and lower the risk of various diseases.
Garlic and onions
Everyone says that apples keep the doctor away, but in some cases, garlic and onions are even better at that. They will bring a ton of benefits to your health, and if you make a habit out of incorporating these two foods in your recipes, you will reduce the risk of cancer, mental decline, heart disease, and even diabetes.
Long-lasting fruits and veggies
Even if many fresh fruits and veggies are known to spoil faster, there are many varieties that you can choose from. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, beets, cabbage, spaghetti squash, rutabagas, pomegranate, carrots, and even citrus fruits are only a couple examples of fruits and veggies that will have a longer life in your kitchen.
Frozen fish, poultry, meat
If you know how to keep them, the frozen versions of fish, meat, and poultry will last longer than the perishable versions. For example, let’s take fresh chicken and meat: they will be safe for up to 1 year if you keep them in your refrigerator, while fish, such as cod, can be stored for up to 5 months.
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