At home cooking will always be healthier than eating out, if your kitchen is stocked up with the right foods. It is so fun to create new dishes, at a fraction of the cost of eating out, and you don’t even need to tip the cook! Having a well-stocked kitchen prepares you for meals at the last minute that are not only flavorful, but also healthy enough to have you feeling completely satisfied. Take a look at this list of foods that are must haves in your kitchen (some you may already have!).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Not only is extra virgin olive oil delicious, it also contains healthy fat, which will keep your blood sugar stable, and you will be able to better absorb the nutrients in the food you are consuming. Always buy “extra virgin” because it is not chemically treated and is in it’s purest form. When you are looking to buy this olive oil, always look to see if the olives have been cold pressed. This just means that no heat was applied to the crushing process, and no changes therefore could be made to the olive’s chemistry. Look for bottles of extra virgin olive oil that are in dark green, or dark bottles as exposure to light can cause rancidity.
This sweet ingredient has so many known uses and it is extremely healthy too. Honey also has a very long shelf life and can sit in your cupboard for years, which makes it a hassle free ingredient to have as a staple in your kitchen! It can be used to soothe coughs by adding a little honey to hot water, and a squeeze of some lemon juice for antibacterial reasons. It can also be used to help with hangovers, as well as create a mean salad dressing. Finally, one of the most exciting uses for honey is it’s power to be used as a substitute for white sugar. If you are substituting honey in the place of white sugar, make sure to reduce the cooking temperature down by 25 degrees.
These protein packed gems are filled to the brim with healthy nutrients that power us through our long days. One egg contains roughly 6 grams of protein and around 70 calories. They are the staple ingredient to a long lasting breakfast, as well as a needed ingredient for dinners and snacks alike. Next time you are at the grocery store, grab a carton of cage-free organic eggs, and enjoy the kick back of nutrients they provide!
Fresh herbs not only smell delicious, but they are a wonderful addition to any healthy meal. They are packed with antioxidants and they look pretty on any dish. The staples are: basil for Italian dishes, rosemary for marinades and rubs, and cilantro for Southwestern and Thai dishes. Always store your herbs in the drawers in your fridge, or keep them in a glass of water if they are not going to be refrigerated (if they are fresh and not dried).
Who doesn’t love the smell of garlic cooking on the stove with a little dash of extra virgin olive oil to get things simmering? Always having a fresh supply of garlic on hand is a must, as it adds many nutrients to your home cooked dishes as well as a punch of flavor. You can buy pre-peeled garlic, roasted garlic, canned garlic, garlic paste, and just natural garlic heads. The options are endless for this kitchen staple, so stock up!
Either store bought broth or homemade bone broth is an excellent ingredient to have on hand in your kitchen for a variety of reasons. Broths are very low in calories, but they still provide nutrition in large amounts. They can be added as bases in soups, marinades, or just by themselves for a heart healthy snack. You can also use broths as a healthy alternative to oils when sautéing veggies on the pan. If you are looking at buying broth at the grocery store, always opt for the low sodium options!
Talk about heart healthy, and diet friendly. Oatmeal has always gotten a positive response from consumers as it can be made in many different ways and still keeps its healthy title. Steel-cut oatmeal is your best option as it has been said to lower cholesterol in the body, as well as keep you full for longer.