A major trick to easy home cooking is to a have a well-stocked pantry at the ready. With key healthy ingredients always on hand, you’ll avoid last minute trips to the grocery store and desperate take out orders when you could be whipping up a homemade healthy dish. Everyone’s tastes and dietary priorities are different, but use the following as the building blocks to inspire a powerful pantry and a healthy home.
Here are five items to always have on-hand for an extra healthy boost:
With countless uses in the kitchen, and even a bunch of amazing uses out of the kitchen (like as a natural skin moisturizer or as part of a natural shampoo), coconut oil is somewhat of a miracle ingredient. Focusing on the kitchen uses, coconut oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for high heat cooking. Use it to sauté veggies, as a replacement for unhealthy fats when baking, blend it into your coffee for an energy boost (as part of Bulletproof coffee) and the list goes on. No matter what you’re whipping up in the kitchen, coconut oil can likely come in handy (here are 76 ways to use it!)
Having a well-stocked spice rack will bring tons of flavor to your cooking, without adding calories or sodium. Beyond the flavor boost, spices have a variety of health benefits. Take these key players for example: cayenne pepper fires up your metabolism to burn extra calories and fat, cinnamon helps prevent blood sugar spikes and reduces risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, cumin provides iron which assists in keeping your energy levels high and may boost brainpower. Knowing all of this, why wouldn’t you season your food with an array of flavorful spices?
Cutting back on refined flours and gluten isn’t so terrible if you have a good replacement, and that’s where almond flour comes in. With many recipes you can simply replace the current flour with almond flour, or a quick Google recipe search will yield endless almond flour-focused recipes. Almond flour is high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in sugars, making it a perfect replacement for standard flour.
Give your recipes a simple boost by adding in array of powders. Some, like cacao will add flavor as well giving your desserts a rich chocolate undertone without adding sugar. Cacao is incredibly high in antioxidants and is a strong source of iron, magnesium and calcium. For health benefits without any flavor, try Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, which you can stir into water or add to a smoothie or baked goods. Collagen protein contributes to overall health and specifically impacts the vitality of your skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones and joints. Youthful skin and strong shiny hair just by mixing the powder into your smoothies? Sign me up. Other health boosting powders to consider: acai, maca, matcha and camu.
While not an ingredient, a must for making cooking a tiny bit healthier and a whole lot cleaner. If you’re baking or grilling on tinfoil or a bare pan, make the switch to parchment paper and thanks to the non-stick surface, you can reduce your oil or butter usage. Cooking sprays, butter or oil is unnecessary as the paper is already stick-free, ensuring your food will easily slide off when ready. When you’re done cooking, simply throw out the parchment paper and your clean up is complete. As a bonus, parchment paper will keep your baking sheets in perfect condition.