5 Tips to a healthy pantry
With sugar and wheat now banished to the back of the cupboard, there’s a whole lot of space to fill with delicious and nutritious ingredients that support your health. But where do you begin? Consider these pantry staples, tips and tricks the building blocks to a healthier, happier you.
1. Embrace Superfoods
Yes, embrace the buzz word! Ingredients like acai, coconut oil, spirulina, goji berries and cacao should be front and centre in your pantry. These are packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients that can be used like a multivitamin. You can add these superfoods to your favourite smoothie recipe, sprinkle them in homemade muesli or even add them to raw, sugar-free desserts.
2. Seek Cleaner Snacks
There is nothing wrong with snacking, as long as you’re using it as fuel rather than fire. Empty calories found in common snacks like chips, chocolate and muesli bars aren’t fuelling your body, but there is a solution that doesn’t require abstinence. Swap your regular sugar-laden chocolate bar for raw cacao nibs or homemade cacao desserts, which are filled with antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. If it’s chips you’re craving try making your own with dehydrated parsnips, sweet potatoes, kale or beetroot, rubbing your favourite vegetables with coconut oil and spices before popping them in the dehydrator or low heat oven to dry out and crisp up. Store your chips in an air-tight container for up to a week.
3. Look for Better Butters
Pantry staples like peanut butter and vegemite are getting a shake up, with more natural options becoming available that ditch the sugar and salt, but keep tastiness at a premium. You can make your own nut butter with a variety of options, including almond, cashew, peanut or almond or buy them off the shelf at your local health food store. Another option? Tahini or miso paste, which taste beautiful together and give that same salty flavour as Vegemite, with a more natural twist.
4. Shake Up Your Salt Source
Still using common table salt as your flavour enhancer? It’s time to shake things up. Look for more mineral-rich options that are minimally processed, including Pink Himalayan Salt or Celtic Sea Salt. Himalayan salt contains 84 essential minerals, regulates water content in your body and helps your intestinal tract absorb nutrients more efficiently, making it a much healthier option than heavily processed table salt.
5. Opt for Healthier Oils
Clear away your heavily refined, unstable oils like sunflower, canola and soybean oil in favour of healthier more stable fats that work well in cooked dishes or drizzled raw over salads. If you’re heating it opt for coconut or macadamia oil or other forms of saturated fats with high smoking points, like butter or ghee, and if you’re using it cold try olive or avocado oil instead.