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Thursday, 11 April 2019

My Healthy Cupboard Essentials

Back in September last year you might remember I wrote a blog post titled 'My Fridge Essentials' were I shared my most-loved and most-loved products in my refrigerator. I thought I'd carry the theme on to this blog post and tell you about my store cupboard essentials!

I have to say, my cupboards are absolutely jam-packed full of foodie products...probably more products than I actually need but all that I use! I've narrowed it down to my top 10 cupboard essentials. These are items that I use the most frequently, that I include in many different recipes and that are always on my shopping list.

Chopped Tomatoes
I use tinned chopped tomatoes all the time and they're constantly on my shopping list. They're perfect for whipping up a quick pasta sauce with some onion, garlic, basil and spinach, I use them when making curries, chillis and stews, they're an essential ingredient in spag bol and I even use them to make soups. They're super cheap too!

I always have both dried red lentils and tinned green lentils in my cupboard at home as they're a real staple in my diet. I like to use lentils in dishes such as lentil bolognese, lentil shepherds pie, curries, stews and even thrown into salads.

Tinned Beans
I like to have a selection of tinned beans in my cupboards. As they're ready cooked they're such a staple for quick, nourishing, plant based meals or to blend into homemade dips. My go to's are kidney beans (for chilli, obviously!), butter beans (great for soups and dips), cannellini beans (the best for stews) and black beans (I like these in chilli). I like to make sure I have different types of beans regularly to provide me with different nutrients.

I eat nuts every single day and they're an important part of my diet. I'm all about those healthy fats and nuts are a great way to dose up on those! I often use nuts in my baking, I top them onto my porridge or yogurt bowls or I simply snack on them. My favourites are cashews, walnuts and almonds.

Tinned sardines may sound like a strange cupboard essential but honestly, I swear by them for optimum hormone health and treating PCOS. Sardines are so cheap, they're absolutely loaded with nutrients and they're a sustainable fish choice as well. I tend to buy the sardines in tomato sauce then grill them on toast with a little mustard.

Brown Rice
I'm sure rice is a staple in most peoples cupboards, and I'm certainly no exception! I personally prefer the taste of brown rice and it's far more nutritious than white rice, which is an added bonus. I have rice at least twice a week and find it pairs so well with so many meals. Of course I enjoy the grain with curry, chilli and stews but I also love to make rice salads, buddha bowls and even risotto type dishes. I also normally have a couple of pre-cooked rice packets on hand, ready to chuck in the microwave if I really need them!

Another two grains I always gave in my cupboards are buckwheat and quinoa. I used to be totally obsessed with quinoa - it's really tasty with a delicious nutty flavour and it's high protein too, but now I'm more of a buckwheat gal. Buckwheat is tastier in my opinion and has a nicer texture! I sometimes use buckwheat instead of rice when I want a grain with a little more protein and that's a bit easier on my digestive system. I often batch cook buckwheat too and store it in the fridge, ready to add to salad bowls for lunches throughout the week. You can also make both quinoa and buckwheat into porridge which is so delicious!

If I don't have oats in my house then I just don't feel right! I eat oats pretty much every day of the week whether that's making them into porridge for breakfast, chucking a handful into a smoothie for extra energy or using them in baking for recipes such as healthy fruit crumble, granola bars or cookies. Oats are a true staple in my diet and I simply couldn't be without them!

Stock Cubes
I didn't used to use stock cubes very regularly but I've become a little obsessed recently after putting a half a cube into my rice as it cooked and tasting the difference! Stock cubes add so much flavour to grains like rice, quinoa and buckwheat if you pop one into the water as your grains cook! I also use stock cubes when I make homemade soup, lentil shepards pies, bolognese and other dishes like these.

Olive Oil
I know coconut oil is 'the' oil to cook with but I'm all about the extra virgin olive oil! Don't get me wrong, I love coconut oil and use it in baking and raw treats but I much prefer olive oil for cooking savoury dishes. Olive oil has a far nicer flavour to it and in my opinion works better in savoury cooking. There's absolutely nothing wrong with cooking with olive oil, in fact it's really brilliant for your health - the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest, don't you know!

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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