With the current pandemic raging on for the last several months, many of us have made the switch from grocery store visits to online orders. We’ve had our fun with take-out and even patio visits, but with the threat of a second wave, it begs the question, what should you be stocking up on? While soups, canned beans, and frozen foods are obvious choices to keep on hand, what about health-inspired pantry staples that can be used for multiple meals?
We’ve gathered a few staples that can be used in various ways and recipes in the kitchen and beyond! If you’re going to stock up on staples, they might as well be versatile. Here are our top 5 pantry picks:
1. COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil is a versatile oil that can be used for sauteéing and frying thanks to its high smoke point. Use it as a replacement for any vegetable oil or butter in all your favorite recipes. You can use it as a vegan spread on bread or drizzled on top of popcorn for a savory treat. This is one of the most versatile ingredients you can get as it even doubles as a skin & hair moisturizer! Name a better pantry staple, we’ll wait.
Quinoa is a great gluten-free alternative to other grains that you can enjoy morning, noon, and night. Use it as a substitute to rice and serve with meat and veggies or in a superfood power bowl. It makes a sweet and tasty salad with chopped nuts and dried fruit, or can be swapped for oatmeal when served with milk, a dash of cinnamon, and fresh fruit. Whether you like it sweet or savory, there’s a quinoa recipe for you!
Chia seeds are another pantry staple with great versatility. Out of eggs? Mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with 2.5 tablespoons of water to create an egg replacement for baking. Chia seeds absorb liquid, so when mixed with milk (or a dairy-free alternative) they create a gel-like consistency. Chia seed pudding is a well-known way of enjoying chia seeds as a nutritious breakfast or satisfying snack. You can even create an easy fruit spread using chia seeds as a healthy alternative to sugar-filled jam.
Coconut flour is a soft, naturally grain- and gluten-free flour made from dried coconut. It’s the perfect baking substitute for grain-based flour, especially if you follow a Paleo or Keto lifestyle. Lower in carbs than grain-flours, mix up gluten-free pancakes, lower-carb breads, cookies, and more with this ingredient.
5. GOJI BERRIES
When you’re looking for a sweet treat but trying to avoid processed sugars, dried fruit is a handy ingredient to have in your pantry. Our personal favorite are goji berries, with their sweet and slightly tangy flavor, that pair perfectly with dark chocolate (in our humble opinion). Make your own trail mix by mixing them with raw nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate chips for a power-packed snack.
It’s important to make your grocery shopping and food orders as efficient as possible these days. With the threat of a second wave hitting this fall, it’s a good idea to have shelf-stable pantry items that can be used in many ways. These are five of our favorite dry ingredients with great flavor and even greater versatility. What else are you ordering for your pantry? Leave your ideas below!