My Top 10 Pantry Staples
As a follow up to my blog, A Health Coach's Guide to Unique Gift Giving, I'd like to share my TOP 10 PANTRY STAPLES, all of which I get from Thrive Market (click here for more info). A Thrive Market Membership earned a spot on my gift list because this online, membership-based market provides top-quality products for your home, body, and kitchen at a fraction of the cost you’d pay at higher-priced natural markets, making healthy living affordable! And even better, for every paid membership, Thrive Market donates a membership to a low-income family, veteran or teacher—so together we are all making healthy living affordable for everyone. That’s a company I’m honored to support!*
Combine these pantry items with some grass-fed protein, omega-3 rich fish, cage-free eggs, avocados, mostly green veggies, and coffee (for me at least), and life is both nutritious and delicious! I’ve provided links to the products themselves, in addition to a few additional links to do your own research as you consider adding these items to your pantry.
STEVIA – While not a “health food” per se, I’m putting this one first because sugar is highly addictive and, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, deadly. In another blog, I discuss my favorite books, a few of which take a deep dive into the addictive response and health hazards of sugar, but for now I’ll say this: If you want to improve your health substantially, reduce your sugar intake. And stevia can help you meet that challenge because let’s be honest, we need some sweetness in our life! Stevia is my sweetener of choice because it is a natural herb that is 30 times sweeter than sugar with a low glycemic index, having minimal impact on blood sugar. I prefer the liquid form found here.
GHEE – Ghee is clarified butter, which simply means that the milk solids and water of butter have been removed, leaving only butter fat. This may not sound healthy, but there are many benefits to ghee. Dr. Axe has a great graphic to explain. In short, ghee gives you the taste, creaminess, and richness of butter but without the lactose or casein, making it a great option for those intolerant of dairy. It’s also rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K: all great for bone, brain, and immunity health. Find it here.
100% CACAO – Full disclosure…this girl needs her chocolate! The great news is that raw cacao is considered a superfood, full of nutrients that boost your mood, immune system, and brain power. With raw cacao in your pantry, you can create your own chocolatey treats and control the other ingredients, using stevia, coconut, nuts, nut butter, dried fruit, etc., instead of the sugar and milk added to most processed chocolate. There are endless recipes online; here’s one of my favorites.
BONE BROTH – In my opinion, bone broth is an under-publicized, unknown superfood. Low in calories and high in nutrients, bone broth provides health benefits for every part of your body: your muscles, joints, ligaments, digestive system, brain, and more. To get these benefits though, plain broth products will not do. Most are lab-produced and are not made with the health containing bones. More info on the benefits of bone broth can be found here.
COCONUT MILK – The benefits of coconuts and coconut milk include improving heart health, preventing disease, lowering bad cholesterol, fighting infection, improving brain function, hydrating, and more. The most notable advantage of coconut milk is its high concentration of MCTs (Medium-Chain Triglycerides), a healthy fat which provides energy, reduces joint inflammation, and helps to manage blood sugar. Coconut milk is a highly nutritious, dairy free alternative to use in your favorite recipes; this one is always in my pantry. (You’ll also find coconut oil and coconut flakes in my panty; coconut in some form is in my daily diet.)
HOT SAUCE – Life needs a little kick! Hot sauce contains capsaicin, a compound that is linked to many health benefits from naturally suppressing your appetite to preventing prostate cancer. My favorite hot sauce brand is Cholula, and I use it on everything from eggs to burgers.
AVOCADO OIL – The benefits of olive oil have been well publicized, but if you’d like to change things up a bit in the kitchen, try Avocado Oil. Avocados contain those “healthy” omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients which have numerous health benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, easing arthritis symptoms, improving bone density, and providing antioxidants. Avocado oil is so versatile…you can use it to bake, sauté, or on salads. (By the way…I did a video post about the oils you will always, and never, find in my kitchen. Check it out here!)
CHIA SEEDS – We can all sing the jingle from the infomercial promoting the Chia Pet. Who knew that the subject of this novelty gift is a superfood? This tiny seed packs a powerful nutrition punch with omega-3’s that support hearth health and fiber for digestive health. Find them here and use them to bake, in salads, or my favorite way…to make pudding. Here’s just one example.
ALMOND OR COCONUT FLOUR – One of the kitchen staples of an American pantry is flour. Yet traditional flour contains gluten which has been shown to cause a wide range of negative symptoms from digestive discomfort on one end of the spectrum to auto-immune reactions (celiac disease) on the other. Whether you have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or not, minimizing gluten in your diet is wise. More info can be found here. So, if you’d like to embrace a gluten-free way of eating but still want to bake your favorite recipes, Almond and Coconut flours are the answer! High in fiber and other nutrients, you can feel good about using them in all your favorite baked goods like breads, cakes, and cookies.
TURMERIC – This unassuming spice is possibly the most powerful herb on earth with thousands of studies showing its effectiveness at preventing, treating, and even reversing disease. Turmeric’s main active compound is curcumin, a proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The powder form not only adds a unique spice to anything from eggs to soup, it can also help tame heartburn and calm an upset stomach. Make sure it's organic, like this one here.
So there’s a peak into my pantry and a few reasons why these products earn a spot on my shelf. This year, aim to replace one less-healthy pantry item with one of these suggestions each month. I’ve given you enough for 10 months…you can add two of your own. And if you use Thrive Market, you won’t need to break your grocery budget to do so!
*Affiliate Disclosure: I am a proud affiliate of Thrive Market and if you use the links in this post, I may earn a small commission.