Over time, I’ve learned how to stock my pantry with ingredients that are always ready to help me create nourishing, plant-based meals. If you've read my books, Crazy Sexy Diet or Crazy Sexy Kitchen, you know how dedicated I am to healthy, delicious cooking.
When you begin collecting your own favorite pantry pals, you’ll see a few things shrink: your grocery bill, your shopping list and your meal-planning woes. Suddenly, half the ingredients you need are already on hand, and all you have to pick up at the grocery store are fresh herbs and produce, and maybe a trashy magazine every once in a while (come on, you know you read them!).
So without further ado, here are some of my favorite pantry essentials—life in the kitchen is so much easier and tasty with them on hand! Once you read all the delicious ways you can use each ingredient (plus their awesome health benefits), I think you'll agree.
1. Organic virgin coconut oil
I could go on and on about all of the uses for this luxurious oil—it’s a nutritious cooking substitute for stir-frying and baking, and great for your skin, too.
2. Almond butter
This scrumptious spread is a staple in my healthy home. From putting a grown-up twist on the classic peanut butter sandwich, to giving raw desserts a rich and nutty flavor, I never let my almond butter supply run dry. It also finds its way into my smoothies most days.
3. Maple syrup
This sweetie is the perfect addition to your morning oatmeal or healthy desserts—without any refined sugars. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants and minerals.
4. Goji berries
These little suckers add a powerful antioxidant boost to your trail mix, and they’re also a great topping for desserts.
5. Chia seeds
Have you tried chia pudding? If not, you’re in for a treat! You can even use these omega-3-filled seeds as an egg substitute in vegan-baked goods.
6. Hemp seeds
Sprinkle these special guys on top of your salad for an added punch of protein. Add them to your smoothies and you’ve got a hearty breakfast or lunch, chock full of vitamins and minerals.
7. Nori sheets
These mineral-rich sheets are full of calcium and iron—and, they’re the ultimate wrap for your sushi fixings.
8. Brown rice
Ditch typical takeout and whip up your own version of your favorite Asian meal using this fiber-filled grain. How about brown rice pudding? If you’re making it, I’ll be there in 10!
Gluten sensitive? Tamari could be the tasty soy sauce solution you’ve been waiting for—just make sure you look for the gluten-free variety. Deepen the flavors in your sauces and soups with this awesome ingredient.
Ready to go shopping? Check out my full list of pantry essentials…
My Pantry Essentials:
- Thrive's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
- Artisana Almond Butter
- Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bragg Nutritional Yeast
- Coombs Organic Maple Syrup
- Rao’s Pasta Sauce
- San-J International Tamari
- Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta
- Eden Foods Soba Noodles
- Emerald Cove Nori Sheets
- Lundberg Farms Short Grain Brown Rice
- Eden Foods Organic Garbanzo Beans
- Navitas Naturals Goji Berries
- Nutiva Black Chia Seeds
- Navitas Naturals Hemp Seeds
- Napa Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
- Lundberg Farms Brown Rice Cakes
- Garden of Eatin Blue Corn Chips
My Personal Care Must-Haves:
Photo credit: Kris Carr