Pantry Particulars…

Our late winter wildness has me thinking of what I should have stocked in my kitchen, in case I don’t want to brave these winter roads to get to the grocery store.

In a blog post in November, I talked about comfort foods. But if you were wanting to make ones of those comfort foods tonight, would you have what you needed?

If you search pantry staples, lots of different lists will pop up. My suggestion is to take a couple of these lists, highlight the staples that you use most often and create your own pantry list. I would also include frozen staples on this list, for when things like fresh vegetables and fruit aren’t available.

To get you started, I thought I would provide some suggestions, for each of the four foods groups, and beyond…

Vegetables and Fruit:
• Low salt or sugar options of canned or frozen vegetables and fruit.
• Dried fruit, such as apricots or raisins.
• Boxed or frozen fruit juice.
• Low salt options of prepared pasta sauces.
• Low salt options of soup. Broth-based soups are healthier options.

Grain Products:
• Whole grain breads, rolls and muffins. Whatever is not needed immediately can be frozen for later use.
• Whole grain crackers.
• Whole grain pasta.
• Brown or wild rice.
• Hot and ready-to-eat whole grain cereals.

Milk and Alternatives:
• Canned evaporated milk.
• Dried skim milk powder.
• Yogurt can be frozen for when needed.

Meat and Alternatives:
• Plain, unbuttered and unbreaded frozen meat, poultry and fish.
• Low salt options of canned chicken, salmon or tuna.
• Low salt options of canned or dried beans, peas or lentils.
• Nuts and/or trail mix.
• Peanut butter.

Beyond:
• Flour.
• Sugar.
• Seasonings and spices.
• Low salt options of beef, chicken and vegetable broths.

Add or delete from this list and create your family pantry list.

These items are usually shelf-stable, but should be used and replenished on a regular basis. Do not buy more than you need or some items may go bad before you have time to use them.

What is the one pantry staple that you cannot go without? Email me at [email protected].

If you have any nutrition topics you would like me to write about or have a question you would like answered, email me at [email protected]. I would really like to hear from you!