7 Healthy Pantry Staples For Healthier Meals

Do you stray from your diet plan time and again? It is hard enough to eat healthy when you’re out, but you could be slipping up at home as well. An easy way to ensure you cook healthy meals every single day is to stock up on fresh, wholesome fare.

When you’re left with nothing but nutritive ingredients to cook with, your meals will be healthy without you having to even try. So go ahead, swap your kitchen staples for these food items that can be used as a base for preparing a variety of healthy dishes.

1Broth and Stock

Packed with abundant nutrients, chicken stock or vegetable or bone broth can instantly add flavor to a bland meal, without adding to the calories. Use this ingredient instead of water while cooking brown rice, gravy or soup, for boosting both the nutrition value and the flavor.

2Agave and Honey

Whether you want to sweeten your tea, juice or oatmeal, stocking agave or honey at home will eliminate the need to use sugar. These sweeteners do not spike your blood glucose levels and instead, improve your immunity levels. They make for a good sugar substitute in dessert as well.

3Whole Wheat Foods

Whether its flour, bread or pasta, make sure you keep only the whole wheat variety in your kitchen. These foods are high in fiber, which means they keep you feeling full for longer and won’t cause a spike in your blood glucose levels the way white flour does. They’re also a versatile ingredient to cook with.

4Olive Oil

If you’re going to use oil more often while cooking, make sure you pick the healthiest one. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which lowers cholesterol. It also has a lower smoking point than most oils. Other than using it for stir-frying, you could also drizzle it over your veggies or pasta.

5Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cacao (70-85 percent) and a lesser amount of sugar, which makes it healthier than any other type of chocolate. A 100-gram bar packs in 11 grams of fiber and 67 percent of the daily recommended intake of iron. Keep it handy to satisfy your sweet tooth and to add to your dessert.

6Apple Cider Vinegar

Your salad doesn’t exactly qualify as being healthy if it is doused in creamy dressings. Use apple cider vinegar (ACV) instead. Not only is it low in calories, but it is also known to have several health benefits that improve the heart health. Combine ACV with some olive oil to prepare a homemade salad dressing that will flavor your veggies and greens.

7Brown Rice and Farro

Don’t opt for take-out on a lazy day — simply prepare some grains for a quick dinner instead. They cook fairly fast and are a lot more nutritive and satiating. Brown rice and farro, for instance, are packed with minerals and cholesterol-lowering fiber. Here’s the recipe for simple brown rice.

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Updated July 23, 2018