A healthy lifestyle is about planning. It’s a lot easier to cook a healthy meal if you have the kitchen stocked with nutritious, healthy foods. Here’s a list of foods that are always good to keep in the kitchen.
1. Cold-pressed coconut oil and olive oil. Healthy fats for both cooking and baking.
2. Organic eggs. Packed with healthy protein this food is excellent when baking, for breakfast as well as for lunch. A quick and perfect lunch; make an omelette with two eggs and one egg white, fill it with veggies such as spinach, broccoli, onions and feta cheese (or some vegan friendly soy-cheese product).
3. Organic honey, agave or dates. If you want to cut down on refined sugars. Use as sweeteners when baking and cooking. Honey, and especially manuka honey, is also good when you’re having a cold.
4. Berries. Fresh or frozen. It’s always handy to have the freezer stocked with berries of all kinds. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, sea buckthorn etcetera. Filled with vitamins and antioxidants they will boost your immune system. Add to smoothies, top your breakfast porridge or granola bowls.
5. Natural and unsalted nuts and seeds. Filled with healthy fats, minerals and protein nuts are a perfect snack to bring along a busy day. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts just to mention a few. Why not make your own nut butter? Place nuts in the blender, add a pinch of sea salt and mix until smooth and creamy (this requires a strong blender though). Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are perfect to add to any salads. When making home made granola add both nuts and seeds for that extra crunchy and delicious taste.
6. Beans and lentils. Inexpensive and a great source of protein and fiber. Cook a nice veggie/bean stew, home made hummus (chickpeas) or why not a chocolate cake with black beans?
7. Quinoa. Instead of rice or pasta. Quinoa is a good source of iron and B vitamins. Also nice as a breakfast porridge. Cook quinoa with almond milk and dates. Top with nuts and manuka honey/agave.
8. Bananas. For smoothies, home made ice cream, banana pancakes or simply as a snack or pre workout. Take a rice cracker, spread some nut butter and top with a few banana pieces.
9. Fresh herbs. Rosemary, basil, coriander etcetera. Adds a wonderful flavour to any dish.
10. Green tea. Drinking a cup or two per day may increase your metabolism and reduce bad cholesterol in the blood. Filled with antioxidants.
11. Dark chocolate or raw cacao powder. Yes, why not always keep dark chocolate on hand. Better mood booster is hard to find.
12. Unsweetened almond-, rice-, oat or nut milk. If you can’t eat dairy there are a lot of options to choose among. Add to your smoothies and porridge, eat with granola or use for baking.
13. Coconut cream/milk. When making soups, stews, smoothies, porridge or for baking. Coconut milk/cream adds a nice flavour and creaminess to any dish.
14. Oatmeal. What better way to start the day than with a bowl of oatmeal. Add to smoothies or mix the oats to a flour and use for baking. Oatmeal is known for helping to lower cholesterol and may also help to control your appetite.
15. Lean meat and fish. For example chicken, salmon and cod. Filled with protein and healthy fats these foods are a perfect choice for lunch or dinner.
16. Lemons. Add to dishes, to a cup of tea or why not start the day with hot water, squeezed lemon, grated ginger and turmeric.
17. Spinach. This green veggie is packed with vitamins and is a versatile food. It’s a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin B6 etcetera. It can be eaten raw, in smoothies, lightly cooked or on its own or added to other dishes.
18. Chia seeds. An excellent food that’s also very versatile. Make chia pudding, use instead of egg when baking, add to smoothies and porridge or make your own chia jam.
I could go on and on with this list, but this should be seen as a guideline that’s good to bring along to the food market. There are of course plenty of foods that I left out – These are foods that I usually try to have at home and I noticed they make it a lot easier to cook healthy meals.
Happy food shopping!