With the fast paced environment of today’s society, sometimes cooking and baking can be shoved to the side due to lengthy preparation time. This is not good because oftentimes this means consuming meals with low nutritional value. Sometimes preparing meals can become a burden without the correct ingredients. Below you will find four healthy pantry essentials that should always be in your cabinet to avoid that stop at a fast food restaurant. These ingredients will aid in keeping meals simple & nutritious!
4 Healthy Pantry Essentials:
- Nut Butters – As founder of Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut and Seed Butters, saying Betsy is nuts for nut butters is an understatement. At her company, she always tries to incorporate one of her gourmet butters into whatever she is making and explain its usefulness in our cabinets. Whether she is making “Cardamom Cashew Butter Crepes” for a delicious breakfast or a “Lemon Pie Smoothie” to cool off on a toasty summer day, these nut butters are the secret ingredient to making things taste so yummy. Nut butters can serve as substitutes for non-healthy ingredients, add additional flavor, increase nutritional value and literally make you go nuts when they are not in your cabinet!
- Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are another one of Betsy’s favorite ingredients. These little seeds can be incorporated into anything (yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, even your main entree)! Being high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and calcium, adding these seeds to any meal can be simple and rewarding. Start incorporating chia seeds into your meals and fill your tummies with its bountiful beauty!
- Quinoa – Doesn’t a food that contains all nine essential amino acids, large amounts of fiber, iron, copper, magnesium and folate seem too good to be true? Well, thankfully for everyone who consumes quinoa, it’s not. Being the superhero in the land of enriched and refined grains, quinoa is here to save the day! Quinoa can be eaten plain. Quinoa can be substituted for another grain. Quinoa can be used in grain salad like the “Quinoa Avocado Salad.” Quinoa can be used to stuff vegetables. Quinoa can and needs to be an essential ingredient in your cabinet.
- Healthy Oil – When looking for a healthy oil to use and to keep in the cabinet, she likes to stick with one of the three S’s–Sunflower, Safflower and Sesame Oil. All oils are high sources of fat and should be used in moderation. She likes to stick with using one of the three ‘S’oils because when used in moderation, they can actually be nutritious and beneficial for our bodies. Coconut oil is also one of our favorite oils to use (even though it does not begin with an ‘S’). Although oil is not used in every dish or baked good Betsy makes, she likes to be prepared and ensure that we always have healthy oils in the cabinet.