Eating healthy is probably one of the most important things you can do for your well-being. It’s not only important for your weight loss goals, or getting fit – it’s crucial to make sure you’re the healthiest you can be.
Healthy meals and healthy ingredients, in general, give you vitamins and minerals, nutrients, and energy. However, it can be difficult to make healthy meals when you’re super busy and don’t know where to start.
A well-stocked kitchen is the key to making healthy eating choices. Filling up your kitchen and pantry with nutrient-dense foods can help you limit your consumption of processed foods, and healthy foods can also be highly perishable.
So in this post, I’m sharing a roundup of grocery staples and healthy pantry staples to keep on hand so you can easily stick to your healthy eating habits for a long time.
15 Grocery Staples For Healthy Meals
Olive oil is such a great source of healthy fats, and it’s truly a kitchen staple. This is one of the most basic ingredients you need to have, as you can use it in almost every recipe out there.
Another oil option you can get for healthy fats is coconut oil. It’s especially good in desserts, but it can be used for cooking anything else as well.
Pasta doesn’t have to be bad or unhealthy. When you make a healthy pasta sauce, it can be a nutritious meal. So, having pasta on hand is a great idea for when you want a quick and delicious meal. While regular pasta is okay, whole-grain pasta is healthier and more nutritious for you. Plus, pasta has a long shelf life, so you can buy more, and always have some on hand.
If you’re looking for ingredients to have on hand, brown rice is a great one. It has a long shelf life, so you can even buy in bulk, but it’s also a staple you should always get in the grocery store when you run out of it. It’s a great source of healthy carbs
Another staple you should have in your home is quinoa. It’s so good for you, and it’s the perfect side to lots of dishes.
Vegetables & Fruits
Spinach is not only full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but it’s also such a versatile vegetable. First of all, it’s great cooked. Secondly, it’s an amazing salad base (here I’m talking about baby spinach). You can also add it to lots of sauces, omelettes, stews, and more. It’s truly a healthy staple and needs to be on your grocery list.
Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are not only great sources of healthy carbs, but they’re also nutritious and make the perfect side to lots of meat dishes.
If you’re looking for recipe ideas, here’s an easy recipe you can make with sweet potatoes.
Chicken Sweet Potato Quick Curry
¼ cup Curry sauce, red – 100 calories
6 oz Chicken breast, boneless, skinless, raw – 190 calories
1 Potato, sweet, medium, 5 inches – 112 calories
½ Onion, yellow – 27.5 calories
½ Bell pepper, red – 18.5 calories
- Chop veggies into small pieces.
- Cube chicken.
- Spray a pan with an oil spray. Cook chicken, onions, and peppers for ~10 minutes on low-medium heat, until chicken has cooked through.
- While chicken is cooking, poke holes in potato with fork on top and bottom. Microwave for 4 minutes on each side. Once cooked, slice into small pieces.
- Add potato and curry to pan with chicken and veggies.
- Simmer on low heat for at least 3 minutes.
- No chicken? Use fish, tofu, paneer cheese, or beans.
If you’re a fan of mushrooms, they should definitely be on your grocery list whenever you’re grocery shopping. They’re healthy, but they’re also so versatile. From risottos, pasta sauces, to dishes like grilled mushrooms or stuffed mushrooms – you can really use them in so many ways. They help protect brain health, lower cholesterol levels, and stimulate a healthier gut.
Onions are definitely a staple for healthy meals. They’re the base for so many sauces and healthy dishes, and this is simply something that should always be on your grocery list. Plus, they’re very nutritious and healthy. They’re not only full of antioxidants, but they also help with blood sugar levels, improve digestive health, and are a great source of vitamin C.
Apples are a great staple to have in your home because they’re not only very healthy (you know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away), but they also make a great snack. Whenever you’re hungry between meals, you can simply grab an apple, and maybe dip it in some peanut butter or almond butter, and you’ll have a delicious and nutritious snack in no time.
Beans are full of fiber and protein, and they’re a great grocery staple to have in your home. There are lots of health benefits to them, and they’re super versatile. Plus, getting them in cans saves you so much time when cooking, and they’re just as delicious!
You can get all sorts of different beans to have on hand: black beans, pinto beans, canelloni beans, etc.
Here’s a quick and healthy bean salad you can whip up when you don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen, and you want to make use of your pantry staples.
Three Bean Salad
¼ cup Beans & legumes, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cooked – 67 calories
¼ cup Beans & legumes, black beans, cooked – 57 calories
¼ cup Beans & legumes, pinto beans, cooked – 61.5 calories
1 Cucumber, medium – 42 calories
¼ Onion, red – 13.75 calories
1 Tbsp Parsley, fresh – 0 calories
1 Tbsp Olive oil (Tbsp) – 119 calories
½ Tbsp Red wine vinegar (Tbsp) – 1.5 calories
⅓ Tbsp Dijon mustard – 4.95 calories
¼ tsp Salt – 0 calories
¼ tsp Pepper – 0 calories
- Dice cucumber, parsley, and onion
- Make your dressing by mixing together olive oil, vinegar, dijon, salt & pepper
- Combine your veggies, beans, and dressing in a bowl and mix to combine
Lentils are another type of canned good that’s full of protein and fiber, and you can easily buy them in bulk as well. Lentils can also help lower cholesterol levels, and are full of potassium and iron.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, chickpeas definitely need to be on your grocery list. They’re one of the best plant-based protein sources, so you can use them in lots of dishes.
Nuts and Seeds
There are all sorts of nuts and seeds you can get: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, pistachios, brazil nuts, and so on. If you’re looking for omega-3 fatty acids, you want to get walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. If you’re looking for healthy fats, you can get peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and so on.