Stocking your pantry correctly is as important as prepping your meals. If you want to up your chances of success with any new food plan, you have to be prepared. I mean, think about it – common sense says that when you come home from work and you are hangry, you’re going to grab whatever is convenient.
So, the idea here is to make sure all the good stuff – all of the healing foods – are so convenient that you will grab those. When your pantry is stocked correctly, you’ll be able to make a simple recipe without having to run to the store… because, what are the chances of that happening?
Start with These 10 Healthy Pantry Staples
- Coconut Water: In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut also kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and fights against things like bronchitis, urinary tract infections and the flu. This amazing fruit also helps keep your mind sharp and focused. Coconut water is the perfect base for healing smoothies and shakes.
- Pitted Dates: Dates are a great healing substitute for sugar. They are rich in potassium, fiber, and tannins – things that help the body fight infection and also heal your gut. I use dates to sweeten homemade ketchup, smoothies, sauces… really anything.
- Raw Cashews: Nuts, in general, are healing. In eastern medicine, we know them to be good for your brain, heart, skin, and reproductive system. Cashews have less fat than most other nuts, yet when you put raw cashews in a blender, the result is an amazingly creamy sauce. I use raw cashews as a base for many non-dairy cream sauces.
- Raw Cacao Powder and Nibs: Raw cacao is a superfood that actually helps the body absorb nutrients better. It’s filled with iron, zinc, magnesium and other minerals. As if this wasn’t enough, it’s also high in antioxidants. Cacao has been appropriately translated to mean “food of the gods” and it’s great for your digestion and your heart. And, last but not least, this awesome chocolate-y superfood can lower your blood pressure and raise your libido. I put the powder in smoothies, baked goods, and even chili. And the nibs are like slightly bitter chocolate chips and are great sprinkled on a parfait or in a shake.
- Collagen Powder: Collagen strengthens bones and muscles, keeps your joints healthy, improves flexibility and mental concentration, keeps your digestive system running smoothly, and helps keep you looking and feeling youthful. I put collagen in my coffee, tea, and smoothies.
- Nut Butter (other than peanut): Because nuts are medicinal and healing, it’s great to have at least one jar of a healthy nut butter in your pantry. I recommend buying a variety other than peanut – I love almond and cashew butter. I love to thicken smoothies with nut butter, stir it into mashed sweet potatoes, make healthy wraps and toasts with it, and stir it into my non-dairy yogurt parfaits.
- Bone Broth: You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails… and, it even can help calm your mind. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: This is one of the most amazing ingredients to keep in your pantry. It helps you maintains a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, boosts the immune system, and is good for your heart. It also helps intestinal function much the way probiotics do, and can act as an antacid. I cook with it, make salad dressing with it, and when I feel like I’m getting a cold, I take it straight from the spoon.
- Probiotics: Probiotics help your digestion run smoothly. They put good bacteria into your intestines, help with nutritional absorption, detoxification, and they can help your body fight infection. There are many brands of great probiotics capsules available today, and they are available in stores and online. I take my probiotics first thing every morning with a huge glass of lemon water.
- Nutritional Yeast: I’m putting this on the list because I truly believe that everyone is better off without dairy. Yet, I, like everyone else, love a great creamy cheese sauce or soup. Nutritional yeast flakes give things a cheesy taste, but it’s a dairy-free ingredient. It’s got lots of great minerals, is a complete protein, and contains fiber. I like to make creamy soups and macaroni and cheese dishes with nutritional yeast, and I know lots of people who like to sprinkle it on their salads.
So, Once You Have Your Pantry Stocked, What Awesome Things are You Going to Make?
One of the all-time favorite recipes in my house is this recipe for Cheeseburger Soup. This truly is the most-requested recipe in my house. It tastes like a cheeseburger in a bowl, but it’s healthy and there’s no cheese! This recipe uses raw cashews and nutritional yeast.
This Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart is to die for… but it will keep you healthy. It has lots of raw cacao in it, tastes like the most decadent chocolate dessert you’ve ever had, and is really easy to make.
This homemade Acai Bowl is so much better for you than ordering one from a café. It’s got coconut water and dates in it, and you can even top it with some cacao nibs if you’d like.
So, stock your pantry well. Fill it with healing ingredients. And, if that means donating some of your unhealthy stuff… just do it! Then, take a picture of your new healing pantry and send it my way… I’m like a proud mama and I’d love to see it!