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Healthy Pantry Essentials

Food Basket

As a full-time working mother with a Health Coaching business to grow, I'm always seeking out simple meals that are both nourishing and delicious. But lack of time, not knowing what to make, or the temptation of quick, packaged (and less nutritious) foods is a frequent challenge.

After some failed strategies, including thorough recipe planning, I finally realized that the secret to consistent kitchen success lies in two basic principles: always have quality ingredients on hand, and don't have unhealthy foods available at home.

Keeping a few health food store essentials in your pantry and fridge means that no matter the hour, you'll always be able to whip up something that is wholesome and tasty. You don't need to buy all of the following items, but rather a few from each category. Most have a significant shelf life and - produce aside - don't need to be bought on a weekly basis.

Healthy kitchen essentials list:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Rice noodles/quinoa pasta
  • Buckwheat/kasha
  • Whole rolled oats
  • Black, cannellini, kidney, or pinto beans
  • French, red, and/or green lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee
  • Grass-fed organic butter
Room-temperature produce
  • Garlic
  • Onions/shallots
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
Refrigerated produce
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes and/or sweet potatoes
  • Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms (portobello, shitake, or crimini)
  • Spinach
  • Blueberries (or other berries)
  • Organic herbal tea
  • Almond or peanut butter
  • Chia seeds
  • Rice crackers
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Honey
  • Agave nectar
  • Organic eggs
  • Almond or hemp milk
  • Gluten-free flour
  • Yogurt or kefir
A few simple examples of snacks or meals you can make with the above:
  • Rice noodle soup with mushrooms, spinach, and carrots.
  • Sauteed kale with olive oil, garlic, and lemon.
  • Quinoa salad with sprouts, avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro.
  • Frozen banana, almond butter, and almond milk smoothie.
  • Oatmeal with blueberries, apples, and cinnamon.
  • Salad with red leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, and roasted chickpeas.
  • Lentil soup with lemon and cilantro.

The possibilities are endless!

What are the food products you always keep on hand?