Spring is here, and soon you will be spring cleaning.  One area to spring clean is your pantry to remove expired foods.  Something else to consider removing from your pantry is unhealthy foods.  Go here to learn seven toxic items to remove from your pantry.

When you remove the unhealthy foods from your pantry, you will have room for healthy food!  

Having a well-stocked pantry will help you run an efficient kitchen and will help you to make meals at home without multiple trips to the grocery store each week.

Here are a few staples for your pantry.

1. Oats

Oats, unlike cereal, are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and iron.  The protein and fiber will keep you feeling full after eating oatmeal.

You can serve oatmeal with seeds, nuts, berries, maple syrup and honey for an inexpensive and healthy breakfast.

2.  Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a gluten-free grain and is also high in protein and fiber.  We usually buy buckwheat groats.  It is cooked somewhat like oats and can be cooked overnight on low in a crockpot, making it an ideal breakfast food–quick, healthy, and economical.

3.  Flours 

Flour is an excellent pantry staple because it is so versatile.  You can use it to make your own sourdough bread, cookies, muffins, and desserts which will be much healthier for you and your family.  Flours that I have used or plan to use are spelt, buckwheat, and almond.

4.  Baking powder

If you intend to bake cookies and quick breads, baking powder is a must in your pantry.  Be sure to get the type of baking powder that does not have aluminum in it!

5.  Himalayan pink salt 

Himalayan pink salt is much better for you than regular table salt.  Use it in baking, cooking, and canning.

6.  Honey 

Sugar has many calories but no nutrition.  On the other hand, honey has many medicinal properties, but you do not want to buy just any honey. You also want honey that is real and hasn’t been boiled or had sugar or high fructose added it it (most honey in stores is poor quality at best).  Here is the honey that we use (SKU 207).

You can read more about the benefits of honey here. 

7.  Maple syrup

Like honey, maple syrup is an excellent substitute for sugar.  It can also be used in place of corn syrup for those wanting to avoid corn.  From what I have read, honey does not do well in high heat and loses its healing properties.  However, maple syrup does fine in high heat and is excellent in baking.

9.  Cacao nibs

Instead of using chocolate chips, you can use cacao nibs in your baking.  Cacao nibs have no sugar and are an excellent source of fiber.

10. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of iron and are therefore important for women and girls to eat, especially if they tend to be anemic.  Use pumpkin seeds as a topping for your buckwheat or oatmeal in the morning, in your own trail mix, or by themselves as a healthy snack.

11.  Canned salmon

Canned fish can help you make a healthy meal quickly.  It can also be a quick, healthy snack.  We purchase our canned salmon mostly at Trader Joe’s canned in only water (no salt).

12. Canned chicken

Canned chicken can give you a healthy meal on a busy day when you do not have time to cook chicken or have not thawed it.  I recommend chicken canned without BPA in the lining and also without any added salt.  You can use it to make a chicken salad, chicken sandwich, or casserole.

13. Rice

Rice can be used in many different ways including side dishes, soups, casseroles, and Mexican and Indian dishes.  Organic short grain brown rice is very healthy and an excellent source of fiber.

14.  Apple sauce

Apple sauce is very versatile.  I highly recommend organic apple sauce without added sugar.  Most apples are sweet anyway.  🙂

Apple sauce can be used in baking, topping your buckwheat, or alone as a snack.  It would also be a healthy dessert for your family.  Can your own apple sauce or buy it here.

15.  Canned soup

Canned soups are excellent especially during illness.  They are quick and convenient.  However, most of them are not very healthy.  They have much too much salt, and it’s often hard to know what kind of salt is in them.  Go here to learn reasons to avoid commercially canned soups.

If you like canned soups, it would be best to learn how to can your own. Otherwise, just freeze your soups to have healthy homemade soups on hand.  Next time you make soup, just make a double batch and freeze half of it.  You can also freeze soups in portion-sized containers for quick thawing.

Azure Standard is an excellent source of most of the foods I mentioned in this blog post.  You can save $25 off your $100 order by using this link.  Your order will be delivered to a nearby drop site, where you can pick it up.  Azure sends order reminders, but there is no pressure to order any number of times per year.  No, I was not paid to write this article, but we are happy customers of Azure.  They also offer frozen foods and some household items.

What healthy foods do you like to keep in your pantry?  Please share in the comments below!