Healthy eating recipes are simple to create when we have a well stocked kitchen full of healthy cooking staples. Having homemade staples in our pantries, freezers and refrigerators allow us to prepare healthy homemade meals effortlessly.
Many cooking staples offered at the supermarket are packaged, processed food items found in a box, can, bag or jar containing many harmful additives. When we use these staples to prepare homemade meals, our meals contain these harmful additives resulting in a meal that is not as healthy as we hoped.
To make truly healthy homemade meals for our families we need to stock our kitchen with healthy cooking staples. Therefore, even on the busiest days we can whip up healthy eating recipes in little time and we can easily prepare these cooking staples in our own kitchens.
The following is a list of healthy cooking staples we should have on hand. Included are also some great tips, ideas and recipes. When we combine these basic items with the standard fresh ingredients from our refrigerators, we can easily prepare healthy eating recipes and feel confident knowing we are providing our families with nutritious food.
Spices and Seasonings are especially important when preparing healthy eating recipes, for they pack in flavour. Dry spices can be purchased at the local food store; however, be sure to always select organic items that contain only one or two ingredients. Fresh is also a great alternative, especially if you grow your own. A simple planter box in your kitchen can offer fresh herbs year round. The following is a list of basic spices to have on hand.
Creating personalized spice blends for specific dishes, especially family favourites, is a great time saver. We only need to use one bottle to spice up our healthy eating recipes, preparing meals is that much easier.
The following healthy oils and vinegars complement healthy eating recipes and are great to have on hand. Additionally, these oils and vinegars can be flavoured using spices and herbs. Add one or more spices/herbs to the oil or vinegar and allow it to infuse. The variations are endless and it’s great to have on hand as this intense flavour can eliminate the extra step of having to add additional seasonings, saving us more time. Be sure to always use fresh organic ingredients and closely monitor the intensity of the flavour, for it can become very flavourful, very quickly.
The following flavourings are great cooking staples to have on hand for they add great flavour to many dishes, marinades and dressings. Store bought varieties are okay since these flavourings are used in small amounts but be sure to select organic varieties. I’ve included some great recipes to create your own homemade flavourings to add to your healthy eating recipes.
Nuts and seeds are a great addition to any pantry. Not only do they add great flavour to many dishes, they also make great snacks that offer many health benefits. Consider making personalized trail mixes blending favourite varieties for an easy addition to a meal or a great on-the-go snack.
Most baking supplies are single ingredient items and can easily be purchased at a local food store. Select organic varieties as often as possible.
Preparing a premixed flour blend is a great time saver, especially if you follow a gluten free diet. This is a great way to experience different flours and add extra nutrients to your healthy eating recipes.
These staples are great to have on hand, they are healthy and versatile and make preparing healthy eating recipes that much easier. Stock your pantry with many varieties, so you have many options. Always avoid white rice and white flour varieties which do not offer any health benefits.
Beans/Legumes: Dry beans are the best option, but they do require some time to prepare. The next best option is the canned varieties which are very convenient, just be sure to rinse them well before use.
Rice: Create your own rice blends for an interesting twist.
Pasta: There are many pasta varieties available today including many different shapes and sizes allowing for many applications. Pastas are also made from different flours; have fun experimenting with various types. Various Shapes: Shaped, Tubular, Strand, Ribbon, Soup and StuffedVarious Flours: Whole-Wheat, Brown Rice, Corn, Oat, Buckwheat, Semolina, Spelt, Kamut and Millet
Fruits are a great addition to healthy eating recipes. Freezing fruits is by far the most convenient and easiest storage method allowing the preservation of the fruits’ healthy nutrients. Purchase fresh organic fruit in large quantities when they are in season and low priced. As the year progresses, we can gather an assortment of fruits giving us the opportunity to fill our freezers with many varieties. Be sure to use proper freezer bags and remove as much air as possible from the bag, a good vacuum food sealer is a great time saver and also ensures a proper seal.
Freeze Fruits Whole: Fruits can be cleaned, dried and put into a freezer bag and enjoyed all year around. This works very well with citrus fruits, as fresh juice can be squeezed with a juicer upon slight thawing. Bananas also are great to freeze in their own jackets in proper freezer bags, great for breads and muffins. Berries, of course, are fantastic frozen whole. Be sure to freeze the berries laid out on a cookie sheet first and then store them in proper freezer bags, this way they will not stick together, so you can only take what you need; great for smoothies.
Freeze chopped pieces: Some fruits require peeling and chopping before freezing. Preparing fruit this way makes it easy to use for cakes, pies, smoothies, breads and meals. Be sure to freeze the fruit laid out on the cookie sheets first, then store them in proper freezer bags.
Many fruits can also be turned into a sauce, syrup or juiced and stored in canning jars, freezer bags or ice cube trays.
Below describes the best freezing method for each fruit.
Vegetables are another fantastic healthy addition when making healthy eating recipes. Most vegetables can be stored very nicely in the freezer, ready to add to any dish; however, please note that some vegetables are best used in their freshest form.
All vegetables can be purchased in large amounts at low prices when they are in season. This is a great opportunity to fill our freezers with a variety of vegetables.
Freezing Method: The following describes how to prepare individual vegetables for freezing. All vegetables should be stored in proper freezer bags with as much air removed from the bag to ensure freshness and to decrease freezer burn. Freeze chopped vegetables laid out on a cookie sheet first and then place them in freezer bags.
Another great addition to help prepare healthy eating recipes is to have a well stocked freezer with a variety of organic meats, poultry, fish and seafood. Purchase these items based on your own families’ preferences and always from trusted sources. There are far too many sources selling these items that are poisoned with antibiotics and grown hormones.
The only other food items we need on hand, to create healthy eating recipes are fresh organic dairy products and eggs. Stock refrigerators with personal favourites and always select the finest quality; our taste buds and our bodies will definitely know the difference.
There are some kitchen items that are must haves when it comes to preparing healthy eating recipes. These tools and small appliances make life a whole lot easier. In addition, having these items on hand gives us all the necessary tools to stock our kitchens with healthy cooking staples. After all, that is the secret to healthy eating.
If you have food allergies and need some great recipes, visit our friends at food allergies recipe box.
The above healthy eating cooking staples help us prepare meals similar to the way our ancestors did; delicious, wholesome, chemical-free homemade meals full of healthy nutrients. The health benefits our families receive when we provide these healthy meals are by far the best gift of all. It really is a small effort to make for a healthy future. Have fun preparing healthy eating recipes.
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