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What's in a well-stocked pantry

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With the lazy days of summer on the horizon, it's a good time to think about filling your pantry. While a good shopping list is the key to a quick and painless trip to the supermarket, a well-stocked pantry is the best way to ensure you'll have everything you need to cook at home and avoid the easy fast-food stop.
The healthy pantry includes all the items you need to prepare healthful recipes, plus a few other ingredients that will make unplanned meals easier.
Go through your cupboards with this checklist and then take it to the store:
Oils, vinegars and condiments
• Extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil
• Trans-fat-free margarine
• Distilled white, cider, red-wine, balsamic, rice vinegar
• Dijon mustard
• Ketchup
• Barbecue sauce
• Reduced-fat mayonnaise
• Reduced-sodium soy sauce
• Prepared pesto
• Salsa
• Hot sauce
• Salt
• Black pepper
• Dried herbs and spices: ground cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper, rosemary, thyme leaves, oregano, Italian-seasoning blend, tarragon leaves, ground cinnamon, ground ginger
• Vanilla extract
Canned goods and bottle items
• Canned tomatoes, tomato paste
• Reduced-sodium broths
• Canned beans: cannellini, kidney, chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
• Canned lentils
• Chunk light tuna and salmon
• Grains and legumes
• Assorted whole-wheat pasta
• Regular and instant brown rice
• Whole-wheat couscous
• Regular and quick-cooking barley
• Bulgur
• Rolled oats
• Dried lentils
Baking products
• Whole-wheat flour and whole-wheat pastry flour. (Store in the refrigerator or freezer.)
• All-purpose flour
• Baking powder
• Baking soda
• Unprocessed wheat bran
• Quick-rising yeast
• Cornstarch
• Brown sugar
• Granulated sugar
• Honey
Nuts, seeds and dried fruit
• Walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, almonds
• Dried apricots, dates, cranberries, raisins
• Peanut butter (natural)
Refrigerator basics
• 1 percent or skim milk
• Reduced-fat sour cream
• Fruit juice
• Large eggs
• Cheese: sharp Cheddar, feta, Parmesan, mozzarella
• Nonfat or light vanilla yogurt
Freezer basics
• Frozen fruit
• Frozen vegetables: edamame (soybeans), broccoli, corn, bell-pepper-and-onion mix, peas, spinach
• Low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt and/or sorbet
• Frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini
For more information, go to
Story tags » NutritionCooking

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