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  • Writer's pictureRedwood Naturopathic Medicine

Nutrition Essentials: How to Stock Your Pantry

One way to set yourself up for success in the kitchen is to have a well-stocked pantry! Having healthy and nutritious items on hand can drastically reduce the stress around figuring out what to make. As well as reduce the amount of time and money spent on food. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start, what to buy, and how to use it. Follow along below; this list will give you an excellent starting place and hopefully inspire some more delicious healthy cooking.

First, let us start with clearing out your current pantry. Please take a moment to inventory what you currently have and clear out all expired or food you do not use. Then begin to get rid of or donate all processed foods with long ingredient labels or ingredients you have no clue what they are. When looking at an ingredient list, you should be able to recognize every ingredient on the label. If there are ingredients with long or confusing names, it is probably a product to stray away from. Once you clear out the old and processed, it is time to replenish with healthier options!

Below is a guide to healthy pantry essentials. If this feels overwhelming, there is no need to buy every single item on the list below. Pick a few you like, get accommodated with those first, and see how it feels. Then gradually begin to add in more items from below!

Dry Goods

  • Rice

    • Opt for organic whole grain brown, red, black, basmati or wild rice.

  • Quinoa

  • Rolled Oats

    • If you are have Celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten, ensure the oats are labeled gluten free! Oats are a bit of a grey area on whether they are truly gluten free or not, so finding a label that specifically states gluten free is essential! Steel cut oats are also a good gluten free option.

  • Pasta

    • Aim for brown rice, lentil or chickpea pasta.

  • Lentils

  • Cereal and Granola

    • Cereal and granolas are known for having a high sugar content, so opt for the brands with lower sugar.

Baking and Sweetners

  • Almond Flour

  • Coconut Flour

  • Arrowroot Powder

    • If you want the perfect crispiness to your fries and other baked dishes, sprinkle your food with arrowroot power prior to cooking!

  • GF All-Purpose Flour

  • Honey

  • Maple Syrup

  • Baking Soda/Powder

  • Pure Vanilla Extract

  • Cacao Powder

  • Dehydrated Fruit

    • This typically has a less added sugar compared to dried fruits, yet all the same sweetness!

Nuts/Seeds/Nut Butters

  • Almonds

  • Cashews

  • Pine Nuts

  • Sesame Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Chia seeds

  • Hemp Hearts

  • Nut Butters

    • Opt for no added sugars and oils. Check the ingredient list and aim for the option with the least ingredients!

  • Tahini

Canned Goods

  • Legumes:

    • Opt for Black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas,

  • Diced Tomatoes

  • Tomato Paste

  • Canned Pumpkin

  • Canned Fish

    • Tuna, salmon or sardines are great options. Aim for canned fish that a is wild-caught and packed in water.


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    • Olive oil has the highest nutritional impact when consumed away from high heat. Making olive oil a great option for salad dressings and topping dishes.

  • Avocado Oil & Coconut Oil

    • Can be used at higher temperatures, so optimal for sautéing, frying, and cooking with oven.

  • Toasted Sesame Oil

  • Coconut Aminos

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Balsamic Vinegar

  • Tamari aka GF Soy Sauce

Spices and Herbs

  • Salt and Pepper

    • Look for pink Himalayan or sea salt variations.

  • Garlic

    • Fresh is better, but powder will work when in a pinch!

  • Cinnamon

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Turmeric

  • Cumin

  • Oregano

  • Paprika

  • Chili Powder

  • Nutritional Yeast

Condiments and Sauces

  • Low Sodium Vegetable or Chicken Stock

  • Dijon Mustard

  • Marinara Sauce

    • Check the ingredient list and opt for no added sugars.

  • Ketchup

    • No added sugar OR naturally sweetened

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