NUTRITIONIST Lisa Guy lists the foods that should always be kitchen staples.
This super versatile oil should be a pantry staple. Coconut oil is one of most stable oils to bake and stir-fry with. You can use it in place of vegetable oils or butter in baked goods, or make delicious raw desserts. Coconut oil is rich in beneficial fats that are an excellent energy source. It also helps support healthy immune function, and it can assist with weight loss as it’s a thermogenic food.
Nuts and seeds
Keep a variety of raw nuts and seeds in jars in your fridge, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, pepitas, sunflower and hemp seeds. Ideal for adding to muesli and porridge, yoghurt, smoothies, muffins, cookies, salads, desserts, or to eat as a trail mix. Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and healthy fats.
It is a great idea to keep some frozen berries like raspberries, blackberries or blueberries in the freezer. They are perfect to add to smoothies, breakfast cereals, yoghurt, baked goods or desserts. Berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and betacarotene. Frozen berries still retain their high nutrient levels.
Eating yoghurt daily is a great way to boost your digestive and immune health. Eat it on it’s own as a snack or use it to enhance a variety of sweet and savoury dishes eg. breakfast cereals and porridges, smoothies, dips, desserts, salads, muffins and pancakes, salad dressings and to as the base of a healthy mayonnaise.
Variety of herbs and spices
They not only add colour and flavour, but will give your meals a boost in nutrients and health promoting compounds. Eg. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice. Cinnamon is also antioxidant rich and helps balance out blood sugar levels too. While thyme has antibacterial properties. While fresh garlic is a super immune booster.
Oats are a super healthy and versatile food that you should stock in your kitchen. Use them to make porridge, muesli or Bircher, muffins, biscuits, healthy fruit crumbles, or add a handful to smoothies. Oats are a fabulous source of fibre to help lower cholesterol levels, as well as vitamin E, B vitamins, and slow release complex carbohydrates for energy.
Sesame seed paste is handy to make hummus, or to use as a spread on toast or sandwiches, or as a tasty salad dressing. Tahini contains plenty of calcium, protein, and heart healthy fats.
Tinned tomatoes and paste
Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of the potent antioxidant lycopene, which has anti-cancerous properties. Tomato sauce and pastes are a particularly rich source. You should always have some on hand to whip up a pasta, soup, curry or homemade pizza.