10 Healthy Affordable Must Haves in the Pantry

We all know shopping all organic and high quality health products can be expensive.  Especially shopping at Whole Foods can take your whole paycheck away.  But do not fret!

I’m starting to realize Costco started to carry organic products such as coconut oil, quinoa, frozen acai berries and fresh juices, so organic items can be affordable for all.  Even better, I came across Thrive Market, where their goal is selling healthy and natural products online from food, beauty, and kitchen goods for 25-50% off retail.  They have a free 60 day membership trial, then you pay $59.95 for a yearly membership, much like Costco.  When you buy a membership, they give away and donate a membership to a low income family.  How awesome is that!?

Anyway, below is a list of 10 Must Haves towards a balanced lifestyle and happy pantry!flax2

1. Flax Seed

Flax seed is rich in protein, fiber, and omega-3s.You can add to smoothies, toppings on salad, in baked goods or to homemade bread.  Always great to have as you can use in various meals and smoothies.

2. Popcorn Kernelsorganic popcorn

Popcorn is such a light yet filling snack and have such a low calorie at 55 kcal per cup.  Cook up a batch of popcorn in olive oil, then finish it off with truffle oil and garlic salt.

3. Beans

Black Beans have many great benefits. Black beans prevent cardiovasuclar disease, reduce risks of certain types of cancer, aid in digestive health, regulate blood sugars, and beneficial for various nervous systems.  Black beans contain soluble fiber, which has been proven to lower cholesterol, assisting in preventing heart attacks and strokes.  So next time you make some salad or tacos, be sure to grab those Black Beans!

Cannellini beans have high content of protein, fiber, and minerals and can easily be cooked into pasta sauce or pureed to make a fantastic dip.

4. QuinoaScreen Shot 2015-07-05 at 12.23.10 PM

Quinoa is a great source of protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.  Compared to waiting 40 minutes of white rice in the rice cooker, you can whip up quinoa in 15 minutes.


5. Quinoa Pastapasta

If you absolutely love pasta, but often get bloated, an alternative is quinoa pasta.  There have been mixed reviews about quinoa pasta.  Those that cannot tolerate regular pasta absolutely love quinoa pasta.  Those who eat regular pasta feel this may have a aftertaste and different texture than they are used to.  But healthy it is, this box of gluten-free quinoa pasta!  Try it in different shapes: Penne, Elbows, Rotelle, or Shells.

6. Organic Spelt Flour

Spelt Flour has fewer calories than wheat flour.  Their benefits include build strong bones, lower blood sugar level, improve immune system, reduce cholesterol.  Spelt has a high content of fiber, so if you are looking for healthy digestion, spelt flour is the way to go to use for baking than regular flour.  If you are gluten intolerant, please use different flour as spelt does contain gluten.

7.  Almonds

Almonds are such a great no prep easy snack to grab on the go.  They also have the longest shelf lives compared to any other nut and are packed with heapful of fiber, protein, Vitamin E, and magnesium.  Powerful antioxidants are located on the brown skin of almonds, so don’t go buying the white skinless almonds!

I talk more about Almonds and other Superfoods in this article.

8. Non Dairy Milk : Almond, Coconut, Rice, or Soy Milk

Often we hear people that are lactose intolerant.  Did you know that over 50 million people in the US are lactose intolerant and most don’t even know?  That being said, there are so many healthy alternatives besides cow milk.  Almond, coconut, rice, or soy milk are all plant based milk.  You can even challenge yourself to make your own!

9.  Chick Peas aka Garbanzo Beans

Chick peas are super easy to prepare with as they mostly come in cans.  Drain the water, mix it up with lemon, tahini and a few spices to get a delicious homemade hummus going.

Toss it easily in a salad for those extra protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6 and magnesium.

10. Frozen Fruits

Frozen bananas, mangoes, pineapples, berries are always great to have to toss in smoothies.

Frozen bananas is essential in my freezer, as once that ice cream craving hits, I usually blend frozen banana and coconut milk to make a creamy healthy mixture.  I may add vanilla essense, peanut butter, coconut shreddings, or frozen berries to add a variety of flavor.  Banana ice creams or Nice Creams, as we call it is such a great last minute craving buster!

Guilt-free Deliciousness.

11. Wraps

If you get slightly tired of eating salads all the time, you can simply put the salad ingredients into one of these Wraps to make an Asian version all vege burrito!  If you are feeling creative and want to go the seafood route, adding some shrimp, tuna, or lobster tail will definitely kick in some flavor.

Don’t forget to make your own dipping sauce too or get a Peanut Sauce here!

There you have it folks!  Each of these items are a must have for me in my pantry and are quite affordable.  Be sure to put them on your list when you go grocery shopping next time!


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