Stocking a Healthy Pantry: What is on Your Shelves?

I love to cook and am addicted to cooking shows. Many cooking shows emhasize the well-stocked pantry, but only a few emphasize the healthy pantry, a pantry stocked with low-salt, low-fat foods. Although the contents of my pantry varies with the season, I always have healthy foods on hand. I keep these foods in mind when planning meals. The foods are grouped in categories and I have labeled the shelves. What is in my pantry?

VEGETABLES

Canned dipped tomatoes (no salt)

Canned tomato sauce (no salt)

Canned corn (no salt)

Canned artichokes, packed in water

Roasted red peppers

Water chestnuts (sliced)

Green chilies (chopped)

Dehydrated onions

FRUITS

Canned peaches (lite or sweetened with Splenda)

Canned pears (lite or sweetened with Splenda)

Mandarin oranges

Unsweetened apple sauce

Dried apples

Dried cranberries

Dried cherries

GRAINS

Basmati rice

Brown rice

Wild rice

Wheat pasta (spaghetti, angel hair, spirals)

Oatmeal (regular and steel-cut)

Corn meal

Shredded wheat

Wheat flakes

NUTS AND SEEDS

Walnuts (whole and pieces)

Almonds (sliced ​​and slivered)

Unsalted peanuts

Reduced fat peanut butter

Sesame seeds

Celery seeds

Caraway seeds

STAPLES

Wheat and white flour (combined)

Gravy flour

Sugar (2 pounds or less)

Honey

Splenda

Splenda Blend for Baking

Calorie-free brown sugar

Cocoa powder

Baking powder

Baking soda

Cornstarch

Sodium-free bullion cubes (chicken and beef)

Dried buttermilk

Sugar-free strawberry, apricot and orange jam

FISH

Canned tuna (packed in water)

Canned crab (packed in water)

Canned salmon

VINEGARS AND OILS

Rice wine vinegar

Cider vinegar

Red wine vinegar

Balsamic vinegar (small bottle)

Extra light olive oil

Canola oil

Cooking spray (olive oil or corn oil)

SEASONS

Low sodium salt

Pepper: coarse ground, lemon and seasoned

Italian seasonings: dried basil, thyme, oregano

Baking seasonings: ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Vanilla, almond, and orange extracts

ONCE IN A WHILE FOODS

Low-sodium celery soup

Low-sodium logo soup

Marinara or spaghetti sauce (lowest salt I can find)

Sugar free mousse mix (chocolate and vanilla)

Angel food cake mix

Corn muffin mix

Yellow cake mix

Having a healthy pantry helps me to prepare healthy meals. To make meals even healthier I buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. I have told you what is in my pantry. What is in yours? If you have not stocked your pantry with healthy foods I hope you will do it today. Eating healthy foods will help you to have a healthy life.

Copyright 2006 by Harriet Hodgson