A Peek Inside My Kitchen (+ Healthy Pantry Building Tips!)
As a dietitian and food blogger, I get a TON of questions about my favourite “healthy pantry staples.” I know firsthand that having a well-stocked pantry and fridge can play a HUGE role in helping you stick to healthier eating habits. When our kitchens are clean, organized, and filled with healthy pantry staples, we are so much more likely to feel inspired to cook and eating healthfully!
If you are struggling to cook at home and to meet your health goals, or if you’re just looking for some kitchen inspiration – this post is for you! I’m going to take you through my kitchen – fridge, freezer, pantry, spice cabinet, and all. I didn’t buy anything specifically for this post; it’s a true representation of what I had in my kitchen at the time (although I did tidy up a little haha).
Now, without further ado… let’s tour my kitchen!
First up – my fridge! Here I keep perishable items, fresh produce, leftovers, meal prep items, as well as many nuts, seeds, grains, and condiments.
On my top shelf I keep a lot of my proteins – eggs, Greek yogurt, tempeh, and cheeses. I don’t eat meat, but if you do I would advise keeping those on your bottom shelf instead (to prevent any contamination of foods below).
On my middle shelf I keep tons of nuts, seeds, and grains in glass jars (most of which I purchase in bulk to save money). I use nuts/seeds to sprinkle over oatmeal, toasts, salads, etc. to give a boost of protein, healthy fat, and omega-3s. I keep grains like quinoa, steel cut, and rolled oats here too since I use them all the time. The “fancy” glass jars I purchased at Ikea, but the others are simply washed and reused jars (e.g. from finished nut butters and sauces). This is a great way to reduce waste and put items to good use. Having healthy items in glass jars can help you actually SEE what’s in your fridge, and inspire you to use them!
I keep a lot of condiments, sauces, and vinegars in my fridge door. Asian flavours are some of my favourites, so I’ll always have things like miso paste, hot sauce, rice vinegar, tamari, and mirin on hand. I also LOVE kimchi and sauerkraut to add to bowls and salads for flavour and gut-health goodness. Finally, raw cacao powder and cacao nibs are awesome to make anything chocolatey – oatmeals, smoothies, energy bites, etc.
Having a well-stocked freezer is such a godsend for those times when you haven’t had a chance to hit the grocery store. Often frozen ingredients get a bad rap, but things like fruit and vegetables are frozen at peak ripeness and retain their nutrients – so they actually can be more nutritious than out-of-season produce!
I always keep TONS of frozen fruit and berries in my freezer (to add to oatmeal, smoothies, and to make chia jam). I’ll also keep a loaf of whole grain bread in here to preserve freshness – perfect for avocado or nut butter toasts. For a quick protein, I love keeping frozen shrimp on hand. They’re so easy to defrost and throw in things like pastas or stir-fries. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with frozen avocado chunks – it makes my smoothies super thick and creamy! I buy most of these freezer items at Costco, since I don’t have to worry about the large quantities going bad 🙂
Drawers & Cupboards
I tend to keep things like nut butters and tahini (both of which I go through so quickly), medjool dates (my fave for a sweet snack), rice noodles, pastas, and any baking ingredients (flours, chocolate chips, etc.) in my main kitchen drawer. I use things like nut butter literally every single day, so it’s handy to have these right where I cook!
In my other kitchen drawer I keep all my spices and the cooking oils I use daily. These are ESSENTIAL healthy pantry staples as they bring so many dishes together without excess sodium or sugar! For spices, I try to keep them organized by “type” – meaning, all the “sweet” spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, etc.) together, and then all the “savoury” spices (like paprika, turmeric, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, etc.) together as well. I keep my favourite oils – olive, avocado, and coconut – in here too (not all of them made the picture as the larger bottles are in the drawer below).
Finally, I keep some foods in my storage closet because there isn’t enough room in my kitchen! In here I keep a lot of the items that have been sent to me from brands – either stuff for sampling or ingredients that I’m developing recipes for. I also keep any “overflow” ingredients here (e.g. the original bulk bags for nuts/grains, which I then re-stock the jars in my fridge with when they get empty). Things like protein powders, bars, and teas are kept in here, too.
Now, it’s your turn!
And there you have it – my healthy pantry staples and a peek inside my kitchen! If you’re feeling inspired to stock your kitchen for healthy cooking, be sure to check out my Pantry Staples Checklist. It’s a handy download that you can print, refer to, or bring along to the grocery store.
PS. You can find links to a lot of my pantry staples on my Amazon Page OR over on Thrive Market! For more info, visit my shop page 🙂