One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to healthy eating is being able to create flavorful meals and snacks on limited time. Past blogs have focused on prepping meals ahead of time, properly storing produce, and using simple cooking tools to help make healthy living a little easier. Today’s blog is all about stocking your kitchen for success. Although any list of kitchen essentials is open to interpretation, here are a few that might be helpful if you are just getting started.
- Garlic and Onion. Garlic and onion have a long history of being consumed for their medicinal properties. Filled to the brim with antioxidants, these flavorful foods are believed to combat everything from cholesterol to the common cold. Health benefits aside, garlic and onion are just plain tasty. They offer bold flavor profiles that help to bring a gourmet taste to just about any dish. Sautee them with veggies, toss them into pastas, use them in homemade salad dressings, or bake them with various cuts of meat for an instant flavor boost.
- Frozen Vegetables. Frozen veggies are easy to prepare, can be made quickly, and can be stored for long periods of time in the freezer. This means that you can stock up and reach for them whenever you need a quick side or a simple snack. You can also add them to soups and toss them into pastas to instantly up the nutritional value of your meal.
- Fresh Fruit. Fresh fruit is nature’s perfectly portioned, ready-to-eat snack. Not only are fruits filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, but most of them require zero prep work. Simply give them a good rinse and they are ready to go. Have a bowl of apples, pears, or bananas sitting on the table where they are easily visible. This will help to keep them in the forefront of your mind when you get the urge to snack. It also makes them an easy-to-grab option on your way out of the house.
- Fresh Herbs and Seasonings. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean bland food. Much like garlic and onion, herbs and seasonings are a healthy way to add flavor to your meals. Keep your favorite varieties on hand to help spice up any food without adding a lot of work to your day. Add fresh basil leaves to your pasta, rosemary to your chicken, and dill to your salmon. The bold flavors will delight your taste buds and help you to pass on less healthy options in favor of nutrition-packed, home cooked meals.
- Dried Fruits and Nuts. Dried fruits and nuts are a delicious and healthy snack in themselves, but they can also be added to oatmeal, tossed onto salads, or mixed into yogurt for a tasty meal that doesn’t take up too much of your time. Dried fruits and nuts provide your body with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are easy to store, have a lengthy shelf life, and do not require any prep work at all. When it comes to eating healthy, dried fruits and nuts are as easy as it gets.
Most people believe that a healthy lifestyle is all about discipline and restriction, but for many of us it has more to do with preparation and integration. In other words, prepare for healthy living and you will be more likely to live healthfully.