How to Stock Your Kitchen for Healthy Eating
Written by Vicky Flourishing Pantry
Vicky is a coach, retreat host and award-winning blogger helping busy entrepreneurs find healthier ways to eat and live. Her blog The Flourishing Pantry offers recipes, inspiration and tips on living a healthy life whilst building a business through blog posts, videos, interviews and one-to-one coaching. Vicky co-hosts The Reset retreats in Ireland and abroad with Nutritional Therapist Lauren Healy.
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I bet when you clicked on this article a small part of you expects it’s going to be filled with words you’ve never heard before. Wheatgrass, moringa, baobab and lucuma….
“Where the hell am I going to find that?”
It’s so easy to get carried away scrolling through Instagram thinking you need powders and potions in order to eat a healthy diet. Or that to be nourished you have to fill the fridge with an unending supply of fresh food that seems to rot in seconds.
The simple truth is you don’t.
Eating well can be very much based around long-lasting essentials you’ll find at your local supermarket.
It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
True healthy eating is rooted in the benefits of cooking for yourself (knowing what is in your food and enjoying the process of preparing it), getting the biggest variety you can in your diet and having a healthy “nothing is off-limits” attitude towards food.
Healthy eating isn’t unpronounceable superfoods.
Our understanding of nutrition and the benefits of food on the body is constantly evolving. We simply don’t know everything. The best advice right now when it comes to what to feed yourself is to get the biggest variety possible, rather than cutting out and restricting. 
Here are some great basics that you can grab now that will work in hundreds of healthy meals:
Cans of chickpeas – you can make your own hummus or falafel, use them in baking in things like brownies or blondies, crisp them up in the oven for a snack with herbs or use as a topping for soup, or add them to curries or stews for more fibre and protein.
Cashews – the perfect snack in a handful. Cashews also go well in stir-fries, sprinkled onto salads and can even be soaked and used in baking or blitzed to make cheesecakes. Want a creamy pasta sauce without all the cream? Cashews are your answer! Try this recipe.
Oats – for porridge, yes of course, but they can be used in so much more. Add a handful to your smoothies to bulk them up and give long-lasting energy or blitz them up into oat flour and make pancakes or use as a plain-flour replacement in some pastry recipes.
Mixed seeds – don’t know your sunflower from your pumpkin seed? It doesn’t matter! Buy a basic seed mix that you can sprinkle on salads, over your avocado or eggs in the morning or on soups or stews. It will instantly add texture and extra nutrients to your meal with zero thought required.
Onions and garlic – two of the best ‘fresh’ ingredients that won’t go-off within a day of you buying them. Onions and garlic can form the basis of thousands of savoury dishes like Bolognese, lasagne, pasta sauces, stir-fries, pie fillings and more. Always having onions and garlic in the cupboards means you’ve already got the start of a tasty from-scratch dinner.
Berries and bananas – delicious and nutrient dense these fruits are great for snacking on, adding to porridge, throwing in a smoothie or baking into sweet treats. Not going to be able to use them fresh? Pop your berries into a Tupperware, slice your banana up and put it in a sandwich bag and store them in the freezer.
Nut butter – nut butters now come in all different varieties so if peanut isn’t your bag, there are loads of other options. Cashew and almond butters most readily available, but you can also now get hazelnut, brazil nut, pecan and even pistachio. Many supermarkets now make their own making them hugely affordable. If you fancy a slice of toast in the morning, nut butters are great for a hit of protein. Serving nut butter with an apple for a snack means combining protein, fat and carbohydrate for a truly satisfying pit-stop. Just make sure you check the back for brands that use 100% nuts with no added sugar, salt or oil.
When it comes to stocking your cupboards for healthy eating, focus on simple staples with loads of versatility. And think about variety over everything else when you’re building your plate every day, the rest will follow.
Download a copy of Vicky’s e-book Create Your Own Flourishing Pantry for more tips on cupboard staples that will change your approach to healthy eating.
 Something I learned on the Food As Medicine course offered by Monash University on Future Learn https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/food-as-medicine