Food Essentials: Pantry

Food Essentials: Pantry

Did you know that 80 per cent of Canadians eat out once a week or more?

Eating out might seem like an easy solution to the age-old 'What's for dinner?' conundrum but at what price? Keep your pantry, spice rack, fridge and freezer stocked with the right essentials and you'll eat healthier and save money.

Pantry Essentials

Tin of chickpeas: This legume is full of fibre, iron and folate. Chickpeas are also the basis of many health-smart meals: Purée for hummus or toss into any soup or pasta dish.

Brown Rice: It has double the iron and 10 times the amount of B6 as white rice! This gluten-free side dish is the basic ingredient for veggie burgers and adds a nutty flavor to salad.

Oats: Not only does it help lower cholesterol, oats slow the rise of blood sugar levels so you're full for longer. Keep it on hand for a hearty oatmeal breakfast or fibre-rich muffins.

Tin of diced tomatoes: This go-to staple can be turned into soup (freeze some for later) or pasta sauce in mere minutes. Do make sure to buy cans with no salt added!

Dried Lentils: Just 100 grams of the green variety equals 50 per cent of your iron and 100 per cent of your daily fibre needs. Add them to tacos, chili or even muffins!

*Tip: Keep an updated list on the inside of the pantry door so you always know what you have on hand

Going for a big shop? Here's a full shopping list of all the basics you should ever need!

Tell us what essentials you stay stocked up on!

Post your comments below.

CBC's Live Right Now is Bringing Healthier Home in 2013. We hope you'll join us!