Most of us like to buy our produce fresh and would generally stock up on groceries every week or so. But buying in bulk for the month or two months can also help you plan your diet and meals much better. It is easier make a healthy meal at home if you have all the ingredients at hand. Buying for the month or a couple of weeks can also help you add to your savings. If you’re wondering how to stock a pantry for the first time, this article is for you.
How to Stock a Healthy Kitchen
These days, it might be difficult to get your hands-on fresh fruits and vegetables. But that does not have to mean missing out on essential nutrients. When stocking your pantry, be sure to include a variety of foods that will provide you with carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
How to Stock a Modern Pantry
The items in your pantry serve two purposes - making sure you’re getting all the nutrition you need and making cooking convenient for you. Here we’ve compiled a checklist of foods that are a must in every modern pantry.
1. Fruit and Vegetables - These are indispensable sources of fibre, vitamins, minerals and essential phytonutrients. It is good to include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables into your diet. If fresh produce is not easily available, you could stock up on canned or dried fruit, and frozen fruit and vegetables instead. Try to consume a rainbow of vegetables and fruits to ensure you get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients.
2. Legumes and Pulses - These plant-based sources of protein are important, especially for those that follow a vegetarian diet. Chawli, rajma, moong, kabuli chana and a variety of dals should all have a place in your pantry as they all come with their own set of nutritional benefits. These beans and lentils are not only a good source of protein, but they are also rich in fibre and contain micronutrients. It is essential to have these in your pantry as these ingredients can help in meeting protein requirements of our bodies. Alternative flours like besan are also great to have.
3. Cereal, Grains and Nuts – Cereals and whole grains such as rice have a long shelf-life and are a great source of energy. We all require energy to accomplish our day to day tasks and activities. From our brain to our muscles, all our organs need this energy. Hence, it is essential that we stock up on healthy carbohydrates as they are our primary source of energy. Nuts are a good source of fat, protein and fibre. Be sure to include a good mix of these as well when stocking up for the coming weeks.
4. Dairy - Dairy is an important source of calcium and protein. Tetra pack milk has a long shelf-life and is thus a good option during these times. You could also try to stock up on some cheese and paneer - these can last a few weeks if stored in the freezer. And don’t forget a pack or two of dahi. It is packed with vitamins and protein. It is also a source of probiotics that help fight off the harmful bacteria and can help give your immune system a boost.
5. Spices - Indian cooking would be incomplete without its spices. Before preparing your shopping list, check that you have all the essentials such as chilli powder, haldi powder and coriander powder. Spices not only add taste, but they can also help in boosting immunity. Try Tata Sampann spices as this range of spices have their natural oils intact, ensuring that the natural goodness of spices is retained in the powdered form.
6. Ready Nutri-Mixes - Ready nutri-mixes can be a great life-saver in tight situations. Tata Sampann offers a range of ready mixes from chillas to khichdi. These can help you whip up a nutritious and healthy meal in no time.
How to Stock a Pantry on a Budget
If you’re on a budget, there are a number of ways you can save money. Shopping online is a good start. Some grocery apps and websites will even provide you with great bargain deals and discounts. Another way to save is to choose local and national brands over global ones - you might just prefer it. Happy stocking!
The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.