1.Canned Beans Keep an assortment of chick peas for hummus; pinto beans for refried and dips; kidney beans to toss in soups and stews; and pink or Romans are great tossed with whole grain pastas. Remember to rinse and drain well.2.Milk Those packages of shelf-stable milk have a long life outside the refrigerator and taste much better than powdered milk. Also stock up on both 5 ounce and 12 ounce cans of evaporated skim milk. It works well in baking and undiluted it is a good substitute in both fare and foul weather for cream in soups.3.Tomatoes Recent studies suggest avoiding canned tomatoes as the acid leeches out unhealthy chemicals. Look for glass packaging or the aseptic boxes and low sodium is the best choice.4.Broth These are also better in the aseptic shelf-stable packages. Include an assortment of vegetable, chicken, beef and fish. The smaller sizes are good for making sauces or adding some flavor to steamed vegetables. Again, low sodium.
5.Grains With wild rice in cupboard you can whip up a hearty side dish or add some fiber to soup. If you prefer to sled rather than cook rice, whole grain cous cous is done in five minutes and those frozen bags of pre-cooked brown rice mean you don't have to plan too far in advance. If you are hanging around the house anyway, it's a good time to experiment with longer cooking whole grains such as wheat berries, farro, or spelt.6.Fruits and veggies Frozen fruit and vegetables mean you won't skimp on getting your minimum requirements in if you aren't able to buy fresh. Just make sure your fruits haven't had sugar added.7.Bread Just for fun, keep some packages of dry yeast, bread flour and whole wheat white flour on hand. Nothing better in the cold than homemade bread! You can also make your own pizza crust dough and make personal pan pizzas.
What are your favorite pantry items to have on hand? Let us know below.
About Lari Robling
Lari Robling's food career had its early beginnings as a home ec teacher for the visually impaired. Later, she decided to become a food professional and worked for caterers and restaurants. Lari landed her first job in a test kitchen for a small health food publication, Delicious! magazine. From there, she began a freelance career as a food stylist and food consultant. She is also the author of Endangered Recipes: Too Good to Be Forgotten.
Philly Food Bucks!
Philly Food Bucks are coupons that help ACCESS/food stamp customers save money on fruits and vegetables. Philly Food Bucks can be redeemed for $2 worth of fruits and vegetables for every $5 spent in ACCESS/food stamps at a participating farmers' market. Learn more about Philly Food Bucks at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's recently expanded web site Food Fit Philly.com. Now also accepted at the West Oak Lane Weaver's Way Food Coop.
Get Healthy Philly is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, a federal effort to: prevent and delay chronic disease, reduce risk factors, promote wellness in children and adults, and provide positive sustainable health change in our communities.
Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a program that works to reduce and prevent obesity and related chronic diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) by increasing access to healthy foods that people can afford.
Your body needs help when it's time to quit. SmokeFree Philly is a program of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that offers support and tools to help smokers quit. The goal of SmokeFree Philly is to: help people to quit smoking, stop people from starting to use tobacco, and reduce heart disease, cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking.
Got a question for Fit? Want to submit your own "fit and fresh" recipe? Have a good story idea for us?