What’s in YOUR kitchen?

I thought that today would be another good day to talk about some of the things I do to lead a healthy lifestyle. I touched a little bit about how I eat on Tuesday, but I wanted to go more into that today and let you know some of the things that I keep around my kitchen at all times that have become my go-to healthy staples. And perhaps I will finish with another delicious recipe, we shall see….

 

This list by no means is a complete and total list of all the things that I eat or keep on hand, just some of the things that I always have around. You can tailor the list to your needs/wants/what’s available in your area.

 

In my “pantry”: (it’s really just a little metal cabinet by my stove, but I like to be fancy)

 

~ Cans of chickpeas or garbanzo beans. I use beans in a lot of my meals as a good easy added source of protein. Plus I also always have roasted chickpeas on hand for snacks. Great alternative to chips or crackers
~ Ground flax seed. I buy this in bulk as whole seeds and grind them myself because it is cheaper that way. But these are excellent to sprinkle into smoothies or oatmeal or in pancake mix!
~ Oatmeal. I buy this in bulk as well because I eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast as well as make oatmeal bars for Adam. Great source of fiber and awesome way to start the day
~ Quinoa. Another bulk buy (it’s seriously awesome since I use these things so often), I use quinoa as a side or its great mixed in with burrito filling. It’s really versatile so you can use it however your little heart desires!
~ Whole wheat flour/pastry flour. Again bought in bulk, but I use this for pie crusts, pancakes, and Adam makes whole wheat bread every week for his toast. It works the same as regular flour so make the switch!
~ Popcorn kernels. We have an air popper and usually on the weekends we will pop up some popcorn and watch a movie. Popcorn is actually a really great snack, full of antioxidants and low in calories, just don’t ruin it with a ton of butter or salt!
~ Almonds/walnuts. Dry-roasted and unsalted, these are a super easy snack to grab and run, and they have amazing benefits for you!
~ Almond butter. I love this stuff and if given the opportunity would eat huge bowls full of it! (But I don’t.) I do add it to my oatmeal and put some on my pancakes when I have those. I buy the Target Archer’s Farm brand; just make sure whatever brand you get it is just almonds on the ingredient list
~Canned tuna/salmon. I keep these on hand to make quick salads or as an added source of protein. Fish is SO SO good for you and you should eat it at least once a week if not more. Just make sure it is packed in water not oil and the salmon is wild caught not raised on a farm (it will say so on the can)
~ Tortilla chips. WHAT?! Did she just say chips? Yes, I did. It is actually very easy to find “clean” chips. We get ours from Trader Joe’s and the only ingredients are ground corn, sunflower oil, sea salt, and a hint of lime. Now these aren’t an everyday food item, but I keep them on hand for when we have a Mexican dinner night.

 

In my fridge:

 

~ Eggs. I eat at least one every day, Adam has some for breakfast, hard boiled for a snack. They are great sources of protein and there are SO many things you can make with them, like frittatas!
~ Unsweetened original Almond milk. I love this stuff. It works well in recipes or just on its own. I buy store bought from my Jewel, but it is also easy to make, so I am told. I will have to try it and let you know!
~ Water. This may seem like a no brainer, but drink more water! Don’t drink it from plastic bottles, be more environmentally conscious and go buy a filter and start chugging.
~ Assorted fruits and veggies. We always have some type of fruit or vegetable in our fridge, and its usually whatever is on sale or in season. Great go-to snacks and great for you!
~ Smuckers all natural peanut butter. I love this brand for 3 reasons: Only ingredients are peanuts and salt, it comes in a big jar, and I can find it for cheap at Wal-Mart. It’s awesome and I love me some PB!

 

Like I said before, this is in no way an entirely exhaustive list. These are just some of the things that I always keep on hand that make it easier to eat and cook as healthy as possible. Also, most of these things can be bought in your local grocery store and aren’t that expensive. So take a look at this list and see what you can start adding to your own kitchen. Make small, gradual changes. Even little changes make a big difference in the long run. Start each week and get rid of one box of twinkies and replace it with almonds or some other healthy snack. I didn’t build this kitchen list in one day, I gradually got rid of the garbage food and added these good things. Start slow and one day you will realize your entire kitchen is a healthy haven! I promised a recipe at the beginning of this post and I plan to deliver. This is how I make roasted chickpeas. They are a great snack and satisfy that salty/crunchy craving when it hits’

 

Roasted Chickpeas:

 

1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or omit if you don’t like spicy)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine all of your ingredients and mix well to make sure the chickpeas are all coated. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet and place in oven. Bake in 10 minute increments, rotating them each time so they don’t burn. Depending on your oven this could take anywhere from 20-40 min. You want them to be nice and crispy when you bite into them. Once they are done let them cool and place in an airtight container. They should store for up to a week if you don’t eat them all at once! Enjoy!

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